Producer: RZA
Album: Enter the Wu-Tang (36 Chambers)
Label: Loud

Like all seminal artworks "Bring Da Ruckus" is great because of what it refuses to do. A dozen different sounds float underneath the primary track like the buzz from a record player or television leaking in from an adjacent room. RZA refuses to clarify any one of these sounds and instead hangs the song on a single percussive line, which sounds like it could have been created with a small orchestra of blunt weapons (a "Concerto For Louisville Slugger in E Minor"). You have to lean in and squint with your ears to catch all the mysterious scuttling underneath the surface of the track but as soon as you get close they're shouting at you: "Bring the ruckus bring the motherfucking ruckus!" The song is not a hit; in fact, it's the anti-hit. But each verse was so catchy that individual lines functioned as singles-Deck "screaming on yo ass like your dad," Ghostface and his Egyptian musk-to be memorized by successive generations of rap devotees. Wu-Tang dared the public to love them and it worked. "Bring Da Ruckus" was obtuse and ornery and still it infected the culture more deeply than the most ubiquitous radio songs from that era. Sam Sweet