Will Ashon tells, in 36 interlinked ‘chambers’, the story of Enter the Wu-Tang: 36 Chambers and how it changed the world. As unexpected and complex as the album itself, Chamber Music ranges from provocative essays to semi-comic skits, from deep scholarly analysis to satirical celebration, seeking to contextualise, reveal and honour this singularly composite work of art. From the FBI’s war on drugs to the porn theatres of 42nd street, from the history of jazz to the future of politics, Chamber Music is an explosive and revelatory new way of writing about music and culture.
Enter the Wu-Tang: 36 Chambers is the debut studio album by New York hip-hop group Wu-Tang Clan, released on 9 November 1993 through Loud Records.
The origin of the title is open to interpretation, with some sources saying it comes from the martial arts film, The 36th Chamber of Shaolin, whilst other interpretations say it was inspired by the human heart: it has 4 chambers, and there are 9 members in the clan. 9 x 4 = 36.
In The Source magazine’s February 1994 issue, Wu-Tang was originally given a 4½ Mic Rating for the album. In a later issue they re-rated it as a 5 Mic Rating.