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13 Points
The Contender
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Enter The Wu-Tang (36 Chambers) is a better album than Wu-Tang Forever

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 5/26/2010 Category: Arts
Updated: 6 years ago Status: Voting Period
Viewed: 2,804 times Debate No: 12148
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (7)
Votes (3)




It's a great pleasure to welcome my long term delinquent associate Lukas to his first debate here on DDO. He's the only person I've successfully persuaded to join the site and after more than six months he's agreed to debate me.

This will be a light-hearted debate on a niche musical topic that we both have strong opinions on. Hopefully it won't get too nasty and I won't have to bust out my metal flying guillotine on his @ss.

Obviously the subject of this debate is a mere matter of opinion with no real objective truth value but we both have a responsibility to back up our opinions with evidence and logic.

Enter The Wu-Tang (36 Chambers) is a better album than Wu-Tang Forever.

You crazy blud! Enter murks it!

Enter The Wu-Tang (36 Chambers) is a monumental sparse masterpiece that flipped the script on hip hop at the time. Wu-Tang Forever is a sloppy bloated saga that sounded just how everyone expected it to.

Enter is The Beatles storming America. Forever is Vegas era Elvis singing show tunes.

In 1993 the West Coast was dominating the East in terms of sales. The Dr Dre inspired sounds of G-Funk had taken over the commercial hip hop industry and the East had gone back underground.

36 Chambers was at the forefront of bringing the focus of the global hip hop community right back to New York.

This was a self-produced album that gained enough buzz on the street to allow these 9 young men to effectively hold the record industry to ransom, securing a historical deal that allowed them all to collaborate on each other's solo projects across five major record labels.

Take a look at any list of "The Greatest Hip Hop Albums Of All Time" or some such. If there's no Wu, then you know the list is wack but where there is Wu, Enter is there and Forever ain't.

Rolling Stone even names it amongst the greatest 500 albums of all time (out of any genre and this the biggest rock magazine in the world) I'll be shocked if you can find even one or two that list Forever higher.

Even though the vinyl copy of Enter is wackly quiet and the release of Forever is nicely spaced out on 4 discs, guess which album DJs take out more?

Obviously Forever is a whole lot longer but I don't think you can really argue quantity over quality with music or any other artform. Considering the album genre, you have to take into account what works well as a listening experience and less is often more.

Taking it tune by tune, there just aren't ANY tunes on Forever that stand up to stuff like Protect Your Neck, Chessboxin', 7th Chamber Part II, C.R.E.A.M., Tearz, Nuthing Ta F' Wit etc.

Every tune on Enter is killer and all the skits too. Forever is mostly filler, guest spots from Cappadonna and shyte.

Let us not forget that "the flow, changes like a chameleon, plays like a friend and stabs you like a dagger. This technique attacks the immune system, disguised like a lie paralyzing the victim. You scream as it enters your bloodstream, erupts your brain from the pain these thoughts contain. Moving on a ----- with the speed of a centipede and injure any mother----ing contender"

Lastly of course, "Toad Style is immensely strong and immune to nearly any weapon, when it's properly used it is almost invincible."

I challenge my opponent to make his case.


I would like to start by thanking my illustrious friend for challenging me to what promises to be a highly compelling debate. The term 'delinquent associate' is an interesting phrase to use with dual connotations, delinquent meaning 'Failing to do what law or duty requires' and also 'Overdue in payment'. In this case I'm going to go with the latter and deliver to my opponent a payment that is long overdue, the debate he has requested and his subsequent defeat.

"Skip the introduction, prostate the lip function"

As my opponent knows full well I am a huge fan of 36 Chambers and rate it as one of the best albums ever made but that does not take away from the fact that 'Wu Tang Forever' is the superior album on so many levels but most important LYRICALLY. As a lyricist him self, I am amazed that my opponent has failed to address this issue. The way I see Enter is as a seminal album but mainly because of its uncompromising impact on the scene, loads of attitude and energy but little substance and reflection. The Beatles analogy is an interesting one, I would compare 36 chambers to The Beatles first album to 'Please please me'. Both are important as an introduction to the group's styles and both were revolutionary in that they both introduced the world to a new KIND of group, the four man beat combo and the full-on posse Hip Hop group but neither are true representations of the groups abilities. I would say Forever is more of a 'Revolver' or 'White album', far more accomplished and with a lot more to say.

Back to the key issue of lyrics, I would like to take the opportunity to list some examples of the superior lyrical content of Forever

"I bomb atomically, Socrates' philosophies
and hypothesis can't define how I be droppin these
mockeries, lyrically perform armed robbery
Flee with the lottery, possibly they spotted me
Battle-scarred shogun, explosion when my pen hits
tremendous, ultra-violet shine blind forensics
I inspect you, through the future see millennium
Killa B's sold fifty gold sixty platinum
Shacklin the masses with drastic rap tactics
Graphic displays melt the steel like blacksmiths"

This Inspectah Deck verse is regarded by many as one of the best in the history of Hip Hop and I challenge my opponent to come up with anything on Enter that even comes near.

"Curses from war, innocent blood spills for days
Soothe in godly ways, hands, solemn in praise
Tree of life, more precious than Wu is golden game
The wise self flourish inherit, Halls of Fame
Crime visions in my blood got me, locked in prison
While we die hard living people whine about religion, vision
Blow, spin, and sin and killing what's revealing
It's a never ending battle with no ending or beginning, listen
Zero process, progress, become the hunted
America's most wanted, good life flaunted, want it
Some love the speed, some satisfy a need
Some want to be down, young gun seed, jungle breed
The stronger speed, someone die, someone bleed
One flew astray, and then caught my little seed
Can it be, the ice have us trife life, made me grab the knife
The righteous man would be within these stripes pipes
Take in my energy, breath and know the rest
Cause the good die young and the hard die best"

This U-God verse utilises the ‘stream of consciousness' style of rapping and displays, in my opinion, a far more advanced level of lyrical prowess than anything on Enter.

There are many more examples I can think of and to list them would simply clutter this debate.

My opponent sights various ‘lists' and ‘top tens' compiled in relation to ‘the greatest hip hop albums'. I would simply ask him to go back a review the results of these and then tell me that they have any validity. Marshall Mathers EP top ten? Please….

In regard to my opponents point about the global shift from East to West due to Enter, I take his point but I don't really see the relevance. What I would say is far more relevant is the impact that Forever had on Hip Hop in the context of the industry in '97. Commercial Hip Hop at the time was in a poor state becoming over saturated with the R&B stylings of Puff Daddy and like. Hip Hop desperately needed an album like Forever at that time and boy did they get it! With many of the Wu artists having successfully pulled off solo careers they were primed and razor-sharp ready to hit back at ‘the game' with full precision.

As for the ‘fillers' in Forever, please list them for me and I'll address them individually.
Debate Round No. 1


Thanks for the prompt and well written response from my learned and revered brethren.

When I said "delinquent associate" I was merely referring to the many delinquent escapades that our mutual association has entailed.

Of all the points I made, perhaps the two most important ones are obvious by their absence from Lukas's response.

1) Enter simply works better as an album.

As a complete listening experience from start to finish, Enter picks you up, grips you, shakes you and throws you down on the floor feeling stunned. Forever is just far too long, there is way too much to absorb and by the time fatigue has set in, long before the needle hits the groove of disc H, it really does feel like it goes on 'forever'.

2) Enter just has far better tunes on it.

There isn't anything on Forever as good as the tunes I already listed from Enter. My opponent has not responded to this challenge. I will expand on this point later when I examine the albums tune by tune.


As far as lyrics go Luke may have a point. There are moments of lyrical mastery on Forever that arguably exceed anything on Enter, the dope Inspektah Deck verse is a great example.

There certainly are a few moments on Enter that come close lyrically like Meth on Shame, Gza on Clan In Da Front, Deck and Ghost on 7th Chamber and the Masta Killa verse I posted before but I'll concede that that the ten bars from Deck on Triumph murks them all.

However I would respond by saying that overall Enter is far more consistent with lyrical quality than Forever which has a fair few wack moments and way too much of 5th Beatle Cappadonna for my liking.

Furthermore, just because some of the lyrics are more expertly constructed with more internal rhymes and a wider display of vocabulary, doesn't necessarily improve the quality to the average listener. Not everyone likes MF Doom/Kool Keith style intricate rhymes. I think it would be fair to say that the lyrics on Enter are more visceral and hit harder (rumour has it that this has a lot to do with certain MCs being coked up to the eyeballs but who's to know?)

As for the U-God verse I really don't think it's that fresh and I totally don't get the whole "stream of consciousness" thing that both Lukas and Wikipedia say was so revolutionary on this album. As far as I can see almost all rap lyrics are and have always been written in a stream of consciousness style, it being kind of the point to say what is on your mind.

As a lyricist I would also say it is often far easier to construct rhymes in this style. If you are just letting the ideas flow freely on to one another then you can concentrate on the sounds of the words, the rhyming patterns and the big punchlines and metaphors. It is a lot harder to write an engaging and moving narrative and tell a story people want to hear while also making it work well as a rhyme. Deck's verse on C.R.E.A.M. (often wrongly attributed to Ghostface) and Rza's verse on Tearz would be excellent examples of this on Enter.


Lukas attempts to discredit the sources I provided of various opinion charts. He claims the inclusion of an Eminem album (not EP) on one of them invalidates them all. The fact is I purposely presented a wide range of sources from the reasonably credible The Source magazine to the obviously un-credible Yahoo answers.

My points remain that every single such list I could find, whether compiled by an idiot or an expert all agree that Enter is superior to Forever and the mass weight of opinion is far too heavy to shrug off.


Lukas acknowledges the impact that Enter had but tries to suggest Forever had an even greater impact on the industry which is palpably false.

Whereas Enter effectively closed the chapter on the West Coast dominated G-Funk scene, Forever did nothing to stem the tide of r&b/pop/hip hop crossovers which still continues to this day. Forever even includes a few r&bish sung moments (Impossible etc) of it's own, while the only singing on Enter is samples of 60s stuff.

On the subject of solo albums, I would also say that every single solo Wu album between Enter and Forever (that's Tical, Return to the 36 Chambers - the Dirty Version, Only Built For Cuban Lynx, Liquid Swords and Ironman) is better than Forever but not as good as Enter.


Okay, now to address the point about fillers on Forever as well as the fact that the tunes on Enter are just better, what I'm going to do is run through all the tunes and rate them out of ten with a brief (due to character limits) description.



Incredible impact for the first tune with iconic kung fu sample, lyrical fire from Rae, Ghost, Deck and Gza with shout chorus from the Rza. Sets the tone for the musical style and raw energy of the album.


And the world witnesses the insanity that is an unleashed O.D.B. for the first time. Meth also smashes it on this but it's all about the beat really, punchy soul horns and nagging Thelonius Monk piano blend superbly.


Pretty much a solo Gza track apart from Rza's intro, again the beat makes this one but the vocal is nice too.


When you first hear this you think it's awesome, then you hear the remix and you're whole idea of awesomeness is forced to make an adjustment.


As well as stripped down drums, weird little melodies and kung fu samples what really helped establish Rza's rep as a beat crafter from this album was his use of vocal samples like the Gladys Knight throwaway line that becomes the hook on this. Big head nod tune. This also showcases the winning combination of Rae and Ghost which would be unleashed on Cuban Lynx.


This is just an absolute monster, 8 MCs absolutely smashing a track to bits, well 7 (Sorry U-God the 4 bar killer). No but really this is f--kin hip hop right here.


Yeah even the skits kill on this, this interview with a stoned Meth is better listening than the whole of side H of Forever.


Absolutely iconic tune that made chess cool for thugs again. Co-produced by Old Dirty Bastard this is one of the best beats on the album with a weird haunting zither melody that really stays with you. All the MCs kill it on this and it has a great example of the Mr. Meth chorus but it's also notable for Masta Killa's only performance on the album on a rare day out from jail. He shows why he's the master.

You know what, I'm gonna have to describe these a lot less.


Massive beat, fire from Meth and Rza.

9. C.R.E.A.M - 9

One of the most played accapellas ever and awesome beat with Al Greene moans.


The comedy stylings of Mr Meth. Quality bounce.

11. TEARZ -9

Wendy Rane lends the vocals to this emotional masterpiece. Crazy organ.


Just ridiculous. Monster bass, 7 incredible verses.

106/12 = avg 8.8.

Okay, you know what, there is no way I can fit in all of my analysis of Forever without surgically butchering my arguments but there are no 10s, only a couple of 9s, mostly 7s and 8s and a few totally pointless bits of ranting like the Wu-Revolution track with the seemingly senile Poppa Wu and Rza's "Intro" on side E that if I included them would drag the average rating down to 5 or 6 as an average of the whole album.

To be fair to Forever there are clearly a lot of good tunes on it but there is also wackness and one small piece of wackness can destroy the listening experience.

The 4th Disciple produced tunes (except maybe for Cash Still Rules/Scary Hours) could have been left off with no detriment to the album as a whole, as could most of side H.

I feel like I was just getting going but I'll have to stop there.


Lukas forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 2


I saw Lukas at the weekend, so I'm pretty sure that he is alive and well and I can only conclude that his forfeiture of the previous round represents a profound realisation, nay an epiphany, that he has been arguing a position that he knows he can't win.

I believe that my opponent has done some soul searching, looked within and found that he prefers Enter too. He knows I'm right.

I suppose that it could be a devious and sly tactic to gain an underhand advantage. Perhaps Lukas intends to lull me into a false sense of security so I don't expand on my position too much in this round, only to kick myself hard when he posts an epic destruction post in the final round that I won't be able to respond to. This wouldn't surprise me in the least but then neither would another forfeit.


To be fair I think I've already given him plenty to respond to if he does choose to post again and I really can't be bothered right now to give a full breakdown of the 27 tracks on Forever.

Obviously the ratings I gave in the previous round do merely represent my own opinion and I don't claim to be any ultimate authority on quality but real recognises real and heads (I really can't imagine anyone else taking the time to read this far) know I'm right. I endeavored to be accurate and unbiased in my ratings and almost succeeded.

Note for any CD format trainspotters wondering why I missed a track off my analysis of Enter: The Skunk Remix of Method Man is not on the vinyl version.


The key observation I would like to make in this my final round is a profoundly superficial one that is nevertheless of critical importance.

Enter has much better sleeve note shout-outs than Forever.

Both albums had incredibly dull and long shout-out sections but while the Forever shouts were bogged down heavily by cringe inducing clich´┐Żs and advertising text for the Wu-Wear clothing brand, the Enter shouts were funnier, introducing people for the first time to amusingly titled Wu associates like Dreddy Kruger and Ugly Man as well as shouts to "all the dustheads, all the method smokers ... all our physicals, all you other motherf***ers". It's all written in a rambling, dictated style including things like "Oh yeah, Ghost wanted to thank the following".

The only real highlight of the forever shouts is Ghostface threatening to spit in the face of "f@ggot @ss radio n1ggas who don't support our sh1t".


So yeah, extend my previous arguments.

Enter The Wu-Tang (36 Chambers) is a better album than Wu-Tang Forever.



Lukas forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 3
7 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 7 records.
Posted by Lukas 6 years ago
I feel kinda foolish for f***in thids one up, I should know better than to leave bills unpaid! Im only just back online again now. Sorry feevz fancy a rematch? New topic?
Posted by feverish 6 years ago
Speaking of Wu and Beatles, this remix album from UK producer Tom Caruana is heavy.
Posted by popculturepooka 6 years ago
Posted by feverish 6 years ago
Forfeit means this won't show up on the front page and pretty much guarantees no voting (not that many people would have voted anyway). Oh well, still was fun.
Posted by feverish 6 years ago
Nice response! Probably won't get to it tonight though.
Posted by Lukas 6 years ago
Im already on it squire!
Posted by feverish 6 years ago
You'll have three days to post your first round argument once you've accepted the challenge mate.
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