Will Ashon on the legacy of the Wu-Tang Clan's debut album
The '90s have long been considered hip hop's golden era, a period when the genre released some of its most groundbreaking albums. Among those, few captured the angst and raw energy of hip hop culture the way that the Wu-Tang Clan's debut album Enter the Wu-Tang (36 Chambers) did.
The album's unpolished sound, diverse collection of talented emcees, and unabashed embrace of spirituality and martial arts culture made it an instant classic. It wasn't just about the music, it was also about the group's ability to parlay their buzz into unprecedented solo recording contracts for each member — a feat that changed all notions of what a rap group could accomplish while staying true to their hip hop roots.
Will Ashon is a writer and former music executive who's just released a new book about the legacy of the Wu-Tang Clan's first album. It's called Chamber Music: Wu-Tang and America (in 36 Pieces) and it's as ambitious and experimental in its format as the debut album that inspired it.
Ashon joins us to look back on what made Enter The Wu-Tang (36 Chambers) such an important album and why there may never be anything like it again.
— Produced by Tyrone Callender
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