On this day in Hip-Hop history, the Wu-Tang Clan took their first steps by releasing their debut Enter the Wu-Tang (36 Chambers) LP.
One of the most ferocious and raw debuts Hip Hop has ever seen, The RZA, The GZA, Ol’ Dirty Bastard, Inspectah Deck, Raekwon the Chef, U-God, Ghostface Killah, and Method Man were all in together now, as they were later joined by Masta Killah.
Recorded, mixed, mastered, and arranged by RZA at Firehouse Studios in New York, the album was recorded with all eight active members simultaneously in the studio. To decide which of the eight would appear on a track, RZA would have members battle rap against each other to ensure that the best man capable would get the job. Premiere tracks from the album include the street anthem “C.R.E.A.M.”, which gave us the euphemism, and the two solo tracks (“Method Man”, “Clan In Da Front”) and, the leading single, the infectious “Protect Ya Neck”.
This album brought reform to Hip Hop, with New York’s hardcore movement. Wu-Tang did not focus on the glitz and glamour that came along with Hip Hop status. The Wu wanted to be the most righteous and skillful MC’s on the scene. This lyrical warfare made them constantly sharpen their swords (lyrical skill) for war. They opened the door for The Notorious B.I.G. to Jay-Z to Mobb Deep, as the album was a surprise hit. The album peaked at #41 on the Billboard 200 and #8 on the Top R&B/Hip-Hop chart.