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European commercial CD release
|Single by Wu-Tang Clan featuring Cappadonna|
|from the album Wu-Tang Forever|
|Released||February 11, 1997|
|Recorded||1996 at Ray Parker Jr.’s Ameraycan Studio|
|Wu-Tang Clan singles chronology|
"Triumph" is a single released by Wu-Tang Clan, from their 1997 album Wu-Tang Forever. The song does not have a chorus. Instead, it solely consists of an intro and interlude by Ol' Dirty Bastard and verses from the other nine Wu-Tang members.
When RZA spoke in a 2005 interview about having the whole clan work together, he mentioned:
|“||...I did "Triumph" ....radio and video stations was telling me it was too long... ..I had to edit it.. ..I told them... ...take it as is... ..or they wont get nothing, feel me? ...Next thing you know, we did the impossible: We got a 6 minute song on the radio... 6 minutes man, that's serious, its unheard of.. ...a 6 minute video...||”|
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The video was directed by Brett Ratner. In a 1997 interview with MTV news reporter Serena Altschul, Ratner revealed that Raekwon came up with the video's treatment. The video cost about $800,000 to make. The video begins with a fictional breaking news bulletin alerting of a massive swarm of killer bees converging on Manhattan via New York City's 4 other boroughs, Brooklyn, Queens, The Bronx and Staten Island.
The news anchorwoman then goes on to reveal that none other than Ol' Dirty Bastard is atop a Manhattan skyscraper surrounded by police helicopters and police with guns drawn, ready to jump and with his finger on a detonator to a bomb. The anchorwoman then mentions that there just may be a connection between these two seemingly coincidental events. Despite being mentioned, Ol' Dirty Bastard doesn't actually appear in the video. According to Brett Ratner, ODB was uninterested in appearing in the video since he had no verse on the song, so he left the set before filming and a stand-in was used in his place.
Inspectah Deck is climbing on the side of the building directly beneath ODB. When ODB jumps off to evade police, Deck runs down the side of the building, reaches the ground, and catches him. As people are scrambling in the street below, Method Man and others ride on motorcycles through the chaos trying to outrun the fireball behind them. When he finishes rapping it explodes and Meth is flung far away. The killer bees are seen passing by them, and go down the sewers and arrive at Cappadonna's lair. U-God is seen in a burning forest, hanging on a tree with a few doppelgängers. The killer bees then travel across the water to an Alcatraz-esque prison, where they bust a hole in the wall in the shape of the Wu-Tang symbol. RZA is wearing artificial wings, and appears to be walking to the hole in order to jump out and glide to safety. Instead he transforms into a swarm of bees and kills the guard. The scene switches to space, and GZA is watching over the Earth as an infinitely wise, God-like figure.
During GZA's verse, a brief scene from the 1915 film The Birth of a Nation is shown. He makes a gesture with his hands, and sends the killer bees back down into Manhattan. They conglomerate to form Masta Killa, who is standing on a tower in the shape of the Wu-Tang Clan symbol. People gather around him as if he was preaching. He forms a spark in his hands that enters all of their eyes, symbolizing the exposure to "true hip-hop". He then fades away in the form of killer bees, who travel to a club, where Ghostface Killah and Raekwon are rapping and Quincy Jones is in the audience. After they finish, the crowd transforms into a mass of bees that travel into the sky, forming the W in front of the moon.
- Intro: Ol' Dirty Bastard
- First verse: Inspectah Deck
- Second verse: Method Man
- Third verse: Cappadonna
- Interlude: Ol' Dirty Bastard
- Fourth verse: U-God
- Fifth verse: RZA
- Sixth verse: GZA
- Seventh verse: Masta Killa
- Eighth verse: Ghostface Killah
- Ninth verse: Raekwon
- A1 "Triumph" (Radio Edit) (5:38)
- A2 "Triumph" (Instrumental) (5:38)
- B1 "Triumph" (LP Version) (5:38)
- A1 "Triumph" (5:38)
- A2 "Triumph" (Clean Version) (5:37)
- B1 "Projects International Remix" (4:00)
- B2 "Triumph" (Instrumental) (5:38)
Two compact disc maxi-singles were also released; each with a differently coloured cover:
CD 1 (of 2) • Silver
- 1 "Triumph" (5:38)
- 2 "Wu-Gambino's (Hidden Chamber Remix)" (5:07)
- 3 "Triumph (Instrumental)" (5:38)
- 4 "Triumph (Clean Version)" (5:38)
CD 2 (of 2) • Gold
- 1 "Triumph" (5:38)
- 2 "Projects International (Remix)" (4:00)
- 3 "Diesel" (4:30)
- "Method Man Breaks Down His 25 Most Essential SongsWu-Tang Clan "Triumph" (1997)". Complex. Retrieved 21 May 2017.
- "wuforever.com". wuforever.com. Retrieved 28 August 2017.
- Altschul, Serena. "WU-TANG DISCUSS "TRIUMPH" VIDEO". mtv.com. Viacom International, Inc. Retrieved 2017-12-28.
- Purdom, Clayton. "Wu-Tang declared "Triumph" with one of the strangest and best videos ever made". avclub.com. Onion, Inc. Retrieved 2017-12-28.
- on YouTube