Wu-Tang Killa Bees – The Swarm: #348 of best 1,000 albums ever!

So why is Wu-Tang Killa Bees’ The Swarm on this best 1,000 albums ever thing?

During the lengthy research process for this here best 1,000 albums ever project, The Swarm was among a handful of albums that surprised me by how much it grabbed my attention whenever I gave it a revisit. Over time it would “demand,” so to speak, to move higher and higher up the best ever rankings.

Now, let’s take a step back: who exactly are the Wu-Tang Killa Bees?

Wikipedia describes them as “associated acts and affiliates” of the Wu-Tang Clan… “known as the Killa Beez, and the Wu Fam. At times, they are directly funded, supported, or produced by Clan members, are formed as extension groups originating from Clan members, or close to the Clan.”

So in addition to many appearances by Wu-Tang alumnus both rapping on and producing tracks throughout the album, there are all kinds of solo and collective credits sprinkled throughout from the likes of Killarmy, Black Nights of the North Star, Ruthless Bastards, Sunz of Man, Timbo King, A.I.G., Wu-Syndicate, The Beggaz, and others.

The important thing, really, is that in most respects The Swarm not only sounds like a Wu-Tang Clan record, but a quite outstanding one.

“S.O.S.” featuring Streetlife and Inspectah Deck and produced by the latter, would easily rank among the Deck’s very best solo work: it’s slinky, slightly sinister, and staccato, with the rapping duo dishing out outstanding bars.

Street chronicle, wise words by the abominable
High honorable, rap quotable phenomenal
Seniority kid, I speak for the minority
Ghetto poverty f— the housing authority

“97 Mentality,” featuring Wu-Tang Clan’s own Cappadonna and Ghostface Killah, features the grooviest of groovy soul samples. One of six tracks produced by RZA (credited as The RZA, which I dig), it also has that trademark cinematic feel to it as well.

“And Justice For All,” another production by The RZA, is quite a bit weirder (check out those like toy train whistles throughout or something?) but really good. The eclectic mode makes sense as RZA gets in front of the mic under his Bobby Digital persona, and joins Killarmy, in addition to the M-E-T-H-O-D Man.

“On the Strength,” credited to The Beggaz and produced by Bolo Gah, has a pretty and melancholy piano hook that drives this outstanding underground hip hop track.

Some stats & info about Wu-Tang Killa Bees – The Swarm

  • What kind of musical stylings does this album represent? Hip Hop, Rap, East Coast Rap, Underground Rap, Hardcore Rap
  • Rolling Stone’s greatest 500 albums ranking – not ranked!
  • All Music’s rating – 3 out of 5 stars
  • When was The Swarm released? 1998
  • My ranking, the one you’re reading right now – #348 out of 1,000

Wu-Tang Killa Bees’ The Swarm on Spotify

A lyrical snippet from Wu-Tang Killa Bees’ The Swarm that’s evocative of the album in some way, maybe

Yo, my words should never fail, shootin’ darts sharper than a carpenters nail.

What does the “best 1,000 albums ever” mean and why are you doing this?

Yeah, I know it’s audacious, a little crazy (okay, maybe a lot cray cray), bordering on criminal nerdery.

But here’s what it’s NOT: a definitive list of the Greatest Albums of All-Time. This is 100% my own personal super biased, incredibly subjective review of what my top 1,000 albums are, ranked in painstaking order over the course of doing research for nearly a year, Rob from High Fidelity style. Find out more about why I embarked on a best 1,000 albums ever project.