Prior to his rise an MC, Supreme Cerebral was a talented college football player with dreams of an NFL contract. But after an injury put an end to his pigskin aspirations, he decided to pursue music. The New York-born, Cali-raised artist has adopted both Ghostface’s cadence and his fondness for abstract imagery, as well as the poetic license of Raekwon—which makes sense; when asked what Wu album impacted him most, he states, “It’s a toss-up between Supreme Clientele and Only Built 4 Cuban Linx.” His track with Ralphiie Reese and Eloh Kush titled “All” is the perfect showcase for that reverence. When Cerebral spits, “Venomous dialect / The Wallys is violet / Acquired the flyest / Suede Bali the side shit / Battle designers / Paid thousands of dollars / Rambling nonsense / Now they channel our concepts / Conscious context,” he both shows respect to the Wu in his freewheeling imagery, and knowledge of their tropes with his reference to Wallabees. He even closes the verse by claiming the trio are the “Wu revision.”
Eloh Kush grew up in a hip-hop family. His older brothers John Robinson (aka Lil Sci) and ID4Windz made up two-thirds of the late 1990s rap trio Scienz of Life. The group’s involvement in Dr. Malachi “Dwight” York’s Nuwaubian Nation—a religious group incorporating Islam, Kemetism, Judaism, and Native American belief systems—clearly rubbed off on the MC; his songs reference teachings from the ancient Egyptians and Hebrews, amont other esoteric topics. As he puts it, “I was taught to seek knowledge from the cradle to the grave, so I travel through many schools of thought.”
The New Brunswick, New Jersey MC—or “versifier,” as he likes to call himself—started out rapping in a crew known as Angelz Inc. more than a decade ago, but he’s mainly focused on solo material for the last few years. Kush is on the verge of dropping a collaborative project with the Supreme Cerebral titled Clarks Connoisseurs, referring to the footwear Raekwon and Ghostface popularized on Only Built 4 Cuban Linx. It’s an homage to Wu-Tang’s dynamic duo by some of the sharpest swordsmen in the game today.
A couple of classic albums that just recently celebrated their 25 year anniversaries gets the blends treatment by DJ Filthy Rich…
November 9, 1993 will forever go down as one of the greatest days in hip hop history. Two of the genre’s most revered albums dropped on the same day: Wu-Tang Clan’s debut ‘Enter The 36 Chambers’, & A Tribe Called Quest’s third LP ‘Midnight Marauders’. I remember riding my bike to the mall, with money I had earned from my after-school job. I had anticipated this day for awhile, and saved up in advance to pick up both CD’s (at that age $40 felt like $500). For the months that followed, both albums fought for playing time on my single-disc CD player. One moment, I was transported to the boulevard of Linden, and the next to the rugged streets of Shaolin. Those albums stayed in my rotation forever (literally).
To mark the 25th anniversary of both LP’s, I thought it might be a good idea to try and take the vocals from Wu-Tang’s album, and blend them over the instrumentals from Midnight Marauders. I wasn’t sure it would work at first, but as is usually the case, inspiration hit at midnight when I was trying to sleep (the coincidence of the timing is not lost on me). A couple of hours later, I managed to pair up every single Wu-Tang vocal with a suitable beat from MM.
The intent was not to improve on the originals in any way….that would be impossible, as I consider them both to be perfect bodies of work. Rather, it was about orchestrating a fun concept, and putting a totally new spin on these well-worn classics. The contrast of Wu’s gritty street raps over Tribe’s jazzy production works in a pleasantly unexpected way. Now, I present to you my personal tribute to these legendary groups: A Clan Called Wu “Enter The Marauders”. -DJ Filthy Rich