Wu Tang Clan
It’s been nearly 26 years since the Wu-Tang Clan declared themselves “Nuthing ta Fuck Wit.” While most rappers indulge in braggadocio, Wu-Tang Clan have backed up their claim. What makes the collective’s rotating cast of MC’s fascinating is that, at their core, the original Wu-Tang members are hyper-aware vortices of pop culture. It’s a trait that informs their music and personas, and has given rise to a hip-hop empire built on samples of kung-fu flicks and outrageous rhyming. Even the various off-shoots and side projects are groundbreaking entities unto themselves: Gravediggaz, the Method Man & Redman collaborations (Red now an honorary Killa Bee); not to mention all the now-classic solo records.
No other squad has translated so effectively and successfully into other realms of entertainment culture: RZA and GZA into soundtrack and movie production; Redman and Method Man into acting. Simply put, Wu-Tang are self-aware, well-rounded characters. Each original member chose his stage name from comic books in order to represent a facet of the group’s collective personality. They’re also MC’s with a knack for comic timing.
The Clan has hit its share of speed bumps. Charter member U-God sued his mates in 2016 over unpaid royalties. Wu-Tang also did business with price-gouging “pharma bro” Martin Shkreli, who shelled out $2 million dollars in 2015 for the one and only copy of the Clan’s “Once Upon a Time in Shaolin.” (Shkreli has since re-sold the record on e-Bay at a nearly $1 million loss and, as a recent convict for securities fraud, could be facing jail time, so: Karma.)
This year during Art Basel, the Wu-Tang are coming to Miami during a stacked week of events. The Wu show at Mana Wynwood is being brought to the area by promoters Like Minded and III Points, and was originally supposed to be part of the Off Weekend Festival at Virginia Key. However, the festival was scrapped and all tickets were refunded after complications from Hurricane Irma. Virginia Key’s loss is Wynwood’s gain. We suggest using public transportation. Parking and traffic during Basel are nothing to fuck with.
Wu-Tang Clan perform on December 9 at Mana Wynwood in Miami showclix.com
~ Tim Moffatt