Wu Tang Clan : Legend Of The Wu-Tang : Wu-Tang Clan’s Greatest Hits

The greatest hits of the greatest collective of rap lunatics who ever walked the Earth…

Some points to remember when choosing the one record of ANY genre that you must buy this year…

The Wu-Tang Clan Are The Most Rock’n’Roll Group Of The Last Ten Years

If rock’n’roll means not giving a fuck what anyone thinks, and trailing riots, narcotic residue, rumours and blown gigs in your wake, let’s hear it for the boys. ‘Wu-Tang Clan Ain’t Nuthing Ta F’ Wit’? You’d be a fool to dream of it.

The Wu-Tang Clan Are The Most Influential Group Of The Last Ten Years

If influence is measured in the numbers shifted by acts directly inspired by one source act, then you can attribute BILLIONS of sales to the Wu. They saved New York from a rampant West Coast uprising and paved the way for Puffy, Bad Boy, Mobb Deep and Terror Squad. They wrote the blueprint for the ‘umbrella corporation’ rap group without which D12, G Unit, Flipmode Squad et al would just be large posses begging incredulous A&R men’s deaf ears for deals.

The Wu-Tang Clan Are The Maddest Group Of The Last Ten Years

Not even up for discussion. Ol’ Dirty Bastard alone packs more tics, habits, syndromes and psychoses than Wesley Willis multiplied by Syd Barrett. Ghostface Killah does gigs in a bathrobe. Method Man has fangs. No, chaps, I am NOT letting you babysit.

The Wu-Tang Clan Are The Most Avant-Garde Group Of The Last Ten Years

No sonic source is off-limits to them, and in particular their genius overseer, The RZA. Curlicues of oriental guitar, sword swishes and face punches as percussive tools, entire passages of lush soul records filched and fucked with until unrecognisable and, in Ghostface, ODB, GZA and Cappadonna, four of the most bugged-out lyrical abstractionists ever to touch a mic.

The Wu Tang Clan Are The Best Group Of The Last Ten Years

‘CREAM’ proves that a rap record can be heart-rendingly beautiful. ‘Bring Da Ruckus’ is the most skull-crackingly hardcore, potty-mouthed anthem of all time. ‘Uzi (Pinky Ring)’ is funky to the point of insanity; you can’t not get down to it. ‘Gravel Pit’ is a gleeful dumb-ass pop record ABOUT A GRAVEL PIT. ‘Protect Ya Neck’ has a man threaten to “stick pins in ya head like a fuckin’ nurse”.

Yeah, they suck live. But this is a record. This, friends, is THE record.

Pete Cashmore