Q

Will Ashon on the legacy of the Wu-Tang Clan's debut album

Writer and former music executive Will Ashon look backs on what made Enter The Wu-Tang (36 Chambers) such an important album and why there may never be anything like it again.
Will Ashon is the author of a new book about the legacy of the Wu-Tang Clan's first album. The book is called Chamber Music: Wu-Tang and America (in 36 Pieces). (Getty Images/Faber & Faber)

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

Miss an episode of CBC q? Download our podcast.

Comments

To encourage thoughtful and respectful conversations, first and last names will appear with each submission to CBC/Radio-Canada's online communities (except in children and youth-oriented communities). Pseudonyms will no longer be permitted.

By submitting a comment, you accept that CBC has the right to reproduce and publish that comment in whole or in part, in any manner CBC chooses. Please note that CBC does not endorse the opinions expressed in comments. Comments on this story are moderated according to our Submission Guidelines. Comments are welcome while open. We reserve the right to close comments at any time.

Become a CBC Member

Join the conversationCreate account

Already have an account?

now