By Brian Henry
The Wu-Tang Clan is celebrating the 25th anniversary of their debut album, Enter The Wu-Tang (36 Chambers), with a new documentary series on Showtime titled “Wu-Tang Clan: Of Mics And Men.”
The series looks back on their careers and features interviews with the nine living members of the group, plus some never-before-seen footage.
“It’s a culmination of our history, our struggles, our lives, from the bottom to the top,” RZA, one of the groups founding members, told Cheddar.
“Dealing with all the trials and tribulations of life. But at the end, finding our voice, finding out way out of poverty, finding the proper talent, music, economics and movement to make Wu-Tang Clan become a worldwide brand.”
RZA said a project of this nature had always been in the back of the group’s minds, but said they did have some reservations about putting their whole story out there.
“We’ve been very private with our lives, very internal, keeping it internal.”
But the timing lined up and the group hopes the series will kickoff a new era for the group.
“At 20 years we thought about doing it, but at 25 years we actually planned properly.” RZA explained. “We always talk about in the beginning Wu-Tang had a five-year plan. That five-year plan led to 25 years of success. We’re actually at the very beginning of a new five-year plan and this documentary is the beginning of it.”
The group continues to find inspiration from O.D.B. who’s son, Y.D.B. now performs with the Wu-Tang Clan.
“The legacy will always continue and Wu-Tang is forever," said Y.D.B.
Still, there is one accolade the group hasn’t received yet: an induction to The Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. The institution was late including hip-hop artists among its ranks, Grandmaster Flash & the Furious Five weren’t inducted until 2007. RZA said this does bother the group.
"Hip hop is like the modern rock and roll, right? It’s where you hear the stories of rebellion, the stories of expression. Whether it's from sad or excitement.”
“Everything that rock and roll had embodied, hip hop embodies now. It's the sound of the youth, the ear to the street. Wu-Tang, we brought it right from those streets and we’ve been doing it for 25 years,” RZA added. “Many of our records have reached platinum status and also inspired other musicians. When you think of what qualifies someone to be a hall of famer, its their stats and inspiration on other artists.”
“Wu-Tang Clan: Of Mics And Men" premieres on Showtime May 10th.
For full interview click here.