On this day, June 3, in hip-hop history...

Loud Records

1997:  On June 3, 1997, four years after dropping their debut album, Enter the Wu-Tang (36 Chambers), Wu-Tang Clan dropped Wu-Tang Forever, a 27-track, double-disc effort that remains the NY-based hip-hop collective's best-selling body of work to date.Highlights of Wu-Tang Forever include the lead single "Triumph," C.R.E.A.M. follow-up "Cash Still Rules/Scary Hours," and "It's Yourz" (later sampled on Drake's Nothing Was The Same). For two hours straight, Method Man, Raekwon, Ghostface, ODB, GZA, U-God, and the rest of the clan spit haunting street tales over gritty production from RZA.

Wu-Tang Forever was (and still is) incredibly successful. The album debut at number one on the Billboard Top 200, went 4x platinum, earned a Grammy nomination for Best Rap Album in 1998, and has sold over 2 million copies in the United States alone. Coming after a string of solid solo albums from various members of the collective, Wu-Tang Forever cemented Wu-Tang Clan's place amongst the greatest groups in hip-hop. The Wu would go on to release four more studio albums following Forever, and just to prove how protective the group is over their musical work, there is currently an 88-year noncommercial clause on their latest album, Once Upon A Time in Shaolin.—Eli Schwadron

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