April 11, 2007

Ol' Dirty Bastard - Return To The 36 Chambers (The DIrty Version) (March 28, 1995)

This serves as the second solo release by a Wu-Tang Clan member after the group debut. Russell Jones (a/k/a Dirt McGirt, a/k/a Big Baby Jesus, a/k/a Osirus) is, as I may have mentioned before, the craziest motherfucker in the Clan, hands down. But it was a role that only he could have filled (that's a compliment, somehow).

Return To The 36 Chambers obviously takes its cues from the original group album title, but on here Ol' Dirty Bastard, along with cousin/producer extraordinare The Rza, spins the Wu-Tang essence into a carousel ride through the darkest alleys of Staten Island, as experienced while tripping on ecstasy.

Once again, somehow that's a compliment.

1. INTRO
Rap album intro, yes. However, this one is just plain silly, so you should hear it at least once. But just once, though; no need to overdo it.

2. SHIMMY SHIMMY YA
The second single with the crazy-ass Soul Train-esque video. This song still rocks.

3. BABY C'MON
I first heard this song on the tail end of the "Shimmy Shimmy Ya" video. This album contains some of the rawest Rza production work either, but then again, he's good at tailoring his style for his artists.

4. BROOKLYN ZOO
The first single. To be fair, Rza didn't do anything for this song except stand around in the background in the video. But this song is just awesome. If you don't think so, then I don't like your motherfucking profile.

5. HIPPA TO DA HOPPA
Never cared for this song.

6. RAW HIDE (FEAT RAEKWON & METHOD MAN)
I love these Wu collabos on the solo albums. They don't do this enough anymore.

7. DAMAGE (FEAT THE GENIUS/GZA)
Dirty, along with his other cousin in the group, does a playful back-and-forth over a ridiculous beat.

8. DON'T U KNOW (FEAT KILLAH PRIEST)
Don't know why Killah Priest isn't credited in the booklet on this song.

9. THE STOMP
Meh.

10. GOIN' DOWN
After a strange interlude, a downright amazing beat kicks in for your enjoyment.

11. DRUNK GAME (SWEET SUGAR PIE)
Also not produced by The Rza, but you can kinda tell when you hear it. This is not a good thing.

12. SNAKES (FEAT KILLAH PRIEST, THE RZA, MASTA KILLA, & BUDDHA MONK)
The best Wu posse cut on the disc. Love this fucking song.

13. BROOKLYN ZOO II (TIGER CRANE) (FEAT GHOSTFACE KILLAH)
Oddly, for a song that claims to be a sequel to "Brooklyn Zoo", Dirty repeats lyrics from "Damage". Ghostface sounds just slightly out of place over this beat.

14. PROTECK YA NECK II THE ZOO (FEAT BUDDHA MONK, PRODIGAL SUNN, ZU KEEPER, MURDOC, KILLAH PRIEST, 12 O' CLOCK, & SHORTY SHIT STAIN)
The worst Wu posse cut here (this one features a bunch of their weed carriers), but still not bad. That last guy's name, though...how do you sleep at night?

15. CUTTIN' HEADZ (FEAT THE RZA)
Take the instrumental from Wu's "Clan In Da Front" and play it fucking backwards, and you have "Cuttin' headz". This is a good thing.

16. DIRTY DANCIN' (FEAT METHOD MAN)
This shit is weak.

17. HARLEM WORLD
Calm down; this song has nothing to do with Cam'Ron or Dipset. It does, however, suck.

FINAL THOUGHTS: Return To The 36 Chambers is the debut that only Dirty could get away with. Most of the lyrics make no sense (like a Kool keith album), and his delivery is that of a drunken stupor personified, yet this album actually sounds good overall. It's not surprising that, while Meth won the Grammy and the others are better rappers (except fucking U-God), Ol' Dirty is the one who had the biggest hits.

BUY OR BURN? If you're a Wu fan, then you already have this. The casual listener should work gradually to this. Everyone else, quit reading and buy this shit already!

BEST TRACKS: "Snakes"; "RawHide"; "Brooklyn Zoo"; "Shimmy Shimmy Ya"

-Max

RELATED POSTS:
Enter The Wu-Tang (36 Chambers)
Method Man - Tical
The Genius - Words From A Genius
Sunz Of Man - The Last Shall Be First

14 comments:

  1. Do you have an email address I can contact you at?

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  2. Not one that I give out freely. If you have a private message or comment for me, you can always leave it as a comment here and I just won't publish it. But please be sure to leave me a way to reply!

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  3. RUDOLPH LYRICSApril 21, 2007

    "snakes" is one of my all time favorite songs.. i remember this cd dropped like a week or 2 before ucla beat arkansas for the title.. i was in high school at the time and fell in love with every song immediately... one of the top 5 best wu solo lps...

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  4. This is a very overlooked album. I bought it like 10 months after it released, not sure why. However, it is one of my favorite albums. It's crazy, disorganized, and original. Even though it's all over the place, it still makes sense. I thought "protect ya neck 2 the zoo" was a great posse cut, Prodigal Sun killed it. The intro to this song always makes me laugh. This album is another form of evidence that Rza is a genius. He can produce any type of beat.

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  5. This album is great Ol' Dirty is all over the place and that is what makes it so good. Just about every song on this kills it.

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  6. man, i love harlem world! That voice in the back w/ the slop organs...

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  7. "I don't even like yo motherfuckin profile!!" lol!! funniest dude in the group.. shame on you!!!! BOOKLYN ZHU!! mah niggah!! lol..

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  8. Harlem World is the best song on here...

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  9. AnonymousMay 14, 2013

    HIPPA TO DA HOPPA is the best song on here!

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  10. I some how love the stomp, snakes is also great! When I first listened to this album after getting intoxicated by ironman, liquid swords, obfcl etc I thought it was silly but I somehow went back to it & loved it, ol dirty was crazy trippin, BROOKLYN ZOO!!!!

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  11. AnonymousJuly 29, 2014

    I absolutely LOVE ODB!!

    But, he shouldn't have gotten an album. Inspectah Deck should've gotten that shine.

    Then again, I sure as fuck ain't the RZA, so I suppose it worked out just fine.

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    Replies
    1. Deck wouldn't have been able to carry an album on his own in 1995. It made more sense to put an outsized personality out as the second solo project from the Clan, to help draw in the fans before hitting them with the one-two punch that was Raekwon and the GZA.

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    2. Deck was scheduled to get an album soon afterward but Rza's house flooded and Deck's music got ruined

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  12. Can't believe I just noticed this but:
    That last dude spitting after ODB on Protect Ya Neck II The Zoo was 60 Second Assassin from Sunz Of Man, who remains uncredited in your review. Thought you should know.

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