Today (Nov. 9) is a great day in music history - two classic albums that shaped and transcended hip-hop turned 25 years old.
On Nov. 9, 1993, the Wu-Tang Clan and A Tribe Called Quest released their seminal albums, Enter the Wu-Tang: 36 Chambers and Midnight Marauders, respectively, on the same day giving rap fans endless hours of head-nodding material.
Both albums offered two different musical compositions in rap. On Enter the Wu-Tang, veteran producer RZA delivered a cacophony of sounds that consisted of concrete-breaking beats and sampled vocals from kung-fu flicks. The album's unpolished production sounded like RZA recorded the project in his basement -- gritty and unfiltered.
Meanwhile, ATCQ had already released two classic albums - People's Instinctive Travels and the Paths of Rhythm (1990) and The Low End Theory (1991), an impressive accomplishment from the iconic group. Unlike Enter the Wu, the production on Midnight Marauders was polished as the rap trio continued their creative fusion of hip-hop and jazz. Lyrically, Q-Tip and the late Phife Dawg delivered inventive rhymes that dealt with their day-in-a-life circumstances growing up in Queens, New York.
Both are unadulterated classics and I'm not going to even entertain a debate on which album is superior, instead, let's enjoy them for what they are - timeless masterpieces.
"We at 25 years, we know we have arrived at our destination. We're grateful for everyone that’s been a part of this,” said RZA about the LP's 25th anniversary (via Billboard ). “When we said 36 Chambers, the word chamber was giving everybody an idea that you will go through different chambers in your life. It's many things that you have to pass through in order to master yourself."
The RZA also revealed that the borough of Staten Island, N.Y. (native hometown to most of the Wu-Tang Clan members) will recognized Nov. 9 as "Wu-Tang Clan Day."
On the internet, they are a slew of tributes and retrospectives on both of these albums. Check out the list below (click the link):
Billboard : 'We Maraud Your Ears': In 1993, A Tribe Called Quest's 'Midnight Marauders' Charted a New Course For Rap and R&B
Journalist Stereo Williams writes a thoughtful essay on ATCQ's masterful album, which he writes was "a pinnacle for one of hip-hop’s greatest acts [and]...a pinnacle for a sound and era -- that moment in the mid-1990s when boom-bap, jazz and soul were all living in the same place."
DJ Filthy Rich released a playlist/mixtape blending songs from Enter the Wu-Tang and Midnight Marauders together. The project is called A Clan Called Wu: Enter The Marauders. Listen to it HERE.
Albumism: A Tribe Called Quest’s ‘Midnight Marauders’ Turns 25
Writer Jesse Ducker opines, "With 'Midnight Marauders,' Tribe improved upon what they were already great at, while remaining true to what got them there in the first place. 'Midnight Marauders' remains Tribe’s most universally beloved album, appealing to any and all musical audiences."
The Boombox: U-God Reflects on 'Enter the Wu-Tang (36 Chambers)'
On the 20th anniversary of 'Enter the Wu-Tang (in 2013),' U-God reflects on the group's classic album and the reason why he only appears on two songs ("Protect Ya Neck" and Da Mystery of Chessboxin'").
Mixdown Mag: More Than a Sample: 25 years of Enter the Wu-Tang (36 Chambers)
Will Brewster revisits the samples featured the Wu-Tang Clan's debut album.
Watch Atlanta's Channel 2 Action News Paying Homage to ATCQ's Midnight Marauders
Some Friday fun on the 25th anniversary of “Midnight Marauders” from a Tribe called Quest. Happy Friday!! pic.twitter.com/OyU1EEwatV— Fred Blankenship (@FBlankenshipWSB) November 9, 2018
Check out ATCQ and Wu-Tang Clan's videos below.
Watch ATCQ's "Award Tour" Video
Watch ATCQ's "Electric Relaxation" Video
Watch Wu-Tang Clan's Wu-Tang Clan Ain't Nuthin' ta F' Wit" Video
Watch Wu-Tang Clan's "Protect Ya Neck" Video