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Old 03-13-2009, 05:32 PM   #1
Art Vandelay
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Default Bruce Springsteen vs. Wu-Tang

From Springsteen to the Wu-Tang Clan

Taking It From the Streets

By LORENZO WOLFF
It sounds like the beginning of a joke. "What do Bruce Springsteen and The Wu-Tang Clan have in common?" At first glance, ripped blue jeans don't look much like Du-Rags and it's certainly hard to confuse black and white, but when I hear The River next to 36 Chambers I can't help but think that they have more similarities than differences.

Lets get real historical for a second. Springsteen has always been very straight-forward about who influenced his music. 50's Rock and Roll, 60's Soul and Phil Spector Girl Groups all helped inform his sound, and The River is a thrilling tribute to these styles. Listen to "Sherry Darling" and you'll hear a very deliberate nod to Gary U.S. Bonds and the style of music he created. 36 Chambers doesn't hide it's influences either. Listen to the samples that RZA used and you can hear what they were listening to, Syl Johnson on "Shame on a Nigga", Gladys Night on "Can It All Be So Simple", and the Charmels on "C.R.E.A.M.". Girl Groups and 60's Soul. These aren't just coincidences, Springsteen and RZA admire many of the same artists, and model their respective sounds after them.

They also share the same audience. They both wrote music for the poor and disenfranchised in their neighborhood. Springsteen's songs were originally for the working class kids in southern New Jersey, a historically downtrodden part of America, and Wu Tang's songs were a shout-out to the poor ghetto kids in Staten Island, a historically downtrodden part of New York City. The uniforms are different and the era is different, but if you look closely the only thing that separates the two audiences is the color of their skin.

Most importantly Springsteen and Wu-Tang are talking about the same thing. Both The River and 36 Chambers are records about the culture that surrounds the lower classes. Songs like the title track of The River or Wu Tang's "Can It Be All So Simple" capture the sadness in the world that these artists come from. They're both frightening records, because they truthfully convey the desperation that comes with these lifestyles, but they're also joyous. Braggadocio is present in both albums, listen to Springsteen's "Out In The Street" next to "Ain't Nothin' Ta Fuck Wit". They're songs about being strong and proud from the perspective of a person from the streets.

So if it's a joke, it's got to have a punchline right? You have to know why the chicken crossed the road, or why the Rabbi and the Priest are in a bar together. I guess the payoff for this one, is: "Everything".
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Old 03-13-2009, 05:49 PM   #2
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wtf Man every single rapper in the 90´s talked about his hood and how he grew up. and also, all those samples are being used by a LOT of other artists
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Old 03-15-2009, 03:37 AM   #3
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Thats good write up though,the guy took his time out to articulate his opinion,and makes a fair point
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Old 03-15-2009, 03:51 AM   #4
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nonsense.
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Old 03-15-2009, 07:06 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by food for thought View Post
nonsense.
Au contraire.

Two best American artists I know, RZA and Bruce.
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Old 03-15-2009, 08:56 AM   #6
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ive been saying this for years now
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Old 03-15-2009, 01:43 PM   #7
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why does everyone from jersey blow bruce springsteen?
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Old 03-15-2009, 03:45 PM   #8
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^^ Really, that's indeed an enygma.

Otherwise, article is... whatever.
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Old 03-15-2009, 03:48 PM   #9
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makes valid points. good article. wished there was more intellectual level analysis of wu tang to read.
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Old 03-15-2009, 04:44 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SMH View Post
wtf Man every single rapper in the 90´s talked about his hood and how he grew up. and also, all those samples are being used by a LOT of other artists
true

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rawticus View Post
Thats good write up though,the guy took his time out to articulate his opinion,and makes a fair point
also true
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