wu-clansnipez.jpgBy Matt Diehl
Rolling Stone 10/15/98

“Rap is like the polio vaccine: Once they knew it worked, everyone wanted it.”-Grandmaster Flash


MASTER P PETER WATCN HIS BACK: WHEN IT COME TO RELeasing multiple multiple albums, da last don has fierce competition from rap’s illest conglomerate, Wu-Tang Clan. Already this year, the Wu posse has released five albums, three in the past two months: Dirty Weaponry, Killarmy’s second release; The Last Shall Be First, the debut from the Wu offshoot Sunz of Man; and RZA Presents Wu-Tang Killa Bees: The Swarm, a compilation featuring new tracks from Wu-Tang veterans as well as fresh recruits like Remedy, the first white Wu-affiliated rapper, and the all-female crew Deadly Venoms. And don’t expect the flow to slow down: The next eighteen months could find more than twenty-four Wu-related projects hitting the street, including new albums from Method Man, Ghostface Killah, Inspectah Deck and Bobby Digital, the alter ego of Clan mastermind RZA. “Bobby’s a motherfucker that’s down for the bullshit,” RZA explains. “I think people are going to love him, because people love bullshit.” Here, RZA gives the 411 on the Wu world order.

METHOD MAN, Tical 2: Judgement Day (November): “Meth’s higher than ever! He had the potential to be a pop star, but his new album is his most underground and gritty yet. He went to the bottom of the basement on this one. I told him, `Get out the basement, man you’re a star!’ But he stays hungry, like a shark. On this album, you’ll hear four to six songs from me, but Meth has some new producers: Havoc from Mobb Deep, DJ Premier, Daz Dillinger from Tha Dogg Pound, Erick Sermon, Trackmasters -he’s got a wide range of sounds. His lyrical wittiness has definitely improved. There’s a jam called `Perfect World’ that’s gonna set a whole new trend in hip-hop. There’s millions of us stuck in projects, but our minds aren’t stuck there, and in the perfect world, anything can happen – you’re going to see all kinds of fantasy things. It sounds like an epic, like conquering is going on.”

GHOSTFACE KILLAH, not yet titled (November): “Lyrically, Ghost’s new album will strike your ear the way Rakim’s first album did. As far as lyric content, Ghost has no competition right now: These are some of the best rhymes I’ve heard in eight years. Ghostface and Raekwon set off the whole trend of rhyming about money and Cristal champagne – Ghost is coming back to reclaim his throne from all the rappers that copied him. He’s putting his mask back on and strangling those motherfuckers. He’s gonna do a track with Premier, a track with Nas, but it’s all him. His lyrics are intimidating to other MCs; you wouldn’t want to say a lyric after he finishes his rhyme.”

INSPECTAH DECK, Uncontrolled Substance (fall): “Deck’s the most underrated rapper from Wu-Tang, but that’s about to change. Deck’s new album, Uncontrolled Substance, is the bomb. He depicts the streets in a visual context that only he can create. He goes into such detail – like he’s got a 35- mm camera filming his whole life. Deck is a soul-funk man – he’s got a Sixties, Booker T. sound, a blaxploitation, Black Caesar-type vibe going on.”

RZA, The Cure (February): “I’m really studying medicine lately. I’m looking for the real meaning of life, so I’m calling my solo album The Cure. It encompasses all the Wu elements, as well as bigger collaborations with Isaac Hayes and Rage Against the Machine. Where Bobby Digital is still in the hip-hop world, my album is more melodic, more broad. It’s an album of awakening, with an uplifting family vibe. I have my daughter singing on the first single, `You Are My Sunshine’ -it’s about me being a young black man in America, trying to make a change for himself and his community. Usually when a black man is in that position, throughout the course of history he has always been assassinated or persecuted. In this she’s singing, `Don’t take my father away, don’t take any of our great men representing the cause of equality away.’ I really go into the essence of what a lot of the enlightened men – like Martin Luther King, Malcolm X, J.F.K. – talk about. I have some fun stuff on there, though, like `Pugilism.’ It’s about martial arts -like a razor blade to your ear.”

U-GOD, not yet titled (February or March): “U-God’s album has a good vibe – it’s all party. Wu-Tang is something you listen to, but U-God is making something you can dance to. U-God has this amazing bass voice -there hasn’t been a voice out there like that since Chuck D. And with the beats he’s using, he might start the re-emergence of hip-house!”

RAEKWON, not yet titled (February): “You know Rae, he’s all for the thugs and street. Me and Rae have been together since second grade, and he gives me a lot of credit for educating him. He’s taken that education now, though, to the point where he can produce – he can format a song. He recruited some new people, like DJ Premier, Pete Rock and some new crews, too, like American Cream Team and Harlem Hoodz; they’ll be releasing an album, too.”

Ol’ DIRTY BASTARD (A.K.A. BIG BABY JESUS), not yet titled (unscheduled): “The working title for ODB’s album is God Made Dirt and Dirt Don’t Hurt. He’s being called Big Baby Jesus on this one, actually. It’s the craziest shit – wild antics, screaming. But you also see a conscious side of ODB you haven’t seen before. These are lyrics from a man who’s been through pain – this guy’s been shot; he’s got all kinds of domestic troubles. I would compare the new ODB album, as far as content and lyrical feeling, to a Marvin Gaye album from when Marvin went to Europe.”

GENIUS (A.K.A. GZA), not yet titled (unscheduled): “He’s doing a solo album, as well as a film about underground MCs. He has the same anger in his heart that he had on Wu-Tang Forever, but he didn’t get a chance to do a lot of songs on that album because he’s more into chess and smoking weed. Now he’s getting like Solomon, dropping wise words while being true to the grain of MC’ing. He’s got a real Willie Mitchell/Stax sound happening in the grooves.”

TEKITHA, not yet titled (unscheduled): “She’s like a Black Panther girl, a soul sista for real. Missy Elliott does a lot of songwriting, but Tekitha’s songs really have meaning behind them. I call her music `blunted soul’: Some soul is tear-jerking, but this is soul-piercing. I was always against females – they called me a chauvinist, but I’m not; the struggle is so deep, and I recognize that now. I had to swallow my ego and let the women speak, and they’re saying some shit.”

WU-TANG CLAN: “The next Wu-Tang group album is coming in the year 2000. We got a lot of songs. I’m planning to call it The Eighth Diagram, which is taken from a Chinese kung-fu movie. I want the album to be like an audio movie, an opera. And we got a lot to say about the millennium. You ain’t gonna have to hear any more music after this shit.”

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