Label: Loud/RCA/BMG

A$AP Yams: “I was too young to really appreciate that motherfucker—that was 95. I remember 36 Chambers in 95—that shit scared the shit out of me. My perception of Wu-Tang at first, the motherfuckers that I looked up to, that was the stars to me, my personal favorites growing up, was Old Dirty and Meth. So I actually really studied the motherfucker, and went through the catalog, and found Ghost and Rae.

“On Cuban Linx, Rae was just painting such a vivid picture of just whatever was going on in his head at the time. He was the first drug-lord rapper. He set the standard for guys like Ross—nah, fuck Ross, fuck Ross. Nevermind that. He set the standard for Jay with Reasonable Doubt, for Big with Life After Death, and Nas It Was Written. Rae came out with that shit, and everybody was on their mafioso shit after that, and everybody was doing their little suits and shit like that. Rae was really the first one to really do it like that.

“That whole album was just, you really—I still listen to that album to this day, and there’s shit that goes over my head, that I didn’t catch like the first 100 times I listen to it. Cause it’s just like back-to-back. Jam after jam. You really got to sit down and play that motherfucker. You really have to sit down and grasp the shit. People think that Wu-Tang be talking this crazy slang, this crazy karate shit, with samurai warriors and all this shit, but they’re talking that cold from church, that street shit! You know what I’m saying? Nah mean? This wasn’t some shit that scientists could figure out, you can’t sit there and try and decode the motherfucker. It was slang and street shit. Talking about ravioli bags and shit like that. It ain’t that hard to figure out.

“He just made it ill. That whole New York. To me, he gave New York that whole style as far as fashion shit. The rugged Timb boots and Carhart shit. The Wallabees with the Cuban on. He was a big dude walking around with a silk shirt on un-buttoned, with a headband on. With the windbreaker pants all the way up and shit. Like, ‘Woah, hold up. You out here doing it. It’s 88 right now, you gotta chill.’ That shit is just ill and shit.”