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It was twenty years ago today... when the Wu-Tang Clan dropped their seminal debut, Enter the Wu-Tang (36 Chambers). One of the best rap albums ever, it laid the foundation for an empire. In the years since, the original nonet (now an octet, following the 2004 death of Ol' Dirty Bastard) has released four more official albums, while each individual member gone on to their own solo career and side projects—and a number of Wu-Tang affiliates have sprouted forth beneath the Staten Island group's banner. Needless to say, sifting through the expansive catalog of the entire collective (its members and affiliated artists) and ranking the best of all the albums is a gargantuan task. We here at Complex spent the past few weeks batting our heads together—arguing with each other till we were Wu in the face (sorry)—trying to come up with a definitive list.
Now, we know you've got your favorites, too. Where is Bobby Digital in Stereo? Where is the first Sunz of Man album? Ghost Dog soundtrack? GZA's Beneath The Surface? What about Shyheim? Grandmasters? There are plenty of great albums that didn't make the list. That doesn't mean they aren't good in their own right. But the thing about Wu-Tang is that they presented so many different approaches to hip-hop, each one with its own distinctive flavor. These albums are the ones you need to get the best taste—to make a full meal, as Raekwon the Chef might put it.
Think we screwed up? Left out essentials? Put 'em the wrong order? Bring da ruckus, let us know! But first, check out our picks: The 20 Best Wu-Tang Clan Albums.
Written by Paul Cantor (@PaulCantor)
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