Jason: You know that meme where the woman tries kombucha and goes through the 4 phases of “Nope! Well maybe? Um… nah. I get it but not for me.”? That is how I feel about this album and band.
Brad: That’s a perfect description for this album! Or should I say DesGIFtion?
Jason: Ha. Also, how many people are in this band? I will try to name them all without looking it up: RZA, GZA, JZA, SHZA, Method Man, Redman, ODB/BBJ, um…Ghostface Killah, Shawty, Ronnie, Donnie, Ricky, and Mike.
Brad: Lol. You almost got em all!
Jason: Take a look at all the affiliated groups as well! How do they make money?
Brad: The funny thing is that I’ve seen so many of the members of Wu-Tang at festivals. I’ve seen Method Man, Ghostface, RZA, GZA, Raekwon all solo at festivals. There are so many members. I’ve also seen Wu-Tang as a group. In fact, I just saw a little bit of their set at Riot Fest in September. So you would think that I would be a huge fan but I’m not. I totally appreciate them and I don’t hate it when I listen to their stuff. Although, I have to admit, I had to force myself to listen to it this time around. It felt like a chore. I just wasn’t in the mood.
Jason: The first listen-through I hated it. The second and third times I at least found myself tapping my foot. I do hate the skits of course.
Brad: Yeah, skits still suck. I was trying to pay attention to the lyrics but found myself losing interest and drifting off. So I do feel like a student writing a book report without reading the book.
Jason: Same. I have a hard time paying attention to rap lyrics a lot of the time. I don’t think I heard a “fag”, though.
Brad: Yeah, I was bracing myself for homophobia but didn’t hear it. There was misogyny and violence though. One revelation I had this time around. I used to hate ODB. Partially because he just always got on my nerves in every interview. But when I listen to this album now, I find him to be the most interesting member. Probably because he has such a different style of rapping. He would get me to pay attention again after I had drifted off.
Jason: Is he the one that I thought was Busta Rhymes when I was listening to this?
Brad: Yes, that’s him.
Jason: I wish Spotify had an incognito mode because my recommended songs is all jacked up now.
Brad: Do they give you the option to train it by giving things “thumbs down”? One big question I had when listening to this was “Do they have to pay Daryl Hall for the way Method Man sing-spells his name in the “Method Man” song?”
Jason: You can’t thumbs down. I do wonder if Daryl Hall was like “Hey, I spelled ‘method’ first?” or if he thought “Oh, Method Man is a secret Hall & Oates fan.” Why do you think Wu-Tang caught on so much? Especially with white college bros in the 90s?
Brad: I’m not sure. They do have a great logo. So I understand why they sold so many t-shirts.
Jason: Well, Cash rules everything around them and merch is important. Here is what I will say about Wu-Tang. I would rather listen to this entire album on repeat for an entire day then even 10 minutes of some Eminem garbage.
Brad: I agree with that. Although, they both have a “rap battle” style that I don’t really enjoy.
Jason: Here is what some critics have said about this album “One of hip hop’s true landmarks, this ferocious, startling album rescued New York hip hop in a time dominated by the relaxed sounds of the West Coast.”
Brad: That makes sense I guess.
Jason: Were I to pick a song I liked it would be “Shame on a N****”. I like the beat. That’s a toe-tapper. I am well-aware that makes me sound like an old white suburban dork.
Brad: Yes. And I just said ” they both have a rap battle style that I don’t really enjoy.” which also sounds really old and white.
Jason: So will you watch the Wu-Tang TV show on Hulu?
Brad: Probably not but maybe I should to get a better understanding of them. I think it helped my appreciation of N.W.A. when I watched their biopic movie “Straight Outta Compton” and the HBO documentary series “The Defiant Ones”. Both were pretty good.
Jason: Well that’s a maybe. Any last thoughts on 36 Chambers? Or are you ready to grade this one?
Brad: I’m ready to grade it. I’d give it a C+. Not really the album for me. How about you?
Jason: I will go with the same, a C+. I wasn’t looking forward to this but I was able to listen to it a few times.
Below is the scratch-off artwork from the 100 Bucket List poster.
COMING SOON! Brad’s WFH today and the poster is in the office. I’m sure it’s something like this…