Speaking of raw energy, this track blows it all away. Together with Company Flow's The Fire in Which You Burn, this one set a completely new tone and HipHop has definitely never been the same after its release.
The Wu-Tang guys make it very clear here that battle rap is a serious and very, very hard business and that it takes anger and the courage of deep desperation to keep going out and defending the crown again and again.
And the beat underpins this attitude tremendously. Sluggish and brute. But without any pathos in the choice of samples (once again RZA with a classic funk sample, but processed in a completely new way).
This track was groundbreaking and has influenced simply everybody. And even though the drums are produced in a way that can definitely be called old-school, the production still sounds fresh even today. And I guess that's due to its minimalism.
I love the raw energy. Raw and straightforward, but authentic and with endless talent and conviction.