Can A Professional Music Critic Name All Nine Members of the Wu-Tang Clan?
If there's one common complaint we hear as rock critics, it's "I could totally do your job." First off--shhh, don't tell anyone! Secondly, "jobs" traditionally pay better than this, so we'll gladly go Parent Trap with you in a heartbeat.
Either way, we decided to get some measurable data on the classic backseat critic theory that we're all a bunch of no-nothings and finks. We gave a pool of 14 rock critics one question: How many members of the Wu-Tang Clan can you name? They were given the following rules:
1. I will not identify you AT ALL, so it is OK to be wrong.So how did our panel of experts do? Are you smarter than a rock critic?
[Though we will say that our esteemed panel edits magazines, websites and alt-weeklies. They have written for pretty much every outlet you've ever heard of--from Rolling Stone, Spin and Billboard on down to random tweets. Da Capo has seen a few of these names. I'm pretty sure all of them got a Pazz & Jop ballot]
2. You can't use Google.
[To a rock critic his is like telling Spiderman he has to save someone without using his webs]
Out of 14 polled:
Number of critics who got all nine members: 3
Number of critics who got eight: 4
Number of critics who got seven: 4
Number of critics who got six: 2
Most forgotten Wu member: Masta Killa
The six Wu-Tang members that literally everyone knew right away: Method Man, RZA, GZA, Ol' Dirty Bastard, Raekwon, Ghostface Killah
Number of critics who immediately went for completely unsolicited Cappadonna bonus points: 7
Number of critics who said "Inspector Something": 1
Number of critics who had to imagine the "Triumph" video to help them: 1 ("There's another important one I am spacing on flying down the building.")
If you couldn't do it, don't despair. I can only name three members of the Pixies, two members of the Smiths, one member of Yo La Tengo and pretty much nobody in Stereolab.