Album covers analysed: Wu-Tang Clan, Enter The Wu-Tang (36 Chambers)

Be afraid, hip hoppers…

enter-the-wu-tang

By the early 1990s, rap album covers went in one of two directions: guns or pastel colours. The guns signified hardcore raps about killing people and then having sex with someone, whereas the pastel colours meant that some social issues were going to be covered. Perhaps using humour as a tool. We prefered the conscious pastel coloured rap, especially as some of the guys with the guns had sparkling jheri curls, which just made them look like violent grandmothers. A silly look. But that all changed in 1993, when the Wu-Tang Clan came along, and suddenly the trannies with uzies looked almost kindly and adorable. These guys – Raekwon, ODB, Method Man, Ghostface, GZA, Scarecrow, The Face Man, BA, Murdock, and Ringo – were terrifying and mysterious, taking their style from obscure martial arts films. It was totally thrilling, and the sleeve found them kitted out like demonic ninjas prowling stealthily in a strange part-dark/part-shiny room with a massive curtain at the end. Was this one of the chambers? The 36 chambers? What are the chambers of death anyway? A fantastic record. Below is one of their classic tracks…

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