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September 20, 2007 - Image 12

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The Michigan Daily, 2007-09-20

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2B - Thursday, September 20, 2007 T i a l ha y

The Michigan Daily - michigandaily.com

Oi

WU-TANG CLAN'S 'FOREVER' (1997)

'Forever' WU

By CHRIS GAERIG
Daily MusicEditor
They were right when they named it.
It's strange that when the Wu-Tang Clan
is remembered, few mention the follow-up
to the critically hailed and fanatically loved
Enter the Wu-Tang (36 Chambers). True, the
group will always be remembered for its 1993
debut masterpiece, but few bands become
legendary on just one disc. Tossed aside as
beginner's luck, artists like The Dismem-
berment Plan and The Strokes will forever
harbor the stigma of being in the right place
at the right time, a perfect storm of musical
aspirations and catchy melodies. But Wu-
Tang is no one-album wonder. Its collective
sophomore release Wu-Tang Forever is the
real disc that solidified its iconic status.
A communal reputation bolstered by the
solo releases of its nine MCs, Wu-Tang is a
group that seems always to be in the mix.
With four years between the release of 36
Chambers and Forever, the band's lyricist
began to forge different careers, releasing
solo works with surprising aptitude. With-
out constantassistance of fellow Clan mem-
bers - excluding the production of the RZA
on many solo discs as well as random guest
verses - the separate Wu members proved
they didn't just travel in packs. Wu-Tang's
individually elevated game provided the
reason to collaborate once again and record
the behemoth two-disc Forever.

And it seems that Wu-Tang knew what
it was creating. The late Ol' Dirty Bastard
screams on the epic "Triumph," "Wu-Tang
is here forever, motherfuckers." This confi-
dence and swagger is a product of the MCs.
knowing how great this album would be.
You would guess the band couldn't get anyy
cockier than on 36 Chambers - but it did,s
and with reason. It's even self-referential,
copping its smash hit "C.R.E.A.M." on the
chorus of "Cash Still Rules/Scary Hours
(Still Don't Nothing Move But the Money."
Wu-Tang knows where it's been. It knowsx
it's great. And it won't let you forget it.
But Forever isn't just boastful cries. The
band has skills to back it up. RZA's produc-
tion never sounded better. His brooding A tour de force of Wu.
beats are more collected and focused, soul
samples more interesting, snares and hi- than you can shake a stick at: "Yo I roll like
hats tighter. There are hints of Wu-Tang a bat outta hell / Evil acappella's fly spitting
production in nearly every modern hip-hop out of my grill / Before I hit the sky with
album, what with Kanye West admitting springtime colors/Juicy as Sunkist, certain
he stole his style from RZA, while the key- broads double-dutch this."
boards on "It's Yourz" and strings on "The But it's not until the second disc opens
City" are strangely reminiscent of countless with the searing "Triumph" that the great-
top-40 hits - much of it stemming from ness of Forever is clear. As all nine members
Forever's sprawling range. get their own verse, the track plays like the
RZA isn't the only member of the Wu epitome of Wu-Tang: Each eclectic mem-
that substantially upped his skills for this ber gets his time and 16 bars over RZA's
release. After droppingthe genius Ironman, protruding bass line and strings. Even the
Ghostface Killah - easily the most prolific group's lesser lyricists turn their mics to
Wu-Tang MC - is absolute fire on both 11 before tearing through the track (note
discs. He opens "Older Gods" with a rapid- Inspectah Deck's first quatrain, "I bomb
fire quatrain with more internal rhyme atomically, Socrates's philosophies / And

hypotheses can't define how I be dropping
these / Mockeries, lyrically perform armed
robbery / Flee with the lottery, possibly
they spotted me").
After Forever, the Wu-Tang Clan more or
less fell off as a whole. Solo careers skyrock-
eted while the group gained notoriety as
individuals garnered praise. The Wu-Tang
Clan became almost mythical, a super group
rather than a springboard for its members.
Forever plays as the materialization of that
myth. Hidden in the shadow of its prede-
cessor 36 Chambers, most forget this troupe
actually did get back together and delivered
on every level.
They were right when they named it.

CALENDAR
The Daily Arts guide to the
best upcoming events
Today 9.20.07
Ellen Lupton, presented by
the UM School of Art and
Design distinguished visitors
series
5 p.m.
Free
At the Michigan Theater
Shmorze Fest 5768: Shmooz
Club Camp Fire
8 p.m.
Free
At the 517 Elm St.
The Bad Plus
8 .m
$20/$25
At The Ark
Tomorrow 9.21.07
Ryan Adams and
The Cardinals
7:30 p.m
$11
At the Michigan Theater
Saturday 9.22.07
Stearns Lecture: The Sound of
the Cornetto - Kiri Tollaksen
2p.m.
Free
At the E.V. Moore Building
Sunday 9.23.07
Stearns Lecture: Chinese
Drums and Gongs - Dr. Pu
Hengqiang
4:30 pm
Free
At the Ann Arbor District Library
Fred Eaglesmith
7;30 p.m.
$20/$25
At The Ark
Please send all event
information to The B-side at
artspage@michigandaily.com.

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THE ESSENTIALS: WEEKEND MUSTS

O AT THE RECORD STORE
Animal Collective
'Strawberry Jam'
Strawberry Jam is the prod-
uct of beautiful evolution.
Perfectly blending everything
they've done previously,.Animal

(or heard of the venue at all),
then you need to get wise to
the weekly blend of spirituality
and jazz. Food for the body is
included with food for the soul.
It's right across the street from.
the massive piece of art that
is the remainder of the Frieze
building and begins at 5 p.m. on
Sunday.

Collective artfully craft its most Q AT THE RECORD STORE
complete album to date. Tbey're
on top of'their game. Broken Social
Q ON CAMPUS Scene Presents
KevinDrew 'Spir-
Jazz from above ..,
itI...,

needed mote feathers in its col-
lective hat, the kickoff to its
series of albums spotlighting
its principal songwriters gives
what we already know and love
- and fuck, that's why we love
it. Go get it.
ca as sc c sn s . " .

If you haven't heard of the
Jazz Mass at Canterbury House

As if Broken Social Scene

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