Wow, 15 years.
15 years ago, these two classic albums were released to a world where hip-hop was changing and becoming increasingly popular. MIDNIGHT MARAUDERS was A Tribe Called Quest’s third album and even with hits like “Scenario”, “Hot Sex”, “Check The Rime”, and “Bonita Applebum” behind them, this was the album that would set them apart from the rest. This goes back to when an artist reaching their third album was a sign of success, and they managed to make it without much tension. This was very much NY hip-hop at its best, where Phife continued to prove he was more than capable of stepping away from Q-Tip’s dominance on the mic. No one was sure what hip-hop’s future had in store, but with MIDNIGHT MARAUDERS they were glad to be here in the now.
Then there was an album that was initially a slow burner. ENTER THE WU-TANG (36 CHAMBERS) was the debut album from The RZA, The GZA, Ol’ Dirty Bastard, Inspector Deck, Raekwon The Chef, U-God, Ghostface Killer, and the Method Man. They were a group who had other names they went under, whose skills were promoted as if they were superheroes from the Marvel Universe, and were a mystery since their videos were not in heavy rotation and while we all knew who Method Man was with the “Method Man” video, no one could quite match up the name with the voice and the face. Then the spring of 1994 came, and “C.R.E.A.M.” was released as a single. That was the start of the Wu revolution, with talks of each member releasing their own album, a possible Wu-Tang movie, which lead to talks about a Wu-Tang theme park, Wu cartoons… it seemed endless. Before the empire collapsed, we were able to watch and listen to it being build, brick by brick. This was the groundbreaking.