MF Doom

20 Definitive Blerd Rap Albums

6. Enter The 36 Chambers by The Wu-Tang Clan (1993)

Enter The Wu

I smoke on the mic like smokin’ Joe Frazier / The hell-raiser, raising hell with the flavor / Terrorize the jam like troops in Pakistan / Swinging through your town like your neighborhood Spiderman… 

Inspectah Deck announced himself and the entire Wu-Tang Clan to the world with these bars on their first single “Protect Ya Neck.” From that moment forward, hip-hop, music, and popular culture were impacted by an 8-man crew of MC’s with assassin precision and grimy, earth shattering beats. Shaolin’s Finest – RZA, GZA, Ol’ Dirty Bastard, Inspectah Deck, Ghostface Killah, Raekwon, U-God, and Method Man (joined later by Cappadonna) – created an entire mythology of samples, imagery, and even alter egos that drew from Shaws Brothers Kung Fu Films, Marvel Comics, and soul music while Quentin Tarantino was still working at a video store.

At their height, the Wu not only had their own clothing brand (Wuwear) with shops in major cities across the globe, but even their own video game with Mortal Kombat levels of ultra-violence. Their flawless debut spawned a universe decades before the MCU. Classic albums like GZA’s Liquid Swords, Raekwon’s Only Built For Cuban Linx, Ghostface’s Ironman, Method Man’s Tical, Inspectah Deck’s Uncontrolled Substances only expanded their universe and cemented their sway over the culture. 

Aside from their own projects, the influence of Enter the 36 Chambers continues to this day as Wu-Tang inspires new generations of fans and artists through more than just music. The success of Wu-Tang as a collective and individuals are clear evidence for the strategic rise of groups like Odd Future. In 2017, GZA hosted his own television special based around scientific studies (Liquid Science). RZA expanded his own shogun status by both scoring (Kill Bill) and directing films (The Man with the Iron Fist). Inspectah Deck, channelling even more blerd energy, now releases music as Czarface, a villainous persona with a comic-book worthy mythology and artistic direction to carry the torch of the recently deceased legend MF DOOM. — Jon Carlos Evans

Curator of the BlerdUp Podcast // Blerds out about: Comic Book Movies, Video Games, Hip-Hop, and Politics

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