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Wu-Tang Clan - Wu-Tang Forever (Cover Artwork)

Wu-Tang Clan

Wu-Tang Clan: Wu-Tang ForeverWu-Tang Forever (1997)
Sony Music Entertainment

Reviewer Rating: 4
User Rating:


Contributed by: fallingupwards84fallingupwards84
(others by this writer | submit your own)

Reunited, double LP, we're all excited Struck a match to the underground, industry ignited from metaphorical parables to fertilize the Earth This is how the Clan began their follow-up to one of the most highly-influential albums not only in the history of hip-hop music, but the history of musi.
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Reunited, double LP, we're all excited
Struck a match to the underground, industry ignited
from metaphorical parables to fertilize the Earth

This is how the Clan began their follow-up to one of the most highly-influential albums not only in the history of hip-hop music, but the history of music period. Enter the Wu-Tang (36 Chambers) remains an exceptionally popular album; kids who weren't even born when it came out in 1993 are listening to it today in 2008. With the critical and popular success of 36 Chambers and the solo albums that followed, one might expect that the Clan would go more commercial.

Quite the opposite, actually. The first single off the double LP, "Triumph" was over five minutes long, featured nine verses (one for each member), and contained no hook or chorus. Straight hardcore hip-hop, yet the song succeeded in getting radio play and contributing ultimately to eight million record sales. In the so-called "Jiggy-era" of hip hop in 1997, this was quite an accomplishment

RZA's beats on this album (along with his protégés 4th Disciple and True Master) are more raw than its predecessor. Songs such as "Duck Seazon," "Visionz" and "Cash Still Rules" contained nothing more than simple, stripped-down beats with intelligent rhymes and intuitive lyrics. The beats sound less like 36 Chambers and more like an extension of the critically-acclaimed solo albums by Raekwon, GZA, and Ghostface. RZA's unique use of samples on this album would later be copied by producers such as Kanye West, who has given RZA credit for his style today.

Ol' Dirty Bastard is noticeably absent on many of the tracks, only contributing two verses and a couple intros. As much as ODB's character added to the group, this ultimately does not take away from the album due to the superb performances of GZA, Raekwon and Method Man. Raekwon in particular proves that his Only 4 Cuban Linx album was no fluke -- out of all the Clan members, he has the smoothest flow, with GZA a close second.

Forever also distinguishes itself from the group's debut through its lyrics. The group often articulates their "Five Percent Nation" beliefs and take on more serious and mature content than simply "Wu-Tang Clan ain't nuthin' to fuck wit." In the Intro song to the second disc, RZA disses other rappers (one must assume that Puff Daddy was one of the targets) for weak lyrics/beats. "A lot of niggas tryin' to take hip hop and make that shit R&B: rap and bullshit...this is hip-hop right here, this is lyrics."

Unfortunately, it should have been a single album. At 27 tracks, lasting a total of nearly two hours, there is some filler here. Not a lot of filler, but about five or six songs should not have made the final cut. The intro to the first disc is worthless -- it runs six and a half minutes and is nothing more than the Wu-Tang espousing their Five Percent beliefs through spoken word. These reservations notwithstanding, however, Forever was a worthy followup to the classic 36 Chambers. Several of the songs on this album such as "Severe Punishment" and "As High as Wu-Tang Get" are easily on par with their debut LP.

If you only have 36 Chambers, then pick this one up immediately. If you don't have any Wu-Tang albums, start with their debut and then buy this one.

 

 
People who liked this also liked:
Bad Brains - I Against IWu-Tang Clan - Enter the Wu-Tang (36 Chambers)Streetlight Manifesto - Everything Goes NumbBad Brains - Rock For LightDescendents - AllRise Against - Revolutions Per MinuteThe Loved Ones - Keep Your HeartNOFX - Never Trust a HippyThe Replacements - Let It BeNOFX - The War on Errorism

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Fine Print: The following comments are owned by whoever posted them. We are not respon sible for them in any way. Seriously.
GlassPipeMurder (May 21, 2009)

you forgot to credit Wikipedia as your source : )

leecorsoisapenis (June 19, 2008)

"Duck Season" is my favorite rap song of all time. This album is worth a 10 for that song alone.

Jim

Slacker (June 17, 2008)

haha don't get offended by Glambalam, he listens to the Transplants.

Sliced-T (June 16, 2008)

"You morons realize this got released about 11 years ago right? And this record blows, but since all you posers and bandwagon jumpers probably heard your first hip hop song yesterday, it's cool. go ahead and listen. clowns."

I had no idea hip hop just became popular lately.

thinkDIY (June 16, 2008)

I agree that this album pretty much sucks ass, it has a small handful of awesome songs, and tons of filler/suck ass songs.

And to jump on the old people bandwagon, I actually bought the first Wu Tang in the store when I was in ninth grade.

dropthepop (June 16, 2008)

that's right. Glambalam is so inferior i misspelled his name... on purpose.

dropthepop (June 16, 2008)

Score is for GlamBam's originality with his racism. really cutting edge, and i'll finish this post with his wisdom

"weak ass new song"? that's really stupid to say. Obviously if no one knows the song it may sound weak, plus when you hear a song for the first time you don't always immediately like it. Actually the songs that I like instantly are the songs I usually get over first."

icapped2pac (June 16, 2008)

Thanks for making me feel young. I bought this the day it came out, bozo, and I drove myself to the store, so do the math.

LORD-OF-THE-GAYS (June 16, 2008)

You morons realize this got released about 11 years ago right? And this record blows, but since all you posers and bandwagon jumpers probably heard your first hip hop song yesterday, it's cool. go ahead and listen. clowns.

hitlerbadzakgood (June 16, 2008)

score is for cappadonna. hes got skills it just never comes out on his own albums.

hitlerbadzakgood (June 16, 2008)

you know my main issue with hip hop on this site? every time something even REMOTELY hip hop or NON punk orientated comes up and its cluttered with 30 dozen questions about why its on punknews. why doesnt this come up when a metal band gets covered? or an acoustic band? or folk, or psych, or ANYTHING other than hip hop? is everyone on this site so musically challengened that if it isnt guitar, bass, and drums it just shouldnt be on here because its not punknews? are you all REALLY that offended that punknews continues to cover what they want on thier own site? when you realize that someone else on this site might actually be interested you might also realize why i have to put up with endless news stories about valencia and bullet for my valentine. just say it sucks or its cool like everyone else does please.

this album is a 10 and nothing less.

SilentStorms (June 16, 2008)

"souldn't this be on nigganews.org?"

No, because that's racist. White people like rap. Black people like punk. Goddamn that post should be deleted, as it is really offensive! Fuck that peice of shit.

GlamBalam (June 15, 2008)

souldn't this be on nigganews.org?

damnitsderek (June 15, 2008)

Inspectah Deck's verse in Triumph is the best verse in hip hop/rap history. Hands down.

100% on. That verse is fucking incredible.

shot_in_the_dark (June 14, 2008)

Right on guys. A lot of this is exactly what I've been looking for.

DrGunn (June 14, 2008)

i'll take blackout over tical2000 any day. though mostly because of redman. the first tical totally rules though.

Sliced-T (June 14, 2008)

shot_in_the_dark,

Keep an eye out for Souls of Mischief's first album. I think you'd really like it.

hubitcherkokov (June 14, 2008)

Although I don't really listen to rap, Method Man's "Tical" is terrific. "Tical2000" was decent and "Blackout!" was so bad that I kinda stopped paying attention to Method Man, which is too bad because I still really love his voice.

jesse (June 14, 2008)

Any of Ghostface's solo albums.

icapped2pac (June 14, 2008)

Ohhhh yes, I certainly do have some suggestions... for you and anyone else who's as big a fan of Tribe and Gang Starr and all that great mid to late 90's stuff as I am. I've championed many of them here before but they bear repeating.

Insight - "Updated Software", "The Blast Radius", "Targeting Zones"
Electric - "Life's A Struggle"
Project Move - "Love Gone Wrong: The Butterfly Theory"
Dagha - "The Divorce"
Masta Ace - "Disposable Arts", "A Long Hot Summer"
Marco Polo - "Port Authority"
Little Brother - "The Listening", "The Minstrel Show"
People Under The Stairs - anything, although I think "Stepfather" is the weakest of their albums
Kev Brown - "I Do What I Do"
One Be Lo - "s.o.n.o.g.r.a.m."
Statik Selektah - "Spell My Name Right" (a mixtape but without the dumb DJ shouted echoed voice-overs, featuring a killer song with a killer closing verse by Q-Tip)
Soulstice - "North By Northwest"
Y Society - "Travel At Your Own Pace"

and finally, in my opinion one of the top 5 hip-hop albums to come out since 2000 (because it sounds like some '95 shit), "Develop" by Finale & Spier 1200. I don't even need to say any more to back that up because the music will speak for itself. And oh yeah, I'm actually coming around a bit on Blue Scholars, who I didn't care for much at first.

fallingupwards84 (June 14, 2008)

shot in the dark - if you like Quest, you'll love Mos Def's debut album "Black on Both Sides," i suggest picking it up immediately

and yea a lot of white kids like the Clan, but i think thats mostly b/c they toured a lot with Rage back in the 90s

shot_in_the_dark (June 14, 2008)

I've only recently gotten into hip-hop, but I've yet to find (imo) anything on the same level as A Tribe Called Quest; they've just got such an intelligent, at ease air about them.

I think the reason I've never checked these guys out is that their buzz seems a lot more like a fad among white kids then anything, but maybe that's an unfair assumption and I'm missing out because of it. Either way, I like Gang Starr, Hieroglyphics and Lootpack, but I really don't like stuff like Brother Ali or Murs. Any suggestions?

DrGunn (June 14, 2008)

masta killah has definitely improved over the years. i'm not really into his "speak really slowly" style circa wu-tang forever, but after that he started to come into his own. still need to pick up his first solo album which i hear is really good.

fallingupwards84 (June 14, 2008)

fair enough, Cappadonna's verse on For Heaven's Sake is pretty weak.. i totally disagree with you about Masta Killa on that song though, i love his role in that track. Cappadonna was only appearing as a "guest" anyway, he's never been an official member. but i know what you mean now that i'm paying more attention to it

tracks 2-7 on the first disc are near-perfect imo, they flow right into one another... kinda falls off after that until the second disc

DrGunn (June 14, 2008)

i think the lyric is "double LP, world excited"

the hate for cappadonna is because he's fucking awful. granted he sounds decent on cuban linx and iron man, but after that he turns to complete shit. i dare you to listen to his verse on for heaven's sake and not laugh out loud. non-existent rhyme schemes, no imagination, and a ton of him bragging about his wardrobe. plus he doesn't have the courtesy to understand that he's a weak MC, and he keeps overreaching which makes him sound even worse.

i listened to this today for the first time in a while and i think i'll give it a 7 and not an 8. the problem is that you have four virtuosic MCs (GZA, ghostface, rae and deck), one very good MC that barely appears (ODB, though dog shit makes up for his lack of other appearances), one good MC who used to be great (meth), one awful MC (cappa), and three meh MCs (RZA, u-god and masta killah). it leads to this huge inconsistency in quality. like for heaven's sake. great beat, great deck verse, then two weak verses from cappa and MK. even RZA's production is a bit of a let-down from the genius of liquid swords and cuban linx, though there's still some good shit here. it's just frustrating to have some really great stuff mixing with some really weak stuff.

Ianw (June 14, 2008)

You like white dude hip-hop.

NotPatriotic (June 14, 2008)

I have never understood the love for this group. I have came to the conclusion that this is not my type of hip-hop. Now Zion-I, Abstract Rude, Outkast, Blue Scholars, People Under the Stairs, new Atmosphere, Brother Ali, Heiro and Crew, The Pharcyde, Living Legends, Tribe Called Quest, that is my type of hip-hop. Score is for the lineup for Rock The Bells September 6th at the Gorge!

Rastid (June 14, 2008)

i remember buying this album when it first came out and almost crying from disappointment. a sad, sad follow up to one of the best hip hop albums of all time

fallingupwards84 (June 14, 2008)

Cappadonna's first solo album was solid, i dont understand the hate for him

jacknife737 (June 14, 2008)

As soon as i saw what album it was, i knew who had reviewed it.

sugarfull (June 14, 2008)

Score is for the day I bought "36 Chambers" on cassette at the thrift store.

icapped2pac (June 14, 2008)

If you want proof that Cappadonna CAN kill it (although he usually doesn't, I agree) check out "Winter Warz" off Ghostface's first album.

And I also agree that Method Man became irrelevant outside the group albums long ago. His last two solos have been almost complete garbage.

DrGunn (June 13, 2008)

"Inspectah Deck's verse in Triumph is the best verse in hip hop/rap history. Hands down."

agree 100%. my all-time favorite wu-tang verse.

mattp330 (June 13, 2008)

love this album, someone stole the first half from me, but one disc is better than none

TJMoney (June 13, 2008)

Inspectah Deck's verse in Triumph is the best verse in hip hop/rap history. Hands down.

cheesetits (June 13, 2008)

I do like rap and all (sort of and with a very picky selection), but I've never been able to get into Wu-Tang and I don't know why they seem to have so much cred with punk/metal kids. Not sure why this phenomenon exists, but they seem to be the rap group that kids that dislike rap, like.

DrGunn (June 13, 2008)

it's a big disappointment coming off the first album and the first five solo albums, which all come pretty close to being perfect. plus, WHY IN THE HELL DID THEY ADD CAPADONNA?!!? dude is embarassingly bad. ghostface is really hitting his stride on this album though and sounds fantastic. rae and GZA sound great too. but meth has gone a bit downhill and RZA has gone a lot downhill (as an MC, still great as a producer) and masta killah and u-god lag behind the others. there's a lot of inconsistency in MC quality and a lot of filler. seriously what the fuck is up with black shampoo and papa-wu's intro? the good stuff is great though, and the production is top-notch. i'll still give it an 8.

icapped2pac (June 13, 2008)

It relates because RZA used to be in a horrorcore group (Gravediggaz), and everything with -core on the end of it is punk-related. Duh. Seriously though, solid double album, but there was definitely some fat that could have been trimmed to where if it would been one albums, say 16 songs, it would've been as good as Enter. I agree with the score though. Hellz Wind Staff is my jam.

billnye (June 13, 2008)

shut the fuck up.

moneenerd (June 13, 2008)

as much as i LOVE the wu, how does this relate even slightly to punknews?

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