Sunday, August 16, 2015

A Pair Of Wu-Tang Promos

You know a group's captured the popular imagination when even their snippet tapes sell for good money on the collectors' market. Of course, it helps immensely when they have ill exclusives or really cool art design. And to that end, I've dug two classic Wu-Tang cassettes from out of my box.

First up is the legendary "silver tape." That name's a little misleading, since the tape itself isn't actually silver, like the purple tape was genuinely made of purple plastic. I guess this name's more short-hand, referring to the shiny silver case it comes in, with nothing but the Wu logo on the front and back, no indication of what songs or what's on it. And that's true of the cassette itself, too, which is all solid black with just a silver "W" on it. It definitely makes you feel like you've got your hands on some super secret, mysterious Wu contraband; and this is from back in 1997, before there had been any lesser, lower tier material from the Clan, so anything you saw had to be amazing.

Unfortunately, the content doesn't quite live up to all of that. It's basically a Wu-Tang Forever promo, with snippets from their then yet to be released second album. But it's not just a collection of clips of songs you've already got in full on the album now, that actually makes up a small fraction of the tape. The majority consists of interview snippets with each of the various members talking about their history. They talk about how they came up with the title 36 Chambers, why they kept their faces covered on their earliest covers, how they slip serious content into their songs, etc. ODB starts out by saying, "give me a kiss" and talks about his drinking and adding "Ossirus" to his name. I wouldn't say it's something you should bust your kneecaps out running to track down, but its a pretty cool collectors item for the serious fans.

Then the other one dates back even farther. It's Raekwon the Chef's Latest and Greatest Hits from 1995, where he's boldly putting out a "greatest hits" even before his first album. It's essentially an expanded version of his "Criminology" single, I guess, as it has both the A- and B-sides to that, plus his previous, debut single "Heaven and Hell." It's also got some of his most famous moments from 36 Chambers, including "C.R.E.A.M." and the remix of "Can It Be All So Simple," which actually wound up being on Cuban Linx. And finally it's got his classic Mobb Deep appearance, "Eye For an Eye." And why am I getting excited and bothering to list out all of these snippets song by song? Because they're actually not snippets, but the full songs. So this was a pretty nice little pick-up back in the day.

But the best part, and the reason why you might continue to care about this in 2015, is that it also has an exclusive freestyle. It's pretty substantial, almost the length of a full song, and has him spitting over Channel Live's dark "Mad Izm" instrumental, constantly being rubbed and scratched by an uncredited DJ. And he gets pretty sick, though that's largely because he slips pretty quickly into his verse from "Guillotine." Of course, this came out before Cuban Linx, so it was brand new here, and either way he sounds great over Krs's killer beat.

So yeah, just a couple things to keep an eye out for next time you're shopping for the Wu fan who has everything. I think I'd rather get one of these than one of these Wu-Tang Clan American flag watches, anyway.  :/

1 comment:

  1. I actually have that "Silver Tape" somewhere. I remembered the Wu-Tang Forever teasers but not the interview snippets. I should try to find it.