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The Endorsement


I’ve been loving this album all of this week and last week.

History
I freely admit, I’ve been a Wu-Tang fan since the summer before my junior year of high school when a teammate passed me Wu-Tang Forever to listen to on the bus-ride to school.  After that, I was hooked and bought every Wu-Tang CD I could, blowing literally 1/2 my Burger King earnings on CD.  To this date, Supreme Clientele is still one of my favorite albums (and the only one I actually have on vinyl, a souvenir of my first trip to NYC in 2000).

Conversely, I didn’t really get into the Beatles until about 2007.  It was a mix of The Grey Album, the Eleanor Rigby clip in “Accepted”, and my eternal love of “Paint it Black” by the Rolling Stones that got me into looking up old British Invasion songs, and thusly Beatles songs.  Right away I was a fan of “I Saw Her Standing There”, and added it to my front of my playlist, (a good addition to all the Kinks & White Stripes songs I’d been working with).

Current
Then about 2 weeks ago, @Agent_M posted a link to “Enter the Magical Mystery Chambers”, and two great things in my life were mashed up in the most delicious ways.

Right up front, you have to know that this cannot be compared to The Grey Album, mostly because you cannot compare this album collective of Wu-Tang songs from different eras to the The Black Album’s continuity and polish.  However, you can compare this album to ANY hip-hop album coming out anytime lately and see if the new can stack up.

The instrumentation on “Got Your Money” is great, the mixes are clean, and “Uzi” is such a mish-mash that it reminds me of the video for Triumph (2000), and I feel like I’ve instantly combined my 27 and 17 year-old selves.  Every other songs is so mixed-up in the most wonderful of ways.  Instead of trying to make everything fit smoothly, the songs, such as “Run” create a new identity complete different from the originals.

And really, who doesn’t love the skit of ODB singing “Love Me Do”?  There’s a pretty simple formula:

ODB + Anything = Woot!  Success

The other day @Agent_M told me that this NOT the greatest thing he’d ever linked, but I left it as “agree to disagree”.  Thanks, dude.

Future
Much like The Grey Album, however, I wouldn’t expect this to be available for much longer before EMI drops a cease-and-desist on it’s distribution, especially after the write-ups in New York Times and GQ.  Get it while you can.

From the Times:

Q. Where did the inspiration for “Enter the Magical Mystery Chambers” come from?
A. This project came about unintentionally, really. I’d done a Large Professor remix album and an MF Doom one, and then I was starting on a Wu-Tang one. One of the tracks that’s on there, “R.E.C. Room,” I made a couple of years ago. I had this easy-listening record of this orchestra playing cover versions of lots of different ’60s stuff. It had this instrumental version of “Girl,” and the whole thing was just stunning. But I didn’t want to just take a little bit of it. I took the whole song, and sped it up to the right tempo, so it has the complete arrangement and feel of the original Beatles song. Then I made the “C.R.E.A.M.” remix. And then I was like, O.K., I’ve got two tracks now that have Beatles samples with Wu-Tang a cappellas. A few days later I found Ol’ Dirty Bastard talking on YouTube about how he was influenced by the Beatles. And I just thought: This is it.

Q.Could you walk us through the samples on one of the more complicated tracks?

A.“Uzi (Pinky Ring)” has got a lot of samples on it. There’s “Glass Onion,” then it went to an Arif Mardin version of “Glass Onion,” then when Ghostface comes in it goes to “Getting Better,” then RZA comes in and it’s a Ramsey Lewis version of “Everybody’s Got Something to Hide Except for Me and My Monkey.” Then Inspectah Deck comes in and it’s a cover version of “Hey, Jude.” Then Method Man comes in and that’s “While My Guitar Gently Weeps.” And then GZA’s at the end, and that’s “Why Don’t We Do It In the Road.” I’ve seen on blogs, somebody say something like, I’ve only heard two Beatles samples that I recognized in here. And to me that’s quite a good thing – you have to listen extra hard to hear them. I was purposeful not to take “Love Me Do” and put Wu-Tang with it.

Q.While you were working on this, did anyone make the comparison between what you’re doing and Danger Mouse’s “Grey Album”?
A.Well, it’s obvious that those comparisons are going to get mentioned. I’ve got a copy of that. When it came out, a friend of mine gave it to me, and I thought it was cool. I didn’t listen to it loads of times, to be honest, and I don’t know it particularly well. I did listen to it in the final stages, because I knew that there were a couple of samples he had used, that I had also used. On “Encore” he use the same sample of “Glass Onion” that I use on “Uzi.” But that’s really it.
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