Wu-Tang Clan, Enter the Wu-Tang (36 Chambers) (1993)
Prodigy: “They basically changed the game. They changed the world too. They did what Nas did, but talking about their hood though. They brought the hood shit, and they mixed it with the God-body shit like what Rakim did. He mixed the hood shit with the knowledge of self, learning about your history and your culture. So that’s what Wu-Tang did.
“They took the hood shit from Staten Island, because Staten Island was new to people—nobody even knew there was hoods out there. So they introduced the Staten Island hood to the world and they mixed it with the God-body knowledge of self information. So that was something new really. Even though Rakim had did it a little something, they were a little more crazier and wilder than Rakim because you had Ol’ Dirty Bastard bugging the fuck out. They were a little wilder than Rakim. They wasn’t scared to do certain shit. Rakim was a little more reserved. So they brought that wild crazy ghetto mentality, mixed it with the knowledge of self and it was something nobody ever saw before.
“That was the first time nine MCs all came together in one group. Now don’t get me wrong, because you had groups way back in the day like the Cold Crush and other groups, but I’m talking about in the new era with the new beats. They did that. I think that’s what RZA got it from, like the Cold Crush and all that—that’s where he got the original idea to do that. But he just took it to a whole other level.
“They also brought fashion into hip-hop. They created where you could make money off of your brand, off of fashion. They did that and Naughty By Nature did that. I think they were the first, well no I can’t say that because Run-D.M.C. was first with the merchandise shit. But after Run-D.M.C. it was Naughty By Nature, because Naugty had everything. They had boxers, sheets, and t-shirts. Naughty By Nature had a lot of merchandise.
“But I think Wu Tang looked at all of that. RZA looked at what Naughty did and what Run-D.M.C. did, and they took it to another level with Wu Wear. I watched them make a shitload of dollars off of that shit. Like millions of dollars real fast. Selling just T-shirts with the Wu symbol on them. That’s what they really brought to the new school. They taught us how to sell merchandise and how to sell your brand.”