When the last credit rolled for Wu-Tang Clan: Of Mics and Men at the 2019 Sundance Film Festival applause erupted so loud that my ears went deaf. Just goes to show you old school is forever!!! Wu-Tang Clan were superheroes from the hood that could rap and let their rhyming skills take them to a place in the industry that neither of them could have ever imagined as the middle-aged men we have watched them become.
Growing up in a rough section of New York City’s Staten Island, these brothers stayed true to themselves and each other with big dreams that extended beyond the violent and police ridden neighborhoods they inhabited. RZA, ever the MC introduces each member during the 20 minute opening – GZA, Method Man (always had the best hooks, Ol’ Dirty Bastard (raw and unapologetic), Raekwon The Chef (the eloquent chef of the streets), Ghostface Killah (the most dangerous villain) , U-God (always had an aggressive violence to him), Inspectah Deck (saw everything), Cappadonna (slang maser) and Masta Killa (realness) were surviving in the middle for the projects on sheer hope.
This four-part documentary series was quickly snatched up by Showtime and shows a side to these young men, I had never seen. Like watching Method Man excitedly return to his former place of employment at The Statue of Liberty, greeted by his former boss and confessing it was the best job he ever had as he attempts to clean just like in the old days. Easily one of the highlights.
Sacha Jenkins totally delivers a docuseries for old and new fans of hip-hop chronicling every little step of this group in the same fashion in which they have conducted their career – together.
In an industry that is so incredibly cut-throat, especially in the hip-hop/rap genres, it was refreshing to witness these brotha’s get together, reminisce and watch their lives play out on a screen together. They seem to genuinely not only like each other – but love each other in a self-created brotherhood that has lasted a lifetime.
Method Man and Ghostface get raw, revealing details regarding bouts of depression. Unlike most groups from this era RZA made it his business to make sure that these guys had a deal in place to secure rights to the band without giving up each member’s individual option to go solo. Something that had never been done before, which probably attributes to the closeness of these brotha’s to this day.
If you are a die-hard hip-hop/rap fan or not, you will enjoy hopping down memory lane with these enterprising young men one last time as Showtime airs Wu-Tang Clan: Of Mic and Men on May 10th.