Protect Ya Neck

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"Protect Ya Neck"
Single by Wu-Tang Clan
from the album Enter the Wu-Tang (36 Chambers)
A-side "Protect Ya Neck"
B-side "Method Man"
Released May 3, 1993
Format 12" single
Recorded 1992
Genre Hip hop, hardcore hip hop
Length 5:03
Label Loud Records
Writer(s) Robert Diggs
Jason Hunter
Lamont Hawkins
Clifford Smith
Corey Woods
Dennis Coles
Russell Jones
Gary Grice
Producer(s) Prince Rakeem
Wu-Tang Clan singles chronology
"Protect Ya Neck"
Enter the Wu-Tang (36 Chambers) track listing
"Method Man"
"Protect Ya Neck"

"Protect Ya Neck" is the debut single by hip hop group Wu-Tang Clan. The song is from the group's critically acclaimed first album Enter the Wu-Tang (36 Chambers). It is produced by RZA (then known as Prince Rakeem) and features eight of the original nine Wu-Tang members.

Song information[edit]

"Protect Ya Neck" was the first Wu-Tang song bringing together the original four members and four others (excluding Masta Killa, who had not yet joined). It was originally released in 1992 as part of the "Protect Ya Neck"/"After The Laughter Comes Tears" single by Wu-Tang Records. When it created an underground buzz, Wu-Tang signed with Loud Records and released it with "Method Man" on its b-side. That single sold 10,000 copies.[1]

On the original recording version of the song, Inspectah Deck's verse came second, but RZA changed it to first in the order. The original beat was totally different, and all Wu-members were in a different order. RZA just said "I just need y'all voices" and Wu entered the studio the next morning and RZA arranged everything, including the karate chops. The person who rings into a radio station at the start of the song was from an interview Wu did. Wu did the interview on a radio station ("Virginia or Maryland, WPGC, I think" Inspectah Deck says), different segments of the same interview are placed at different parts of the album.[2]

"Protect Ya Neck" is featured on greatest hits compilations such as The RZA Hits, Disciples of the 36 Chambers: Chapter 1 and Legend of the Wu-Tang Clan. On Wu-Tang Clan's third album, The W, an alternate version named "Protect Ya Neck (The Jump Off)" can be found. It features new Wu-Tang member Cappadonna and Masta Killa in place of the then-incarcerated Ol' Dirty Bastard.

"Protect Ya Neck" has been featured in video games True Crime: New York City and Skate 2. The chime that opens the song is from the kung fu movie Executioners from Shaolin.

The "Protect Ya Neck/Method Man" single made The Source's 100 Best Singles list. In September 2010 Pitchfork Media included the song at number 5 on their Top 200 Tracks of the 90s.[3]

Song order[edit]

Music video[edit]

The music video shows each Wu-Tang rapper in black and white rapping individually with their entourage in the background. As each rapper starts his verse, their rap aliases are shown on the screen. Many of these aliases are spelled incorrectly or never used on official releases such as Ghostface Killah being shown as "Ghost Face Killer" and GZA as the Jizah. In the video, occasionally clips of Wu-Tang as a full group in color are flashed for a couple seconds. It features a cameo appearance from a then-unknown Cappadonna during Raekwon & Method Man's respective scenes.

Single track listing[edit]


  1. "Protect Ya Neck" (radio edit) – 4:30
  2. "Protect Ya Neck" (Shao Lin version) – 4:36
  3. "Protect Ya Neck" (bloody version) – 5:03


  1. "Method Man" (radio edit) – 4:15
  2. "Method Man" (smoked out version) – 5:02
  3. "Method Man" (home grown version) – 5:08
  4. "Method Man" (bonus beats) – 0:57


  1. ^ Enter The Wu-Tang (36 Chambers (Explicit Version) - Wu-Tang Clan - CD -
  2. ^ Check The Technique: Linear Notes for Hip-Hop Junkies by Brian Coleman. Page 463.
  3. ^ Pitchfork Top 200 Tracks of the 90s