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Baker's Dozen

Licence To Sing: Afrodeutsche's Favourite Albums
Manu Ekanayake , June 27th, 2023 10:07

From a childhood spent dancing to Top Of The Pops, a complicated relationship with Michael Jackson and the tragic loss of her tape collection, Afrodeutsche takes Manu Ekanayake through the thirteen albums that changed her life


Wu-Tang Clan – Enter The Wu Tang Clan (36 Chambers)

Well, well, well, Wu-Tang. I had a recording of a recording of this album on cassette. I went to my mate Bradley Payne's house. I kinda had the hots for him too, which was awkward. But he was a friend. And his older brother was playing this in the garden and I was like “What is this? What are you listening to? How can I have this?" And he recorded his recorded version for me on cassette. This was straight in the Walkman, the big fluffy headphones with the sponge and everything. It was like a new world had been created and no one else knew about it. I was listening to samples from films, but I didn't know that at the time. Just the sharpness of it, the musicality of it felt orchestral, do you know what I mean? It was this wide filmic landscape of an album. Now don't get me wrong, I didn't understand any of the stuff they were rapping about. I really didn't. I'm not American, it wasn't my culture. But going back to how music, melody and the shape of sound is more important to me than lyrics in terms of what I connect with first of all? Well that album was like sonic heaven. I’d be just walking home from school, listening and going “Whaaaaaat is happening?” And nobody else knows that this very young teen is listening to a lot of profanity, these pretty aggressive tales of Staten Island street life, but there I was.