of the 36 Chambers: Chapter 1 (Live)
been three years, or to some an eternity, since the boisterous Wu-Tang Clan
has released a group album. Even the most die-hard Clan fan must have felt
a little cheated with the awkward silence after 2001’s Iron Flag.
The Staten Island, NY bunch has returned with a new album, choked full of
old material. The nine original members have come together to release the
live album Disciples of the 36 Chambers: Chapter 1. That's right,
all nine members, including Ol’ Dirty Bastard (ODB) are present in San
Bernardino, CA to put on the show of a lifetime.
RZA, Genius/GZA, the aforementioned ODB, the always visible Method Man,
Raekwon, Ghostface Killah, U-God, Inspectah Deck, and Masta Killa.
Whew!! All have gone on to have some sort of solo success...
some more than
others. Method Man has parlayed his hip-hop success into a budding acting
career. RZA is still known as one of the founding members and the group’s
beat maker. ODB, other than the occasional hit, is better known for
his comical-yet-disturbing legal drama. Other members have inked solo
deals and released solo albums, many to critical acclaim.
-groomed individual MCs. The only recognizable
voices were that of Method Man, RZA, Ghostface Killah and ODB. The clan
finally brought their notable energy to the show with the 1994 hit “C.R.E.A.M.”
The crowd could be heard reciting the lyrics “Cash rules everything around
the truant nature of the group aside, The Wu-Tang Clan can deliver the
hits. Now mind you, the delivery method may not be as sound as UPS but it
reaches its intended destination, being the fans. From the onset, you could
tell the group was a little rusty. They seemed to be constantly “stepping
on each other’s toes,” while feeling each other out. They sounded like nine
hype men instead of nine well
highlights of this 27 song set were “Wu-Tang Ain’t Nuthin Ta F’ Wit,”
“Re-United,” which seemed to be their anthem, “It’s Yourz” and “Triumph,”
from 1997 double CD Wu-Tang Forever. Method Man, along with ODB
flexed their solo appeal by performing individual hits like “Method Man” and
“Shimmy Shimmy Ya.”
Regardless of the reception this set might receive, it’s good to see the
Wu-Tang Clan assemble for a show. They were probably so surprised that they
decided to create an album of the event, not knowing when they’d get all of
them in the same room again. (Okay, enough jabs.) The Wu-Tang Clan are one of
the lone survivors of the 90s hip-hop phenomenon. Taking nine different
MCs and creating a super group is never an easy task but at least Wu-Tang
made it look fun. Although for the non-fan this 27
track set seems insurmountable, its
worth at least one listen. Who knows when you’ll hear all their voices
again, at the same time?