When I was a kid, I went to a summer camp called Camp Moshava. Moshava was (and I assume still is) a Jewish hippy camp. Tie-dye, Birkenstocks, and acoustic guitars were everywhere. This is where I first heard Phish, The Grateful Dead, Bob Marley, and tons of other hippy mainstay music (I’ll be doing more posts in the future about Moshava music). But it’s also where I first heard a little group called The Wu-Tang Clan. Some kids at Moshava were into hip-hop, but it was mostly Beastie Boys and old-school playful stuff like The Fresh Prince and Young MC (“Bust a Move” was actually a dining-hall song). So the summer my buddy Aaron brought Enter the Wu-Tang (36 Chambers) (Buy it here) with him from home and popped it into the boombox with a knowing grin, you could almost hear the minds in the tent being blown. At that point in my life (age 13ish), I was just getting into angry music like Rage Against the Machine, Nine Inch Nails, and Bad Religion, so Wu-Tang fit right in. But what really pushed me over the edge was the shoutout section in “Wu-Tang Clan Ain’t Nuthing Ta F’ Wit,” when RZA says, “Down in Maryland, all the way over there in Morgan State.” Now, I have to be straight with you and admit that I am a complete sucker for shoutouts in rap songs. And the thing is, I grew up near Morgan State University, which is a mostly African-American school in Baltimore. So that half-second mention of a school in the old neighborhood was what brought me in, but the rest of the album got me completely hooked. The kung-fu movie clips, the eerie soul samples, the “fuck you, whatcha gonna do?” mood, the verse trading and the different personalities of the MCs … this short kid with the Jew-fro was down and wanted more. So thank you Aaron, and thank you Wu-Tang Clan for opening my eyes to the exciting wonderful world that is hip-hop.
Wu-Tang Clan – Wu-Tang Clan Ain’t Nuthing Ta F’ Wit Wu-Tang Clan – Protect Ya Neck Wu-Tang Clan – C.R.E.A.M.
(check out the official site too: http://www.wutangcorp.com, where you can grab all sorts of free tracks)
posted by Adam