The Red Bull Music Academy hit me up and asked me if I wanted to host a panel with the Wu-Tang Clan discussing their seminal debut Enter the Wu-Tang (36 Chambers). The answer to that question was obvious and this Wednesday (9/28), I made the trip to Shaolin Land to moderate a lecture was part of RBMA’s Five Out of Five Tour that features artist from each NYC borough, performing and discussing their classic albums, hence Wu-Tang Clan and Staten Island.
There was some minor drama with some Wu members being unaware of the panel (the group performed at the venue, Eve Lounge in Staten Island, that night), which led to the discussion’s focus shifting to Only Built 4 Cuban Linx… since all the members on hand—Raekwon, Ghostface Killah, Masta Killa and also Cappadonna—participated in creating the masterful album. The conversation was lively and many jewels were dropped.
Red Bull will be posting the lecture in its entirety but AllHipHop was on hand and already has a bunch of videos from the event up. Some choice moments include Wu-Tang revealing they too watch soap operas and Raekwon speaking on playing A&R for Nas as well as the creation of “Incarcerated Scarfaces” (above). There was also a portion where Ghostface recounted hitting a “grandfather deer” in New Jersey while listening to Cuban Linx for the first time that was hilarious, but isn’t up yet. God bless that deer.
BLATANT SELF-PROMOTION: A lot of this info and much more can be found in my book, The Wu-Tang Clan & RZA: A Trip Through Hip Hop’s 36 Chambers. Shout out to Allah Mathematics who was also on stage.
Ghostface Killah on “All My Children” and His Favorite Wu Album
Raekwon and Ghostface on the Importance of RZA
Raekwon on Nas and “Verbal Intercourse”
“For real, it’s just slang rap democracy, here’s the policy, slide off the ring, plus the Wallabees.”—Raekwon (“Incarcerated Scarfaces”)
On August 1, 1995, the Purple Tape dropped. Needless to say, sixteen years later, Only Built 4 Cuban Linx… remains one of the greatest Hip-Hop albums of all time. Check that, one of the greatest albums of all time, period. [H/T UpNorthTrips]
All the videos from Raekwon’s masterpiece, “guest starring” Ghostface Killah, below.
“Heaven & Hell”
“Glaciers of Ice”
The Abbot of the Wu-Tang Clan speaks on the iDrum, the iPhone app he’s endorsing, and offers insight into his production techniques in general. Yeah, he started as a DJ.
Shouts to my panin Martin Berrios for the find. My fav RZA beat, of the moment, “Ice Water” from Only Built 4 Cuban Linx…
John Woo’s Hong Kong cinema classic The Killer, starring the legendary Chow Yun-Fat, gets an official Blu-Ray release on March 30, 2010. That said, going to play Only Built 4 Cuban Linx… off of g.p. It’s time you retired that old VHS or DVD bootleg copy of the flick anyway.
Interestingly, Woo dedicated the film to Martin Scorcese. Suspect trailer above (just seems “off” without the kitschy English overdubs in the version of the film many saw first stateside), but a thorough clip that condenses the dialogue RZA swiped for Raekwon’s masterpiece below, including “Rainy Dayz” (1:36) and ‘Wu-Gambinos” (0:13).
So Raekwon and Ghostface came through Harlem to tape a couple of episodes of The Deal. We convinced RAGU to drop a couple of gems from Only Built 4 Cuban Linx… and Ironman for the camera. Here’s some of “Criminology.”
Our soundman Chris came through with the Flip, and I just had to upload this on the fly. Catch the full wop, along with “Daytona 500,” next week on The Deal. No comment on the 3AM time slot, I know.
Only Built 4 Cuban Linx II drops September 8, Ghostdini: Wizard of Poetry drops September 29.