Hip-hop rages with the Wu-Tang ClanBy 1993, hip-hop had come a long way from the minimalist needle-dropping of Grand Wizard Theodore and the raucous call-and-response techniques originated by Cowboy. The culture had truly grown up, with the likes of original Adidas-rockers Run DMC and the socially-conscious Public Enemy moving crowds from New York to Paris.
It was nice and bubbly indeed, until a revolution exploded out of Staten Island, New York. With their platinum debut “Enter the Wu-Tang: 36 Chambers,” a complex squad of microphone soldiers catalyzed the way the game was played. The RZA (founder), GZA Genius, Raekwon, Inspectah Deck, ODB, Method Man, Ghostface Killah, U-God and Masta Killa rampaged through and dominated hip-hop culture for nearly a decade.
Releasing collaborative albums of massive proportions like “Wu-Tang Forever,” the Wu-Tang Clan poured a blazing hot, razor-edged, verbal kung-fu mentality into the mainstream.
These avid chess-duelers, readers of Sun-Tzu and students of Shaolin Kung-Fu dropped single after single on Loud Entertainment, becoming the hip-hop culture’s veritable flagship unit. “Protect Ya Neck,” “METHOD Man” and “C.R.E.A.M.” are all classics that have burned the W emblem into listeners who tuned in to the insane frequencies of the Wu back in the early ’90s.
While the Clan has recently fallen prey to breakup rumors, solo members of the Wu have remained as on point with their sound as ever. Method Man, the most prolific of the Wu-Tang soldiers, has dropped lyrical diamonds with everyone from Mary J. Blige to Redman. Inspectah Deck and the GZA have both unleashed remarkably consistent solo albums that bring back memories of the Clan’s old sound, something that the Wu’s last compilation albums have miserably failed to do.
Meanwhile, the mastermind, the RZA, has been busy dropping his own album, “The World According to RZA.” Chock-full of artists from all over the planet (especially Europe), the album is a compilation of Wu-like artists that delivers in most respects. To promote the album, RZA and associates Barracuda, Cilvaringz, Beretta 9, MC Trey, Origin and DJ Sueside are headlining tonight’s Wu-Tang concert in Seoul.
“The World According to RZA” concert will be held at the outdoor stage at Yongsan’s Korean War Memorial from 7:30 to 10:30 p.m., with special feature artists performing with the Clan as the night proceeds. Tickets range from 40,000 won ($34) to 100,000 won.
by Phil Chang
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