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“I SMOKE ON THE MIC LIKE SMOKING JOE FRAZIER,

THE HELLRAISER, RAISIN HELL WITH THE FLAVA,

TERRORIZE THE JAM LIKE TROOPS IN PAKASTAN,

SWINGING THROUGH YOUR TOWN LIKE THE NEIGHBORHOOD SPIDERMAN…”

Those are the opening lines in the rap classic “Protect Ya Neck,” today’s SOTD by the Wu-Tang Clan. It was 20 years ago this week that Wu-Tang Clan, a collection of New York city emcees bonded together and formed one of the toughest, rawest, most talented hip hop collectives that rap world has ever seen. Enter the Wu-Tang (36 Chambers)  was a groundbreaking, monumental album, that not only but these 9 emcees on the map, but put the rap world on notice. At this time West Coast rap was the dominant sound in rap music. Dre, Snoop, N.W.A, and Death Row records had a strangle hold on the hip hop scene until a resurgence of New York emcees decided to bring hip hop back where it started. Artists like the Notorious B.I.G., Nas, Jay-Z, Gangstarr, A Tribe Called Quest, De La Soul, and a crew of rappers that repped the Shaolin heavy, known as the Wu-Tang Clan, brought east coast fury, flava, and lyricism back to the rap scene. The balance of power was now shifting in hip hop, and the Wu-Tang Clan was at the forefront of that movement. Led by their creative mastermind, the RZA, Method Man, Ghostface Killah, U-God, Inspecta Deck, Raekwon the Chef, GZA, Cappadonna, and the late great Ol Dirty Bastard, would go on to hit us in the head with raw sophisticated rhymes for over a decade into the present day. It’s great to be able to have grown up during that time of artistic freedom in hip hop, where the best music in that genres history was produced. It’s an honor to say happy birthday to the Wu-Tang Clan, and I hope you enjoy today’s SOTD for Throwback Thursday, a true hip hop anthem, “Protect Ya Neck.”

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