The most iconic hip hop group of all time. One of the greatest albums of all time.
36 Chambers was, and still is, perhaps one of hip-hop’s most bizarre classic albums: A motley crew of nine emcees, including breakout solo stars Method Man, Ghostface Killah and Raekwon, spitting free-associative lyrics about street life imbued with Kung-Fu references, eerie humor and some damn good rapping. Catalyzed by tracks like “C.R.E.A.M.” and “Protect Ya Neck,” the landmark album redefined NY street rap while RZA’s menacing, soul-laden soundscapes indelibly changed the art of hip-hop beat-making, influencing generations of producers thereafter including Kanye West and Just Blaze. Wu-Tang itself has since become its own cottage culture, vastly spreading the gospel of Shaolin to the world at large. — Sowmya Krishnamurthy, Village Voice