29 March 2012 Stuff We Like
Wu-Tang Clan - Enter the Wu-Tang: 36 Chambers
Being a white n nerdy high school girl in Western New York, I’m not sure what it was about the Wu-Tang Clan that immediately resonated with me, but resonate immediately it did. “C.R.E.A.M.” was the first Wu-Tang song I ever heard and I was totally hypnotized by the Charmels piano sample (not like I knew who The Charmels were in 9th grade) and the overall laid-back, yet intense vocal delivery. Also, the lyrics seemed totally real, like I was reading pages of the Clan members’ diaries. It felt very personal and totally different from the showier, more braggadocious hip hop I was listening to at the time. I bought the “C.R.E.A.M.” cassette single, but I wanted to hear more. I wanted to hear it ALL.
The thing is, I wasn’t allowed to have Parental Advisory records. I mean, I could have had them, my mom just wouldn’t give me the $$ to buy them and, I was like 14, so I couldn’t really afford full records on my own. It was cassingles, tape it off the radio, make a wannabe thug at the mall dub or steal it for me, or nothing! However, I found an incredibly white n nerdy way to buck the system. So, for a school fundraiser, we had to sell magazine subscriptions (“What am I gonna do with 40 subscriptions to Vibe?”) and you could earn prizes…LIKE CASSETTE TAPES. So, having done this with a Bell Biv Devoe tape in the past, I tried it with the Wu-Tang tape and it worked! I don’t really understand how the loophole existed that allowed children to get free explicit music for successful fundraising, but yo, it worked for me!
Perhaps for my next blog entry, I will regale you with the story of how I heard the dirty version of “The Chronic” for the first time in 8th grade and was traumatized, yet SO incredibly excited. Or when I saw a dude by the library in downtown Buffalo during the same era wearing a shirt that said “Bitches Ain’t Shit But Hoes and Tricks” and simultaneously wanted to punch and high-five him. Or the time my aunt wouldn’t buy me the “12 Play” CD for my birthday because of the song “I Like the Crotch on You.” Seriously, I could do this forever.
– Nicole Johnson