With the state of the world feeling highly volatile at the moment, it's difficult to focus on music during such times. Yet hip-hop can be an escape, a voice of the marginalized, an entry point for those willing to experience and understand new cultures. As such, it's among the most important tools we have, and taking solace in a classic record feels like an important reminder of the great art made by talented Black minds.
As it happens, today marks the twenty-third birthday of the Wu-Tang Clan's sophomore album Wu-Tang Forever, and while there are plenty of tracks to choose from, there's something undeniable about the simple pairing of Raekwon, Method Man, and Ghostface Killah spitting bars over a RZA instrumental. "Cash Still Rules/Scary Hours" opens with an excellent verse from Rae, who proves his worth as one of hip-hop's brilliant storytellers, deftly weaving vivid images together with a masterful touch.
While Meth and Ghost put in work, Rae stands tall as the MVP, spitting lines like "Scary hours no money out, smash the Guinness Stout / Play the outfield, Lucille, switched cracks on shields / She's a rich fiend sacrifice her fam shift them n***as." It's not easy to follow "C.R.E.A.M" with a sequel of sorts, but given the elite caliber of participating emcees involved in "Cash Still Rules," it remains an underrated part of the Wu's legendary catalog.
Scary hours no money out, smash the Guinness Stout
Play the outfield, Lucille, switched cracks on shields
She's a rich fiend sacrifice her fam shift them n***s to Queens
Guess jeans she charged thirty-five beans
Hit the cell phone, regulate with Well-Known Tone
A Wally kingpin who also slam the strike edition