When the Wu-Tang Clan launched as a rap collective in the 1990s, there had never been anyone like them. Combining the mysticism of Shaolin kung-fu and the hard-knock life of Staten Island, the rap contingent transformed hip-hop with perennial and ill wordplays that effortlessly toed between self-conviction and socio-cultural commentary. Fast forward to 2019, and the multifarious group is still a topic of conversation in popular culture, with new music on the way.
Here's what you should know:
No other rap group has yet to break ground the way the pre-eminent MCs have 25 years after the fact as noted in their highly-acclaimed docuseries, Wu-Tang Clan: Of Mics and Men, that is currently airing on SHOWTIME.
The Sacha Jenkins-directed documentary chronicled the rags-to-riches come up of the iconic rap contingent and how they changed hip hop forever. To coincide with its release (which premiered to positive reception), the Wu-Tang Clan has just announced that they will be dropping a special soundtrack release. And so the saga continues!
Their official Twitter and Instagram accounts shared the news today to the shock and delight of longtime fans.
The special release will feature new music from the wordsmiths and three skits built around never-before-heard stories from footage that didn’t make the documentary series’ final cut according to a press release.
For those interested in what a 2019 Wu-Tang may sound like, RZA and Ghostface Killah dropped their joint release, “On That Sht Again,” from the upcoming release today (May 15).
Executive-produced by Mitchell Diggs and Mustafa Shaikh, it doesn’t appear that OG members Method Man, Inspectah Deck or U-God will feature on any of the slated 7 tracks. Interestingly enough, Nas has a slot on the track with a solo credit for a skit titled “Project Kids."
In 2016, Method Man famously said he was personally over music in favor of pursuing acting although he did say he was down for another album everyone involved “hearts were in it.”
This marks the rap group’s first publicly available project since 2014 according to the Rolling Stone. They dropped their sixth studio release, A Better Tomorrow, in 2014 followed by The Saga Continues, which also did not feature U-God, in 2017.
The soundtrack will be available on all streaming platforms this Friday, May 17. Fans will be able to cop a physical copy of the soundtrack, too. Mass Appeal will be dropping vinyl and CD bundles sometime this summer. No date has been announced yet. For now, fans can place pre-orders on Mass Appeal’s online store here.
(Photo: Steven Ferdman/Getty Images for Tribeca Film Festival)