Admit it. When the first few beats of Tical (Def Jam, 1994) hit your eardrums, you knew you were listening to something special…no, outstanding. Wu-Tang Clan’s untouchable debut, Enter The Wu-Tang (36 Chambers) (Loud/RCA, 1993), set the bar high for anything that might originate from the Wu camp...
Jay-Z’s debut album in 1996, “Reasonable Doubt” (Roc-A-Fella/Priority, 1996), put just that in artists attempting to compete with the soon-to-be rap mogul in the hip-hop game. Kansas City Chiefs running back Larry Johnson did the exact same thing in 2003 when he entered the NFL driving reasonable doubt into opposing teams by running over and around defenders on the gridiron.
One of the strengths of the Wu-Tang Clan is the individual talents of each member of the collective, of which Ghostface Killah (aka Tony Starks and Ironman) has been deemed by many as the most consistent, with such hits as Ironman (Razor Sharp/Epic, 1996), Supreme Clientele (Razor Sharp/Epic, 2000), The Pretty Toney Album (Def Jam, 2004), and more recently, Fishscale (Def Jam, 2006) and More Fish (Def Jam, 2006).
Amerie sparked a worldwide love affair when she asked, “Why Don’t We Fall in Love?” in 2002, and she has kept it flowing through the years. This spring, she released her third album, Because I Love It (Sony Urban/Columbia, 2007), which promised to bring more banging grooves like her notorious body-moving “1 Thing,” from her sophomore album Touch (Sony Urban/Columbia, 2005).
In November of 1993, while mainstream hip-hop was in its infancy and the genre was still defining itself, a young group from Cleveland, Ohio dreamed of hitting the big time. Like countless aspiring rappers, these ambitious Clevelanders idolized the hard-edged beats of Eazy-E and N.W.A. But because they were separated by almost 2,400 miles of country, the suburbs of Compton (arguably the cultural epicenter of gangsta rap) seemed like the other side of the world, a promised land of booze, women and weed, where the best and the brightest gathered to create the musical climate from scratch.
For the past year, 23-year-old Ricardo Garcia, a member of Royal Riches Car Club in Orange County, California, has been on a mission. The original owner of this 2004 Nissan Armada when it was stock was Ricardo’s uncle, Samuel Garcia. Then tragedy struck.
Okay, I admit it. I closed my eyes. I closed them so tight I thought tears would stream from each side of my eyelids and drip down into my lap. I’m scared. I’ve been foot-to-the-floor for under a minute when from nowhere an old Fiat pulls out of a junction in front of me. My closing speed is ferocious.