The Wu-Tang Flag May Be The Only One Uniting The Hip-Hop Nation (Video)
In two weeks, Wu-Tang writes the next page in their saga by way of a new project. The Saga Continues is just that, with DJ Mathematics trusted by RZA behind the boards, and working with many of the Clan members to make an LP to excite the masses. If “People Say” and “Lesson Learn’d” (both of which feature Redman) are any indication, the October 13 album will do just that.
In this week’s TBD episode, host Justin “The Company Man” Hunte looks at the Wu-Tang resurgence. Founding W.T.C. member Masta Killa released Loyalty Is Royalty yesterday (September 29). U-God announced a memoir in the works. The “secret” Wu album featuring all nine members has been on eBay, and apparently changing hands. Ol’ Dirty Bastard vocals are on this forthcoming LP. Already this year, Raekwon and CZARFACE (Inspectah Deck’s group) dropped albums. There is a lot going on with the W in the last 10 years that, at a group level, seems quite different than what happened with them in the previous decade.
“Ayo the Wu is back,” to quote a short 36 Chambers bar. As Mathematics describes learning to make beats a la lunch-room table due to limited resources, it appears in the Wu-Tang fabric to make the most out of the least. With a new label and most Clansmen independent, 2017 may be the closest thing in 25 years to the early beginnings. As Math’ tells AFH about his experience honing this project, Wu-Tang is clearly one group who can do more with less. The “witty unpredictable” styles are very much in tow. Auctions, intentions regarding secret albums, lawsuits, and more don’t seem to matter when the music is great. While Heads don’t know everything about Saga, it’s living up to its name and showing the world that the most respected squad of its size is still nothin’ to doubt.
The video does not stop with Wu’s saga, however. In his interview, Math discusses the shifting priorities of the United States in the 1980s away from fine arts education in public schools. This leads Hunte to explore the impact that de-prioritization has had on music, ironically setting the stage for the rise of Hip-Hop. Hunte also looks at states’ choices to fund sports over pretty much anything else, and the accompanying tribalism fostered by that mentality. In the end, it all has left us more divided, often for purely arbitrary reasons, though, as Noam Chomsky points out in the video, that division is often quite intentional.
Many in the Hip-Hop Nation might be united under the Wu-Tang Clan flag, but does that set the stage for civil war between those supporters and those of Southern Hip-Hop, West Coast Hip-Hop and those who don’t even like Hip-Hop? TBD.