Sunday, March 30, 2008

"Wu-Tang Clan is for the children!"

WU-TANG CLAN must have been the perfect hip hop crew.
Among their attributes:
1) There were so many of them, and yet they were all distinctive.
2) RZA's production was rather spartan (mostly sampled piano and drum beats), focusing attention on the rhymes.
3) Kung Fu cinema dialog. Need I say more?
I listened to "Enter the Wu-Tang (36 Chambers)" early this morning (I didn't sleep well, so I dialed up some hip hop on my iPod). The Clan seem like "The Beatles of hip hop" in some respects. Supremely talented and innovative, their talent was confirmed by the members' various solo projects.
The Clan are just that -- a big group that includes some relatives.
Robert Diggs (RZA), Gary Grice (GZA/The Genius) and the late Russell Jones (Ol' Dirty Bastard) were cousins. Joining this trio were Dennis Coles (Ghostface Killah -- named after a kung fu cinema villain), Clifford Smith (Method Man), Jason Hunter (Inspectah Deck), Corey Woods (Raekwon the Chef), Lamont Jody Hawkins (U-God) and Elgin Turner (Masta Killah).
"I'm confused now," Shawn Colvin said in 1998, when ODB memorably stormed the stage to address the crowd at the Grammy Awards. (You can see it by clicking here).
Following the Wu-Tang Clan can be confusing at times -- there are so many of them and it's sometimes tricky negotiating their surreal, comic-book kung fu references. Stick with them, though, and you'll be rewarded with some classic moments of music.


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