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