“Can It All Be So Simple / Intermission” is track 5 Wu-Tang Clan’s 1993 debut release Enter the Wu-Tang (36 Chambers), featuring Raekwon and Ghostface Killah.
This part of “Can It All Be So Simple” was sampled by Lauryn Hill in “Ex-Factor.”
“Ex Factor” has been sampled in songs by Drake, Cardi B, and Kehlani, among others, and has been a popular song to sample in music since its release.
While Dr. Dre’s West Coast G-funk sound had overtaken hip-hop in 1993, Wu-Tang Clan of Staten Island proved to be the most popular and revolutionary rap group of the mid 90’s.
RZA and Ol’ Dirty Bastard named the group after the 1983 kung-fu film “Shaolin & Wu Tang,” and kung fu influence & samples pervade throughout their music.
Wu-Tang felt so drawn to kung fu film and inspired by “Shaolin & Wu-Tang” that they re-christened their Staten Island home as “Shaolin.”
“Can It All Be So Simple” deals with a crime driven lifestyle, hardships of living in the 1980’s crack era of New York, and a desire to escape through a life of luxury.
Within the same year of addressing these topics on their album, part of Wu-Tang spoke about personally experiencing police brutality and casualities from violence.
On “Can It All Be So Simple,” Wu-Tang producer and leader RZA samples “The Way We Were / Try to Remember” by Gladys Knight & the Pips.
Gladys Knight is known as the “Empress of Soul,” and is a 7 time Grammy-award winner, and inductee in the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame.
In 1993, Oprah Winfrey famously interviewed Michael Jackson, aired to millions of viewers. This was known as one of the most iconic television moments ever.
On June 7th, 1993, a ceremony was held and the construction began for the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. Famous musicians including Billy Joel and Chuck Berry were in attendance.
In December of 1993, Pablo Escobar was killed in a shootout with troops. He was 44.
On November 18, 1993, Kurt Cobain and Nirvana performed what became their MTV Unplugged album. 5 months later, Cobain committed suicide.