Even the Library of Congress knows “Wu-Tang Clan Ain’t Nuthing ta F’ Wit.”
The legendary rap supergroup is among the eclectic mix of music, news and podcasts that have been inducted into the National Recording Registry this year. According to The Hollywood Reporter, Alicia Keys’ Grammy-winning debut Songs in A Minor, Wu-Tang Clan’s Enter the Wu-Tang (36 Chambers) and A Tribe Called Quest’s The Low End Theory are a few of the albums on this year’s list.
Look, I could do a whole Ted Talk on how amazing Songs in A Minor is. From the moment she drops “Piano & I,” showing off her classical piano skills to when we get that iconic acoustic opening of “Fallin’” to the underrated “Why Do I Feel So Sad,” which you should never listen to post-breakup, it was clear we were getting a ridiculous new talent that would be around for a while.
Featuring the original Wu-Tang lineup of RZA, GZA, Ghostface, Raekwon, U-God, Masta Killa, Inspectah Deck, Method Man and the late Ol’ Dirty Bastard, Enter the Wu-Tang (36 Chambers) is the influential first studio album from the legends and has been on countless best-of lists over the years, so this honor feels a little late.
The Four Tops classic “Reach Out, I’ll Be There,” joins songs from Nat King Cole, Duke Ellington and The Shirelles. Duke Fakir, the last surviving member of The Four Tops, explained how the hit came together.
“When we recorded ‘I’ll Be There,’ I have to admit (for the first time), we thought of the song as an experiment for the album,” Fakir said in a statement. “We never believed it would even make it on the album, let alone be a hit for all time in The Library of Congress. I wish Levi, Obie (Benson), and Lawrence (Payton) were here with me today so we could celebrate this incredible accolade together. And we owe an incredible debt of gratitude to Holland Dozier Holland, the tailors of great music, who wrote it.”
The 25 recordings were preserved “based on their cultural, historical or aesthetic importance in the nation’s recorded sound heritage.”
National Recording Registry, 2022 Selections (chronological order):
- “Harlem Strut” — James P. Johnson (1921)
- Franklin D. Roosevelt: Complete Presidential Speeches (1933-1945)
- “Walking the Floor Over You” — Ernest Tubb (1941) (single)
- “On a Note of Triumph” (May 8, 1945)
- “Jesus Gave Me Water” — The Soul Stirrers (1950) (single)
- Ellington at Newport — Duke Ellington (1956) (album)
- We Insist! Max Roach’s Freedom Now Suite — Max Roach (1960) (album)
- “The Christmas Song” — Nat King Cole (1961) (single)
- Tonight’s the Night — The Shirelles (1961) (album)
- “Moon River” — Andy Williams (1962) (single)
- In C — Terry Riley (1968) (album)
- “It’s a Small World” — The Disneyland Boys Choir (1964) (single)
- “Reach Out, I’ll Be There” — The Four Tops (1966) (single)
- Hank Aaron’s 715th Career Home Run (April 8, 1974)
- “Bohemian Rhapsody” — Queen (1975) (single)
- “Don’t Stop Believin’” — Journey (1981) (single)
- Canciones de Mi Padre — Linda Ronstadt (1987) (album)
- Nick of Time — Bonnie Raitt (1989) (album)
- The Low End Theory — A Tribe Called Quest (1991) (album)
- Enter the Wu-Tang (36 Chambers) — Wu-Tang Clan (1993) (album)
- Buena Vista Social Club (1997) (album)
- “Livin’ La Vida Loca” — Ricky Martin (1999) (single)
- Songs in A Minor — Alicia Keys (2001) (album)
- WNYC broadcasts for the day of 9/11 (Sept. 11, 2001)
- “WTF with Marc Maron” (Guest: Robin Williams) (April 26, 2010)