25th Anniversary of Wu-Tang Forever | Forever, the summer of my 15 years

25 years ago, Wu-Tang Clan released their second album, Wu-Tang Forever. Expectations were huge. Whether they were filled or not, this double disc made an impression. We talk about it with artists from here and elsewhere. But first, let’s go back to 1997.

Posted at 9:00 a.m.

Pascal LeBlanc

Pascal LeBlanc
The Press

Beauport, Quebec. The last bell of the day at La Seigneurie high school finally rings. It’s June 3, 1997. At home, the double CD of Wu-Tang Forever waiting for me – thank you, mum! Why such a rush? Let’s go back a few more years.


Jean-Sebastien Perron, aka GenericTM

“It was my good friend Boogat who brought me the tape of 36recalls Jean-Sebastien Perron, aka GenericTM. First he gave me Illmatic, from Nas. A week later he brought me 36 Chambers. I can tell you that that month, I took a good slap. Afterwards, I copied the tape to all my friends, then it was over, we were all listening to Wu-Tang. »

I was one of his friends.

36 Chambersthis is the other name of the group’s first album, Enter the Wu-Tangwhich revolutionized the world of rap, in 1993. The beats without artifice that hits hard, the samples of kung-fu films, nine rappers with a unique style. The success has been phenomenal! It was followed by five solo albums, all excellent. So when the Clan announced they were joining forces again in 1997, “expectations were really high.” “Me, I expected the revolution, nothing less”, indicates GenericTM, which launched, last year, Jefferson Chief with Eman. The duo are currently working on the sequel.

The first time

So, as soon as I get home from school, I go down to my room, open my Discman and start listening. The first piece, Wu-Revolution, surprises. For seven minutes, Popa Wu and Uncle Pete, the Clan’s spirit guides, teach the principles of the Five-Percent Nation. The 15 year old teenager that I was is confused. I am quickly reassured by the voice of GZA, on the next track, which announces: “ Reunited, double LP, world excited “. The rest of the album has more ups than downs. I discussed it with Marieme and Webster, artists, proud representatives of Quebec hip-hop culture and brothers.

« J’avais 14 ans. On l’avait écouté avec la gang du basket, je crois. Quand tu écoutes du Wu-Tang, tu te sens dans un film ; c’est tellement imagé. Forever, c’est comme un long film à la fois très divertissant et très cru » illustre Marieme, qui a lancé l’album MARIO, en novembre dernier.

« Triumph, on capotait sur le clip juste d’un point de vue cinématographique, mais ce qui m’a le plus marqué, c’est le verse d’Inspectah Deck », ajoute son grand frère Webster.


Marieme et Webster

J’en ai des frissons, juste d’en parler… I bomb atomically, Socrates’ philosophies and hypotheses… Les gens disaient : “Le rap, c’est une mauvaise influence”, mais là, lui, il parlait de Socrate. Tout ce qui était nommé en termes de lectures, en termes d’auteurs, en termes de penseurs, moi, j’allais le lire par la suite.

Webster, rappeur et auteur

Le rappeur et auteur poursuit : « Il y a aussi des chansons comme A Better Tomorrow ou The City qui parlent de la rue, mais qui dénoncent ce qui se passe, qui racontent cette réalité-là, sans la glorifier. »

Celle qui chante Impossible


Tekitha et sa fille Prana forment O.N.E the Duo.

Une autre pièce dans la même veine est Impossible. Le couplet fort senti de Ghostface Killah est reconnu comme l’un des meilleurs de tous les temps et le refrain, chanté par Tekitha, est particulièrement puissant.

Je me suis entretenu avec cette dernière. « En créant la chanson, RZA [le leader du groupe] knew he wanted my vote on Impossible. When I first heard her, I really liked how she made me feel. It was made for me, for the style I had at the time,” says Tekitha Washington, who now sings country with her daughter – and RZA’s – Prana Diggs, in ONE the Duo.

We also find the singer solo on the piece Second Coming. “When we finished recording, I didn’t think the song was going to be on the album, let alone close it,” Tekitha says. I am happy and grateful to have contributed to Wu-Tang Forever, but above all I am proud of my brothers and the power of what they have succeeded in communicating. »

For the youngest

Olivier Brault, a great hip-hop lover and collector, discovered Wu-Tang Clan with this second album.

Photo Marco Campanozzi, THE PRESS

Olivier Brault, founder of Productions Pushin’ Culture

It’s the first project that really fascinated me from A to Z. It’s a group of nine people, each with their own personality. In the booklet, they all had their picture with their style and their alias.

Olivier Brault, founder of Productions Pushin’ Culture

This summer, he will organize the first event of Productions Pushin’ Culture, which specializes in meetings with a hip-hop flavor.


Quebec producer Nicholas Craven

Quebec producer Nicholas Craven, who has just launched Latin Quarter, Pt. 1 with French rapper Akhenaton, claims that “Wu-Tang [l]inspired since [s]his beginnings, because RZA is one of the most creative artists in the art of sampling”. “No one has ever been able to reproduce the dirty sound of Wu between 1993 and 1995, when Wu-Tang Forever is easier to understand and dissect for modern artists, in terms of production. Cash Still Rules is a crucial song in my artistic development”, adds the one who recently made beats for Americans Boldy James and Ransom.

In short, Wu-Tang Forever inspire again and again.

Learn more

  • Millions of albums sold
    The sales of Wu-Tang Forever sold over 2 million copies in the United States and 200,000 in Canada.

    RIAA and Music Canada

    An expensive clip
    The music video of Triumphdirected by Brett Ratner (the trilogy rush hour) reportedly cost US$800,000 to produce.

    MTV News

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