W.R.E.A.M. (Wu Rules Everything Around Me)

Posted by Billyjam, August 30, 2011 05:41pm | Post a Comment
Wu rules everything around me, or so it seems of late since the legendary Wu-Tang Clan appear to be everywhere these days between their own popular recently released album, Legendary Weapons which dropped a month ago on eOne Music; the WU's distinctive presence on the ongoing Rock The Bells tour where they host the 36 Chambers stage; the proliferation of Wu-Tang mashup projects such as the recently Amoeblogged-about Wugazi: 13 Chambers project; plus the seemingly endless amount of cameos on other artist's projects that the ubiquitous Wu Tang members have been making of late. Indeed, there seems to be no end of the amount of guest spots that the numerous members of this influential Staten Island (aka Shaolin) NY crew (who redefined hip-hop with their landmark 1993 debut Enter the Wu-Tang (36 Chambers)) have been making lately. Even though their latest album is noticeably missing GZA, not to mention Masta Killa, it still became a fave with both critics and fans.

Anything Wu Tang do seems to command widespread attention. Case in point was when, a few weeks ago, within hours of their NYC offices posting an ad for an unpaid intern position, the ad went viral and got picked up and repeated by endless online, print, and TV outlets. Meanwhile, the popular official Wu Tang Facebook fan page has close to one and half million avid followers and appears to be increasing at a steady pace, undoubtedly spurred on by the Wu members' inclusion on this year's Rock The Bells. On the tour, numerous Wu soldiers perform, including Raekwon and Ghostface doing Only Built For Cuban Linx and GZA/Genius performing Liquid Swords. Indicative of their draw, the festival includes the WU's own 36 Chambers stage on which crew members and Wu Tang-endorsed acts like Mobb Deep perform.  At this past Saturday's Rock The Bells stop in the Bay Area at the Shoreline Amphitheatre in Mountain View, Rae and Ghost's set was one of the festival highlights and proved why these vets can still command such a dedicated following two decades later.

It is this love for the Wu that resulted in their latest album Legendary Weapons, instantly becoming the number one hip-hop album at Amoeba when it was released a month ago. For most diehard Wu fans, this current album is merely a lead into the promised 2012 Wu album - their official sixth album, which is already more anticipated since it will be considered more of a full studio album will have RZA back in the studio. But in reality, Wu fans never have to wait long to hear some new Wu-related music, including the unending cameos by members on new hip-hop releases. And then there's the flood of Wu Tang mashup projects. In addition to the aforementioned Wugazi project (a full-length blend of Wu-Tang Clan with Fugazi by Cecil Otter and Swiss Andy), another recent WU mashup is Black Gold: Wu Tang vs Jimi Hendrix that was produced by Tom Caruana who was responsible for the earlier (although not quite as good) Wu/Beatles mashup Enter The Magical Mystery Chambers - Wu Tang vs The Beatles. On Caruna's latest, in addition to a slew of mashups that rework older material from both camps, are two exclusive tracks from Wu Tang affiliates Gab Gotcha and Young Dirty Bastard (that's the late ODB's son). According to the producer, it took about six months of studio time to hone it to his satisfaction. In the process, Caruana says, he pored over "hundreds of tracks, jams, outtakes, collaboration, and interviews to find the samples." He also unearthed some obscure acapellas for the mix.

Finally, I leave you with the classic Wu Tang Clan song "C.R.E.A.M. (Cash Rules Everything Around Me)" as well as four other songs directly derived from it, two of which are mashups: Wugazi's "S.C.R.E.A.M. (Sleep Rules Everything Around me)" and IrnMnky's "J.C.R.E.A.M. (Johnny Cash vs Wu Tang)." Another is the Transplants' (the on-again/off-again group that features Rancid's Tim Armstrong and Blink 182's Travis Barker with "Skinhead Rob" Aston on vocals) 2002 song "D.R.E.A.M." (Drugs Rule Everything Around Me)," off their self-titled debut album, and the similarly themed, just released "D.R.E.A.M. (Dope Rules Everything Around Me)" by San Francisco rapper DaVinci and featuring DJ Platurn. The last is the fun and silly "T.R.E.A.M. (Trash Rules Everything Around Me)" by the ever-shape-shifting Brattleboro, Vermont alt. rock outfit the Wingnut Dishwashers Union.

Wu Tang Clan "C.R.E.A.M. (Cash Rules Everything Around Me)"

Wugazi "S.C.R.E.A.M. (Sleep Rules Everything Around Me)"

Transplants "D.R.E.A.M. (Drugs Rule Everything Around Me)"

DaVinci feat DJ Platurn "D.R.E.A.M. (Dope Rules Everything Around Me)"

Wingnut Dishwashers Union "T.R.E.A.M. (Trash Rules Everything Around Me)"

IrnMnky "J.C.R.E.A.M. (Johnny Cash vs Wu Tang)"

Relevant Tags

Wu Tang Clan (8), Wugazi (2), Fugazi (9), Raekwon (10), Rock The Bells (7), Wingnut Dishwashers Union (1), Davinci (9), Dj Platurn (43), Rancid (7), Tim Armstrong (4), Transplants (2)