Let’s be real, the Wu-Tang Clan is easily one of the top five rap groups of all time.
If you don’t agree with that statement, then you should take a listen to the group’s second LP, 1997’s Wu-Tang Forever, which is simply one of the best rap albums ever made and sealed the group’s legendary status.
Known for their minimalistic approach to rap, Wu-Tang Forever built upon the approached that they established with their 1993 debut Enter the Wu-Tang (36 Chambers). But there was one notable difference within this LP that wasn’t as prevalent on their debut as it is here, and that’s since of self and consciousness.
It was a level that the group would continue to carry with them throughout their careers, and, when you stack this LP with some of the albums of today, there is no such LP that can match the lyrical depth and sense of self that Wu-Tang Forever achieved.
Take any song from this double-LP, and song, and it would lay waste to a lot of the rap that dominates today’s scene. From “Reunited” to the radio-ready single of “Triumph,” the tracks on Wu-Tang Forever were something to behold. There was no beat nor word wasted here, and each member was able to showcase their unique talents to the rap world.
That’s what makes the majority of these tracks classics. It wasn’t just one of three rappers that dominated most of the album, but the whole clan contributed to one of the most iconic albums in hip-hop. Was there some filler up here to be had? Sure it was, but the good definitely outweighed the so-so, and even those tracks would stack up against most of the material we’re presented today.
Wu-Tang Forever entered the charts at number one, which was a feat in itself because the album didn’t receive a lot of radio airplay. It’s an album that has gone 4x Platinum and won a Grammy Award for Best Rap Album.
20 years later, Wu-Tang Forever sounds just as fresh as it did back then, which is the ultimate triumph for one of the most loved groups in hip-hop.