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Warning: Display title "<i>Enter the Wu-Tang (36 Chambers)</i>" overrides earlier display title "<i>Enter the Wu-Tang</i> (36 Chambers)". Enter the Wu-Tang (36 Chambers) is the debut studio album by the American hip hop group Wu-Tang Clan, released November 9, 1993, on Loud Records and distributed through RCA Records. Recording sessions for the album took place during 1992 to 1993 at Firehouse Studio in New York City, and it was mastered at The Hit Factory. The album's title originates from the martial arts film The 36th Chamber of Shaolin (1978). The group's de facto leader RZA, also known as Prince Rakeem, produced the album entirely, utilizing heavy, eerie beats and a sound largely based on martial-arts movie clips and soul music samples.

The distinctive sound of Enter the Wu-Tang (36 Chambers) created a blueprint for hardcore hip hop during the 1990s and helped return New York City hip hop to national prominence. Its sound also became greatly influential in modern hip hop production, while the group members' explicit, humorous, and free-associative lyrics have served as a template for many subsequent hip hop records. Serving as a landmark record in the era of hip hop known as the East Coast Renaissance, its influence helped lead the way for several other East Coast hip hop artists, including Nas, The Notorious B.I.G., Mobb Deep, and Jay-Z.

Despite its raw, underground sound, the album had surprising chart success, peaking at number 41 on the US Billboard 200 chart. By 1995, it was certified Platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America and has sold over two million copies in the United States.[1] Initially receiving positive reviews from most music critics, Enter the Wu-Tang (36 Chambers) is widely regarded as one of the most significant albums of the 1990s, as well as one of the greatest hip hop albums ever.

Background and recording[]

In the late 1980s, cousins Robert Diggs, Gary Grice, and Russell Jones formed a group named Force of the Imperial Master, also known as the All in Together Now Crew.[2] Each member recorded under an alias: Grice as The Genius, Diggs as Prince Rakeem or The Scientist, and Jones as The Specialist. The group never signed to a major label, but caught the attention of the New York rap scene and was recognized by rapper Biz Markie.[3] By 1991, The Genius and Prince Rakeem were signed to separate record labels. The Genius released Words from the Genius (1991) on Cold Chillin' Records and Prince Rakeem released Ooh I Love You Rakeem (1991) on Tommy Boy Records. Both were soon dropped by their labels. Embittered but unbowed, they took on new monikers (The Genius became GZA while Prince Rakeem became RZA) and refocused their efforts. RZA discussed the matter in their release The Wu-Tang Manual (2005), stating "[Tommy Boy] made the decision to sign House of Pain over us. When they dropped me, I was thinking, 'Damn, they chose a bunch of whiteboy shit over me.'"[4]

RZA began collaborating with Dennis Coles, later known as Ghostface Killah, another rapper from the Stapleton Projects apartment complex in Staten Island. The duo decided to create a hip hop group whose ethos would be a blend of "Eastern philosophy picked up from kung fu movies, watered-down Nation of Islam preaching picked up on the New York streets, and comic books."[4]

Enter the Wu-Tang (36 Chambers) was recorded at Firehouse Studio in New York City from 1992 to 1993. The album was produced, mixed, arranged, and programmed by RZA, and was mastered at The Hit Factory in New York City by Chris Gehringer.[5] Because of an extremely limited budget, the group was only able to record in a small, inexpensive studio; with up to eight of the nine Wu-Tang members in the studio at once, the quarters were frequently crowded.[2] To decide who appeared on each song, RZA forced the Wu-Tang rappers to battle with each other. This competition led to the track "Meth Vs. Chef", a battle between Method Man and Raekwon over the rights to rap over RZA's beat; this track was left off the Wu-Tang Clan's debut album but surfaced on Method Man's debut, Tical (1994).[2]

Title significance[]

The true meaning of the album's title is not well known or understood. According to a Five Percent philosophy, known as the Supreme Mathematics, the number 9 means "to bring into existence," and this meant everything to the group's debut album. The group was made of 9 members, each of whom had 4 chambers of the heart, which are 2 atria, and 2 ventricles. All of this is the root for "36 Chambers", being that 9 x 4 = 36.[6]

In reference to the 1978 kung fu film The 36th Chamber of Shaolin that the group enjoyed watching, the Clan considered themselves as lyrical masters of the 36 chambers, and arrived onto the rap scene while appearing to be ahead, and more advanced over others, with "knowledge of 36 chambers of hip hop music when everyone else in hip hop was striving to attain the knowledge of 35 lessons." Also, while the human body has 108 pressure points (1 + 0 + 8 = 9), only the Wu-Tang martial artists learned and understood that 36 of those pressure points are deadly (9 + 36 = 45) (4 + 5 = 9) The lyrics and rhymes of the 9 members are to be considered as 36 deadly lyrical techniques for pressure points. All of this is the basis for the album title, Enter the Wu-Tang (36 Chambers), being that 9 members x 4 chambers = 36. However, this is just a theory; the true significance of the title is not definitively known.[6]

Music and lyrics[]


Group leader RZA produced Enter the Wu-Tang (36 Chambers) by creating sonic collages from classic soul samples and clips from martial arts movies such as Shaolin and Wu Tang (1981). He complemented the rappers' performances with "lean, menacing beats that evoked their gritty, urban surroundings more effectively than their words," according to Stephen Thomas Erlewine of Allmusic.[7] The use of soul samples and various esoteric clips, and the technique by which RZA employed them in his beats was unique and largely unprecedented in hip-hop.[8] The gritty sound of Enter the Wu-Tang is due, at least in part, to the use of cheap equipment to produce the album.[9]

Many critics argue that the minimalist means of production plays directly into the appealing "street" quality that makes the album a classic, including Ben Yew, who stated, "Because [RZA] didn't have the best mixing or recording equipment, the album is wrought with a 'dirty' quality—the drums have more bass and are more hard-hitting than they are crisp and clean; the samples have an eerie, almost haunting type of echo; and the vocals, because each member's voice is already aggressive and gritty, perfectly match the production."[10] Although Ol' Dirty Bastard is given co-production credit on "Da Mystery of Chessboxin'" and Method Man is co-credited for "Wu-Tang Clan Ain't Nuthing ta F' Wit," critics and admirers universally credit RZA with developing a "dusty yet digital production style [that] helped legitimize the use of more diverse sample sources to the hardcore New York rap massive, breaking away from James Brown based beats and embracing a style that turned the Underdog theme into the menacing coda for a group of underground terrorists."[11]


Enter the Wu-Tang ushered in a new standard for hip-hop at a time when hip hop music was dominated by the jazz-influenced styles of A Tribe Called Quest, the Afrocentric viewpoints of Public Enemy, and the rising popularity of West Coast gangsta rap. The album's explicit, humorous and free-associative lyrics have been credited for serving as a template for many subsequent hip hop records.[12] Rolling Stone described the album as possessing an aesthetic that was "low on hype and production values [and] high on the idea that indigence is a central part of blackness." While the lyrical content on Enter the Wu-Tang generally varies from rapper to rapper, the basic themes are the same—urban life, martial arts movies, comic book references, and marijuana—and the setting is invariably the harsh environment of New York City. The lyrics have a universally dark tone and seem at times to be simply aggressive cries. AllMusic contributor Steve Huey praises the lyricists for their originality and caustic humor, stating "Some were outsized, theatrical personalities, others were cerebral storytellers and lyrical technicians, but each had his own distinctive style...Every track on Enter the Wu-Tang is packed with fresh, inventive rhymes, which are filled with martial arts metaphors, pop culture references (everything from Voltron to Lucky Charms cereal commercials to Barbra Streisand's "The Way We Were"), bizarre threats of violence, and a truly twisted sense of humor."[13]

With the exception of "Method Man" and GZA's "Clan in da Front", every song features multiple rappers contributing verses of varying lengths.[14] The verses are essentially battle rhymes, mixed with humor and outsized tales of urban violence and drug use. There is some debate about whether the lyrics on 36 Chambers are properly classified as gangsta rap or something else entirely.[10] In a Stylus Magazine review, writer Gavin Mueller evokes the bleakness of the Wu-Tang world view:

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[T]he lyrics reach back to New York's own Rakim: dense battle rhymes potent with metaphors. Each Wu MC links his rhymes to crime and violence, allowing his preoccupations to surface subtly and indirectly, rather than spouting off overt gangsta-isms designed to shock...The hood imagery of the lyrics is utterly pervasive and uncompromising, immersing the listener in a foreign land smack in the middle of New York. There is no celebration here, and little hope.[15]

— Gavin Mueller

All nine original Wu-Tang Clan members contribute vocals on Enter the Wu-Tang. Masta Killa only appears on one track, contributing the last verse of "Da Mystery of Chessboxin,'" but all the other rappers appear on at least two songs. Method Man and Raekwon are the most prolific of the group, featured on eight tracks. Though the performers have widely differing techniques, the chemistry between them is a key ingredient of the album's success.[9] Pitchfork Media asserts that "Half the charm is in the cast's idiosyncrasies: ODB's hovering sing-song, Raekwon's fake stutter, Ghostface's verbal tics, Method Man's hazy, dusted voice."[11]


"Protect Ya Neck" and "Tearz" were the first tracks recorded by the Wu-Tang Clan. "Protect Ya Neck" is a free-associative and braggadocious battle rap featuring eight of the nine Wu-Tang members, and "Tearz" tells stories of a little kid getting shot (RZA's little brother), and another one who contracts HIV after having unprotected sex. They were independently released as the "Protect Ya Neck"/"After Laughter Comes Tears" single, which RZA financed by demanding $100 (USD) from each rapper who wanted a verse on the A-side.[2][4] The single was re-released in a much larger pressing, with "Method Man" as the B-side.[16]

"Method Man" reached number 69 on the Billboard Hot 100 and number 17 on the Billboard Hot Rap Tracks chart. "Method Man" gained significant airplay partly for its catchy refrain, which copies the refrain of Hall & Oates' "Method of Modern Love" ("The M-E-T-H-O-D...Man").

"C.R.E.A.M.", featuring Raekwon and Inspectah Deck, was the second single from the album and the first new A-side to be released after the group signed with Loud/RCA. Its lyrics deal with the struggle of poverty and the desire to earn money by any means. It was the Wu-Tang Clan's most successful single, reaching number 60 on the Billboard Hot 100 and number 8 on the Hot Rap Tracks chart. The single topped the Hot Dance Music/Maxi-Singles Sales chart. "Can It Be All So Simple", featuring Ghostface Killah and Raekwon, was the album's third single. The single failed to chart on the Billboard Hot 100 but reached number 24 on the Hot Rap Tracks chart in 1994. A remix of the song was included on Raekwon's debut solo album Only Built 4 Cuban Linx... (1995).

The group made music videos for the three A-sides and for "Method Man", "Da Mystery of Chessboxin'", and "Wu-Tang Clan Ain't Nuthing ta Fuck Wit". As the group's profile increased, the quality of their videos improved; though the "Protect Ya Neck" video resembled a home movie, later videos were directed by rising hip-hop music video director Hype Williams. The videos received almost no airplay on MTV but were extremely popular on video-by-request channels such as The Box.[17] Touré wrote in his 1993 Rolling Stone review that "in Brooklyn, N.Y., right now and extending back a few months, the reigning fave is the Wu-Tang Clan, who are to the channel what Guns N' Roses are to MTV."[14]

Critical reception[]

Professional ratings
Review scores
AllMusic5/5 starsStar full.svgStar full.svgStar full.svgStar full.svg[13]
Christgau's Consumer GuideA−[18]
Encyclopedia of Popular Music4/5 starsStar full.svgStar full.svgStar full.svgStar empty.svg[19]
Entertainment WeeklyA[20]
The Great Rock Discography8/10[21]
Rolling Stone4/5 starsStar full.svgStar full.svgStar full.svgStar empty.svg[14]
The Rolling Stone Album Guide5/5 starsStar full.svgStar full.svgStar full.svgStar full.svg[22]
Spin Alternative Record Guide8/10[23]
The Source4.5/5[24]

Upon its release, Enter the Wu-Tang (36 Chambers) received rave reviews from most music critics. In an article for The Source, The Ghetto Communicator wrote "This record is harsh, but so is the world that we live in. For B-boys n'girls who come from the core of the hard, this is the hip-hop album you've been waiting for".[24] Rolling Stone's review was decidedly ambivalent, praising the album's sound, but noting that "Wu-Tang...are more ciphers than masterful creations. In refusing to commodify themselves, they leave blank the ultimate canvas—the self."[14] Entertainment Weekly was more enthusiastic, giving the album an A, and writing that "With its rumble jumble of drumbeats, peppered with occasional piano plunking, Enter has a raw, pass-the-mike flavor we haven't heard since rap was pop's best-kept secret."[20] Robert Christgau found the Wu-Tang Clan "grander" and "goofier" than their West Coast contemporaries and concluded, "Expect the masterwork this album's reputation suggests and you'll probably be disappointed--it will speak directly only to indigenous hip hoppers. Expect a glorious human mess, as opposed to the ominous platinum product of their opposite numbers, and you'll realize the dope game isn't everyone's dead-end street".[18]

Music journalist Touré declared of the album, that "This is hip-hop you won't find creeping up the Billboard charts but you will hear booming out of Jeep stereos in all the right neighborhoods."[14] However, Enter the Wu-Tang had surprising chart success, despite its raw, underground sound. It peaked at number 41 on the Billboard 200 chart and reached number eight on Billboard's Top R&B/Hip Hop Albums chart.[14][26] The album continued to sell steadily and was eventually certified platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America on May 15, 1995.[27]

Over time, Enter the Wu-Tang became one of the most highly regarded albums in hip hop.[28] The album was originally given a rating of 4.5 mics out of 5 in The Source magazine in 1994;[24] however, it was given a classic 5 mic rating in a later issue of the magazine.[29] Similar to The Source, XXL magazine gave the album a classic rating of "XXL" in its retrospective 2007 issue.[25] In the book Spin Alternative Record Guide (1995), Enter the Wu-Tang (36 Chambers) has a critical rating of 8/10 from Spin.[23] In 2003, Rolling Stone named the album among the "500 Greatest Albums of All Time", asserting that "East-coast hip-hop made a return in 1993."[30] The magazine later listed it as one of the "Essential Albums of the 90s" and "100 Best Debut Albums of All Time."[31][32] The Source cited Enter the Wu-Tang as one of the "100 Best Rap Albums", while also naming "Protect Ya Neck/Method Man" and "C.R.E.A.M." among the "100 Best Rap Singles".[33] MTV declared it among "The Greatest Hip-Hop Albums of All Time",[34] while Blender named the album among the "500 CDs You Must Own".[35] Oliver Wang, author of Classic Material: The Hip-Hop Album Guide described it "as timeless an album as hip-hop has ever seen."[36]

Publications based outside of the United States have acclaimed 36 Chambers as well; Australia's Juice magazine placed it at number 40 on its list of "100 Greatest Albums of the '90s",[37] and Les Inrockuptibles ranked it number 59 on a list of "The 100 Best Albums 1986–1996".[38] In naming Enter the Wu-Tang one of the 50 best albums of the 1990s, Pitchfork Media staff member Rollie Pemberton summed up the album's critical recognition by writing:

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This is the sound of accidental fame. Something as unique and unusual as this record isn't supposed to find itself at the height of commercial viability; it's supposed to smolder underground, hidden from the view of mainstream America, who surely would not be ready for such a challenge. But America was ready, in part because this one challenged convention, not listeners. Sure, its sloppy drum programming, bizarre song structures, and unpolished sound quality disturbed commercial rap purists, but the talent was so inherent and obvious, and the charisma so undeniable, that it propelled the Wu-Tang Clan to the height of the rap game, and today stands not just as the hip-hop classic that introduced the concept of obscure thematic characters (each member's name references old kung-fu movies), but also bridged the gap between traditional old-school sensibilities and the technical lyricism of today.[11]

In 2010, Enter the Wu-Tang (36 Chambers) was included in the book 1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die.[39]

Legacy and influence[]

East Coast hip hop[]

Enter the Wu-Tang (36 Chambers) is one of the most influential albums in hip hop history.[10] Adam Heimlich of the New York Press considers the album a touchstone of hardcore hip-hop, a gritty, stripped-down, dark and violent subgenre of hip hop and the signature sound of New York City's rap scene during the mid-1990s. He writes that "the Wu-Tang Clan...all but invented 90s New York rap, back when the notion of an East Coast gangsta still meant Schoolly D or Kool G. Rap....[They] designed the manner and style in which New York artists would address what Snoop and Dre had made rap's hottest topics: drugs and violence."[12] As the album helped return New York City hip hop to national prominence, a new generation of New York rappers, many of them inspired by the Wu-Tang Clan's example, released a flurry of classic albums that later became known as the East Coast Renaissance.[13] Enter the Wu-Tang has been recognized by critics as a landmark album in the movement.[10] AllMusic indicates that the success of the album paved the way for Nas, The Notorious B.I.G. Mobb Deep, and Jay-Z.[13]

At the time of the album's release, mainstream hip hop was dominated by West Coast hip hop. Enter the Wu-Tang (along with the critically acclaimed Illmatic and the commercial success of Ready to Die) was able to shift the emphasis away from the melodious, synthesizer-driven G-funk and restore interest into the East Coast hip hop scene. According to one columnist, "When Enter the Wu-Tang: The 36 Chambers first graced the pages of rap lore in 1993, Dr. Dre's funk-filled, West Coast gangster rap dominated the business. Though this initial dominance was difficult to overcome, Wu-Tang still managed to carve out a piece of rap history."[10]

Hip hop production[]

RZA's production on Wu-Tang Clan's debut album had a profound and significant influence on subsequent hip hop producers.[40] The distinctive sound of Enter the Wu-Tang has been credited with creating a blueprint for hardcore hip hop in the mid-1990s.[13] asserts that Enter the Wu-Tang's production formula "transformed the sound of underground rap into mainstream formula, and virtually changed the face of contemporary music as popsters once knew it."[40] Many successful rap producers have admitted to the influence of RZA's beats on their own production efforts. 9th Wonder, a producer and former member of Little Brother, is one of many whose vocal sampling styles are inspired by RZA.[41] The album's reliance on soul music samples was novel at the time, but 21st-century producers such as The Alchemist, Kanye West, and Just Blaze now rely on this technique.[8] According to Allmusic, the production on two Mobb Deep albums, The Infamous and Hell on Earth (1996), are "indebted" to RZA's early production with Wu-Tang Clan.[42][43]

Subsequent Wu-Tang work[]

Following Enter the Wu-Tang's success, the individual members of the group negotiated and signed solo contracts with a variety of different labels: Method Man signed with Def Jam, Ol' Dirty Bastard with Elektra, GZA with Geffen Records, and Ghostface Killah with Epic Records. This expansion across the music industry was an element of RZA's stated plan for industry-wide domination, wherein "All Wu releases are deemed to be 50 percent partnerships with Wu-Tang Productions and each Wu member with solo deal must contribute 20 percent of their earnings back to Wu-Tang Productions, a fund for all Wu members."[2]

On Enter the Wu-Tang's effect on the group and the music industry, the Milwaukee Journal's Aaron Justin-Szopinski wrote "The Wu showed us that a hip-hop group can control its own destiny in the tangled web of the industry. It owns publishing rights, controls its samples and has 90% influence over its career. And that control, that outlook for the future, is what makes it the best."[44] Wu-Tang Clan have produced four subsequent group albums since Enter the Wu-Tang, including Wu-Tang Forever (1997), which is certified as a quadruple platinum record.[45] None of the subsequent Wu-Tang Clan albums have garnered the critical accolades that their debut was accorded.[46]

In 2013, the group reunited, at the behest of RZA, for an album and tour celebrating the 20th anniversary of the album's release.[47] The album was titled A Better Tomorrow and the tour included dates throughout the United States, Europe, and Russia.[48][49] All original members of the group who performed on Enter the Wu-Tang participated in both the tour and reunion album, excepting Ol' Dirty Bastard, who died in 2004.[36]

Track listing[]


Tracks 1–5 are on the Shaolin Sword side of the album and tracks 6–12 are on the Wu-Tang Sword side.
# Title Performer(s) Producer(s) Samples[50] Time
1 "Bring da Ruckus"
  • Chorus: RZA
  • First verse: Ghostface Killah
  • Second verse: Raekwon
  • Third verse: Inspectah Deck
  • Fourth verse: GZA
  • "Synthetic Substitution" by Melvin Bliss
  • "CB#2" by Ralph Vargas and Carlos Bess
  • Dialogue from Shaolin and Wu Tang
  • Dialogue from Ten Tigers of Kwangtung
2 "Shame on a Nigga"
  • Intro: Raekwon
  • Chorus & first verse: Ol' Dirty Bastard
  • Second verse: Method Man
  • Third verse: Raekwon
  • Fourth verse: Ol' Dirty Bastard
  • "Black and Tan Fantasy" by Thelonious Monk
  • "Different Strokes" by Syl Johnson
  • Dialogue from Shaolin and Wu Tang
3 "Clan in Da Front"
  • Intro: RZA
  • Chorus/verses: GZA
  • "Ba-Lue Bolivar Ba-Lues-Are" by Thelonious Monk
  • "Honeybee" by The New Birth
  • "The Love You Save" by The Jackson 5
  • "Synthetic Substitution" by Melvin Bliss
  • Dialogue from Shaolin and Wu Tang
4 "Wu-Tang: 7th Chamber"
  • Intro skit: Raekwon, Method Man, Ghostface Killah, U-God, Inspectah Deck
  • First verse: Raekwon
  • Second verse: Method Man
  • Third verse: Inspectah Deck
  • Fourth verse: Ghostface Killah
  • Fifth verse: RZA
  • Sixth verse: Ol' Dirty Bastard
  • Seventh verse: GZA
  • "Spinning Wheel" by Lonnie Smith
  • "As Long as I've Got You" by The Charmels
  • "Down in the Valley" by Otis Redding
  • Dialogue from Shaolin and Wu Tang
5 "Can It Be All So Simple"
  • Intro: RZA & Raekwon
  • Chorus: Raekwon & Ghostface Killah
  • First verse: Raekwon
  • Second verse: Ghostface Killah
RZA 6:53
6 "Da Mystery of Chessboxin'"
  • Chorus: Method Man
  • First verse: U-God
  • Second verse: Inspectah Deck
  • Third verse: Raekwon
  • Fourth verse: Ol' Dirty Bastard
  • Fifth verse: Ghostface Killah
  • Sixth verse: Masta Killa
(Co-produced by Ol' Dirty Bastard)
7 "Wu-Tang Clan Ain't Nuthing ta Fuck Wit"
  • Intro/chorus/first verse/outro: RZA
  • Second verse: Inspectah Deck
  • Third verse: Method Man
(Co-produced by Method Man)
  • "Theme From Underdog" by W. Watts Biggers
  • "Papa Was Too" by Joe Tex
  • "Tomorrow" by Andrea McArdle
  • "In the Rain" by The Dramatics
  • Dialogue from Executioners From Shaolin
8 "C.R.E.A.M."
  • Intro: Method Man & Raekwon
  • Chorus: Method Man
  • First verse: Raekwon
  • Second verse: Inspectah Deck
  • Background vocal: Buddha Monk
  • "As Long as I've Got You" by The Charmels
9 "Method Man"
  • Pre-song dialogue: Method Man & Raekwon
  • Intro: GZA
  • Chorus/verses: Method Man
  • Outro: RZA & Ghostface Killah
  • "Sport" by Lightnin' Rod feat. Kool & the Gang
10 "Protect Ya Neck"
  • Intro: RZA and Method Man
  • First verse: Inspectah Deck
  • Second verse: Raekwon
  • Third verse: Method Man
  • Bridge: U-God
  • Interlude: Method Man, Ol' Dirty Bastard, and RZA
  • Fourth verse: Ol' Dirty Bastard
  • Fifth verse: Ghostface Killah
  • Sixth verse: RZA
  • Seventh verse: GZA
  • Outro: RZA, Method Man
  • "The Grunt" by The J.B.'s
  • Dialogue from Shaolin and Wu Tang
11 "Tearz"
  • Intro/first verse: RZA
  • Second verse: Ghostface Killah
  • "After Laughter (Comes Tears)" by Wendy Rene
  • "Get Me Back on Time, Engine #9" by Wilson Pickett
  • "The Way We Were" by Barbra Streisand
12 "Wu-Tang: 7th Chamber—Part II"
  • (Identical to original)
  • "Make It Funky" by Ralph Vargas and Carlos Bess
13* "Method Man" (Skunk Mix)
  • Chorus/verses: Method Man
  • "Going to Kentucky" by Traditional Folk
  • "I'm Just a Bill" by Jack Sheldon
  • "Disco Lady" by Johnnie Taylor
  • "Synthetic Substitution" by Melvin Bliss

An asterisk (*) indicates international version bonus track

Vinyl / cassette[]

The vinyl and cassette track order is slightly different to that of the CD:

Shaolin Sword (Side 1)
1."Bring Da Ruckus" 
2."Shame On A Nigga" 
3."Clan In Da Front" 
4."Wu-Tang: 7th Chamber" 
5."Can It Be All So Simple" 
6."Protect Ya Neck (Intermission)" 
Wu-Tang Sword (Side 2)
1."Da Mystery of Chessboxin'" 
2."Wu-Tang Clan Ain't Nuthing Ta F' Wit" 
4."Method Man" 
6."Wu-Tang: 7th Chamber – Part II" 


Credits for Enter the Wu-Tang (36 Chambers) adapted from AllMusic.[51]



Chart (1993)[26] Peak
U.S. Billboard 200 41
U.S. Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums 8


Song Chart (1993)[52] Peak
"Method Man" U.S. Billboard Hot 100 69
U.S. Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Singles & Tracks 40
U.S. Hot Rap Singles 17
U.S. Hot Dance Music/Maxi-Singles Sales 42
Song Chart (1994) Peak
"C.R.E.A.M." U.S. Billboard Hot 100 60
U.S. Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Singles & Tracks 32
U.S. Hot Rap Singles 8
U.S. Hot Dance Music/Maxi-Singles Sales 1
"Can It Be All So Simple" U.S. Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Singles & Tracks 82
U.S. Hot Rap Singles 24
U.S. Hot Dance Music/Maxi-Singles Sales 9


  • The information regarding accolades attributed to Enter the Wu-Tang is taken from,[53] except for lists with additional sources.
  • ( * ) designates lists that are unordered.
Publication Country Accolade Year Rank United States 100 Greatest Hip-Hop albums [54] 2008 4
Best Rap Albums of 1993[55] 2008 1
10 Essential Hip-Hop Albums[56] 2008 4
Blender 500 CDs You Must Own Before You Die 2003 *
The 100 Greatest American Albums of All Time 2002 59
CDNOW Hip Hop's 25 Greatest Albums by Year 1980–98 1999 1
Dance de Lux Spain The 25 Best Hip-Hop Records 2001 5
DJMag UK The Top 50 Most Influential Dance Albums Since 1991 2006 38
Ego Trip USA Hip Hop's 25 Greatest Albums by Year 1980–98 1999 1
GQ UK The 100 Coolest Albums in the World Right Now! 2005 35
Helsingin Sanomat Finland 50th Anniversary of Rock 2004 *
Juice Australia 100 Greatest Albums of the '90s 1999 40
Les Inrockuptibles France 50 Years of Rock'n'Roll 2004 *
The 100 Best Albums 1986–1996 1996 59
Mojo UK The 100 Greatest Albums of Our Lifetime 1993–2006 2006 62
Mojo 1000, the Ultimate CD Buyers Guide 2001 *
The Mojo Collection, Third Edition 2003 *
Mucchio Selvaggio Italy 100 Best Albums by Decade 2002 Top 20
New Musical Express UK Top 100 Albums of All Time 2003 82
Nude as the News USA The 100 Most Compelling Albums of the 90s 1999 61
Paul Morley UK Words and Music, 5 x 100 Greatest Albums of All Time 2003 *
Pitchfork Media USA Top 100 Favorite Records of the 1990s 36
Q UK 90 Best Albums of the 1990s 1999 *
Record Collector 10 Classic Albums from 21 Genres for the 21st Century 2000 *
Robert Dimery USA 1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die[57] 2005 *
Rock & Folk Magazine France The Best Albums from 1963 to 1999 1999 *
Rock de Lux Spain The 150 Best Albums from the 90s 2000 25
The 200 Best Albums of All Time 2002 178
Rolling Stone USA The 500 Greatest Albums of All Time 2003 386
100 Best Albums of the 90s[58] 2010 29
The Essential Recordings of the 90s 1999 *
Germany The 500 Best Albums of All Time 2004 453
Select UK The 100 Best Albums of the 90s 1996 21
Spin USA Top 90 Albums of the 90's 2005 22
Top 100 Albums of the Last 20 Years 20
Technikart France 50 Albums from the Last 10 Years 1997 *
Tom Moon USA 1000 Recordings to Hear Before You Die[59] 2008 *
The Source The Source Magazine's 100 Best Rap Albums 1998 *
The Sun Canada The Best Albums from 1971 to 2000 2001 *
Vibe USA 100 Essential Albums of the 20th Century 1999 *
51 Albums Representing a Generation, a Sound and a Movement 2004 *
Visions Magazine Germany The Most Important Albums of the 90s 1999 67


  1. Paul Grein (April 3, 2014). "New Wu-Tang Clan Album: The Case for the World's First $5 Million Album". Yahoo Music.
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  • Brackett, Nathan; Hoard, Christian, eds. (2004). The New Rolling Stone Album Guide (4th ed.). Simon & Schuster. ISBN 0-743-20169-8.
  • Weisbard, Eric; Marks, Craig, eds. (1995). Spin Alternative Record Guide. Vintage Books. ISBN 0-679-75574-8.CS1 maint: ref=harv (link)

External links[]