In 1998, Ol Dirty Bastard gatecrashed the stage of the Grammys just as Shawn Colvin was about to receive her award for Song of the Year. Outraged by the Wu-Tang Clan missing out on Rap Album of the Year honours to Puff Daddy, ODB felt obliged to make a characteristically unhinged declaration.
“I figured that Wu-Tang was gonna win,” he told the startled crowd. “I don’t know how you all see it, but when it comes to the children, Wu-Tang is for the children. We teach the children. You know what I mean? Puffy is good, but Wu-Tang is the best, OK? I want you all to know that this is ODB, and I love you all. Peace!”
That outburst of ODB (aka Big Baby Jesus, aka Dirt McGirt) has since proved bizarrely prescient. That’s because the music of the hip-hop supergroup has just been adapted into a child-friendly album that you can download now.
Lullaby Renditions of Wu-Tang Clan is part of the Rockabye Baby! series. If you’re not familiar with Rockabye, essentially what they do is take the music you love and transform it into instrumental lullabies that’ll coax your kid to sleep while allowing you to reconnect with your pre-dad self (you remember – the one who got to use his Spotify account for more fulfilling reasons than endless Baby Shark requests).
Over the years, Rockabye Baby have released lullaby versions of AC/DC, Snoop Dogg, the Red Hot Chili Peppers and many more in a range that has rescued the sanity of thousands of parents as they battle through the soul-crushing grind of putting their kids to bed.
But to celebrate their 100th album, Rockabye Baby founder Lisa Roth (sister of a certain David Lee Roth) decided to do “something very special” by taking on the work of the Wu-Tang. “To me they’re perfect for the sentiment behind this brand,” she told The Father Hood. “This album has it all: the humour, the irony, the danger, the fun.”
The album features Da Mystery Of Chessboxin’, Protect Ya Neck, Bring Da Ruckus, C.R.E.A.M. and other anthems from the Staten Island nine-piece. But turning the Wu-Tang into lullabies proves to be something of a sonic challenge.
Their trailblazing sound, after all, centred on quick-fire, rapidly interchanging raps set against spare, moody production. But the impact also traded heavily on the oversized personalities of the collective’s members from Raekwon’s mafioso swagger to Method Man’s husky, blunt-addled flow. How do you replicate that sound with zero lyrics?
The answer, it turns out, is through the judicious use of loads of xylophones, chimes and woodblocks. Wu-Tang is for the children and here’s the conclusive proof.