Chamber Music: About the Wu-Tang (in 36 Pieces)

Will Ashon


Ollie says: 

I snoozed on this one for far too long but in its new paperback edition, Will Ashon’s deep dive into Wu-Tang Clan’s 1993 hip-hop opus Enter the Wu-Tang totally floored me. Far from being another dreary Classic Album nostalgia trip, Chamber Music reconfigures the story of nine MCs from New York City as a prism through which to consider the social and cultural history of the city and even the nation as a whole. The story of Wu, Ashon argues, *is* the story of the US, and it’s electrifying.
While Ashon connects occasionally with the work of cultural theorists like Kodwo Eshun, Fred Moten, and Mark Fisher, he ultimately forges his own analytical space here, delivering deft, complex insights into race, class, drugs, and kung fu cinema with a lightness and immediacy that demands your complete surrender.
Nine thumbs up.

In stock

SKU: 9781783784042 Category: Tags: , ,


‘One of the most rewarding pieces of hip-hop criticism ever written’ Jeff Chang

‘Brilliant’ Giles Peterson

‘Will Ashon’s dazzling study gets to the heart of hip hop, pop culture and the history of contemporary America. Essential’ Matt Thorne

‘Each of these chambers contains wonders of history, destiny and mythology’ Margo Jefferson

Will Ashon tells, in 36 interlinked ‘chambers’, the story of Enter the Wu-Tang (36 Chambers) and how it changed the world. As unexpected and complex as the album itself, Chamber Music ranges from provocative essays to semi-comic skits, from deep scholarly analysis to satirical celebration, seeking to contextualise, reveal and honour this singularly composite work of art. From the FBI’s war on drugs to the porn theatres of 42nd street, from the history of jazz to the future of politics, Chamber Music is an explosive and revelatory new way of writing about music and culture.

Additional information

Weight0.314 kg
Dimensions19.8 × 12.9 × 2.3 cm