On this day in Hip Hop history Wu Tang Clan releases their third studio LP The W. As the follow up to the immensely successful Wu Tang Forever, this album fell a little short of its predecessors success but continued in growing the Wu’s legacy as a whole.

At the time of the album’s production and release, Wu Tang member ODB was facing a legal-saga with seemingly no end. Although that may have stopped Dirt Dog’s ability to grace the album more than once, it did not however derail the Clan’s creative process and ability to execute. Much to the tone of their past work, The W once again proved that Wu-Tang is lyrically the strongest rap collective of all time. As far as production however, RZA toned down the intricate instrumentation used on Forever and went back to the 36 Chambers style of soulful samples coupled with melancholic  drum patterns. This back to basic model allowed the Clan to stand out lyrically as they once did.

Commercially, the album was an international success. It peaked at #5 on the Billboard 200 as well as #1 in the UK and Ireland. The album won numerous Album of the Year awards from esteemed publications and is herald as one of Hip Hop’s greater albums.