Wu-Tang Forever?

Who ever thought we’d see the day our beloved Wu Tang members would desperately cling for relevancy? There is no denying the Wu is one of the greatest, most influential and successful groups of all-time. Growing up there was point when every Wu release was met with tremendous excitement and copped with ease. Even the Wu affiliates were copped, every one from Shyheim to GP Wu to Killarmy all the way to Royal Fam.

They’ve been responsible for a plethora of classics, both solo and collective efforts. But if we’re all being honest here, we know the last release that was truly worthy of its praise was the ’09 Only Built 4 Cuban Linx Pt. II. Way before that and certainly well after, there hasn’t been much and when I say before that, I meant for a long period of time. Once the dust settled and the hype dissolved, we later realized albums such as 8 Diagrams or the 11 year old Iron Flag were simply not up to par. They were not how we wanted to remember the Wu.

The internet is no stranger to the Wu phenomenon. Ever since the dawn of Al Gore’s creation, Wu Tang has had one of the most substantial followings to exist online. Kids all over the globe know Wu Tang is for the children. From Nova Scotia all the way to Slovenia, they come in droves to see them perform and if they’re lucky they may just get half of them to appear. It has pained me to see what has become of their careers lately. Each passing year their careers dwindle, suffering from obscurity, inactivity, inconsistency and occasionally, embarrassing career decisions (desperation collabos).

The best analogy I can make of this is Michael Jordan to some extent. Michael Jordan was unstoppable, he was the greatest. MJ had quite a few hiatuses in his career. Several times he battled retirement until one day his ego got the best of him and then so did father time.

After some years off, Jordan decided the hunger was still there, but more importantly it was the need to prove to himself, as well as the naysayers he still was Michael Jordan. The game changed. The rules changed. The talent changed. Here were new kids coming right out of high school top billin’. It ate him up and while all the newbs were getting the shine, he felt he too could compete at a high level. It was important to reestablish himself and remind everyone he fathered their style.

He gave the comeback a shot and while he had some memorable moments, his return didn’t help keep his legacy in tact. In fact, many will argue it tarnished his career a bit. It was Rocky coming out of retirement to fight in his late 40’s.

It was Robert Dinero just taking any ol’ script these days. It was George Lucas messing with the Star Wars franchise. It was watching that late-50’s, once attractive woman squeeze into a pair of True Religions. We all desperately wanted Mike to be the same guy. We wanted him to drop 30 nightly, hit the game winner shot and just straight dunk on fools. Nobody likes to remix found memories, but the reality was Michael Jordan was a shell of his former self.

His body just would not do what his mind wanted it. He was disconnected for too long. He was just old. This is what happens with rappers too. The most important decision an athlete or musician has to make in their career is when its time to walk away.

Method Man was last been seen in The Sitter with Johan Hill and who can forget his latest hip-hop contribution, a Sour Patch Kids song?

Raekwon was last seen shouting out Mac Miller on Twitter before jumping on a Mac Miller golden era remix along side Posdnous, desperately hoping to once again revive his career.

Ghostface Killah recently gained a lot of weight and bleached his skin white. He is better known as Action Bronson. When in Black skin, he continues to tease everyone with this “it’s coming soon” MF Doom collabo and/or his wonderful R&B experimental albums.

Inspectah Deck has threatened to retire multiple times over the years due to his lackluster album sales. He blamed the fans but recently teamed up with lyrical assassin M.C. Esoteric for a project.

U-God can be found posting on Philaflava, or stalking ladies via social media dropping that “I’m the man behind Black Shampoo line.”

Masta Killa is still making forgettable music with the indie Nature Sounds.

Ol’ Dirty Bastard died but still has unauthorized collaborations being releases sporadically.

GZA, when he isn’t beefing with 50 Cent can found putting somebody to sleep or performing Liquid Swords in full at a Rock The Bells concert nearest you.

RZA is perfectly content, filthy rich and is best friends with Quentin Tarantino and David Duchovny, which has now hired him to appear on Californication. Did I mention he gets to fuck Meagan Good on the show? RZA doesn’t feel the need to prove himself or carry the Wu anymore. Whom he also feels are a bunch of ingrates.

Did they stay in the game too long? –Philaflava

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13 Responses to “Wu-Tang Forever?”

  1. xtof says:

    Who is Robert Dinero

  2. VCRchannel says:

    In my honest opinion, no, they did not. I’ve enjoyed all of Raekwon’s recent material including Unexpected Victory (it’s hard to say, but I may even put Shaolin vs. Wu-Tang above Only Built 4 Cuban Linx II), I enjoyed Apollo Kids. I enjoyed Manifesto and look forward to hearing new stuff from Deck. As a whole I still tend to enjoy what they do after being in hip-hop 20-odd years. I’ll check for their stuff in general. I’m simply not trying to hold them up to a certain standard or expect that they’re supposed to sound a certain way, which would prevent me from appreciating the good hip-hop some of them still do.

  3. Brandan E. says:

    we are in 2012 and that same formula the Wu had in the golden era dont pop in this new age of hip-hop. which is sad. but the WU made a impact in what they did. they can now make music just to make it, they are already established so now they can do what they want. will it blow or be popular who knows but what they done in the game is already set in stone.

    they can do what they want, but the times are different from what they were.

  4. Droopy says:

    Great read!

    In a radio interview, Birdman once said, “getting hot is easy, staying hot is hard.”

    Wu may have been a victim of this adage or perhaps they just ran their natural course.

    From what I hear, they still rock reunion shows.

  5. bez says:

    there isnt a 90s hip hop group more relevant than the wu so the talk of clinging to relevancy is a lil much… i dont expect 40 year olds to be droppin heat every single time out anymore cause nobody does. they kept it pretty much PURE hip hop for 20 years, droppin atleast 1 SUPER classic every decade (and numerious in the 90s)… i dont get this post. outkast is the only other group who has a name from then, and they sold out almost 10 years ago already.

    which groups are better than wu tang? the hottest shit since wu tang was dipset and gunit. both their buzz’s didnt last like WU at all.

  6. actual factual says:

    horrible article, for real. must be a white boy writing this bullshit.

    wu still brings heat. ghostface aint been dropping anything but dope shit his entire fucking career.
    rae still hittin us off lovely & touring non stop.

    8 diagrams is way better than most fairweather wu fans give it credit for.

    yes, they aint 24 years old anymore. but when they do strike its often still way better than most of their rap peers.
    your article sucks dick.

  7. darius says:

    This article is filled with hate towards the Wu. They had some very good releases these past few years. And Mac Miller reached out to Raekwon, because Rae is a veteran, an OG in the rap game. Mac shouted out RZA too.

    OB4CL 2
    Chamber Music
    Apollo Kids
    Shaolin vs. Wu-Tang
    Legendary Weapons
    those Afro Samurai soundtracks produced by RZA

    The Wu has been holding down true hip-hop for a while now.

    C’mon son, inform yourself better next time!

  8. Ben says:

    OB4CL2 and Blackout 2 were good, but that’s a tiny fraction of the total output of the group. Let’s be serious: the stuff they are doing now does not stack up to their past work. Can anyone with ears honestly say that Apollo Kids compares to Fishscale, much less Supreme Clientele? Nothing they’re doing now is much good, much less relevant. The classics changed the game, but people trying to recapture their past successes are always going to be doomed to failure. No matter how many true-school obsessives say otherwise.

    E-40 is the oldest relevant rapper. He let his style evolve naturally as times changed. He didn’t just cling to what used to be.

  9. lenny k says:

    What a super weak article ! Wears ur brainz at

  10. chronwell says:

    Wu Tang is relevant forever. Forever and ever and ever and ever, get what Im sayin!

  11. kevthepoet says:

    MethodMan still has a better flow than all of you, even when he’s rapping bout candy. Inspektah Deck will still destroy any of you. Rza’s best verse since 4th Chamber on Liquid Swords was on the KRS-ONE album produced by True Master that came out a year ago. A Wu album doesn’t have the same excitement it did 20 years ago, but who does? Dr Dre had the lacklustre Aftermath years until Chronic 2001 brought it back. I’m surprised I’m the only Wu-Disciple to get his knickers in a twist about this, but it’s basically just disrespectful trying to get a reaction so I won’t take it personally just cos I’m a Wu fan. Bottom line, they’re legends, but legends gotta eat too. Rakim is barely seen as relevant but the 7th Letter album from a few years ago still gets bumped loud, KRS-ONE’s album with Buckshot is one of the best albums to come out in the past few years, don’t sleep on the originals, they have relevant things to say and still pick the beats we miss, those hard snare off the MPC beats. And haters who will never be legendary may try to taint the memory but I’ll forever cop the real from the real. If Meth, Rae, Deck and Ghost keep writing and Rza keeps producing I’m there.

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