Wu-Tang Clan: The Interview!
With unquestionable status as legends, and careers spanning back two decades, Wu-Tang Clan’s impact will probably never be matched in the hip-hop scene. Still recording and performing on a constant basis, The Wrap Up’s Tobi Oke caught up with members Method Man and Masta Killa just before they hit the roads for their latest UK tour...
The Wrap Up: You’re all over here right now except RZA and Raekwon. How hard is it to have the full clan in one place at a time for either shows or recording?
Masta Killa: Everybody’s here, regardless! We all represent the same thing, we all have our own careers and everything, but we all come together when its time.
TWU: The energy levels at your shows are always high, but is it harder to keep up the crazy stage shows as you get older?
Method Man: (Laughs) You’re funny! You saw how long James Brown was doing that split, son. It’s not really about the artists or how much energy he puts into his set; it’s about how much energy he gets out of the audience. I get a charge when I see that they’re rocking with me, if they’re not giving anything back, it’s just gonna be a regular show.
TWU: Around the early and mid-90s, classic albums were coming out on a regular basis. What was it about that time that made it possible and why are we not seeing that as much in hip-hop today?
Masta Killa: It’s more of a business now than when we were just coming out. Right now, you don’t really need too much of the art form, because labels can just take you to where they want you to be.
Method Man: I think it’s because they used the word ‘classic’ so much that it became cliché. Now, though, it’s not a word that can be thrown around too lightly.
TWU: Can fans expect any fresh material coming from the Wu-Tang camp anytime soon?
Masta Killa: You’re always gonna get some Wu-Tang s**t! Whether it’s individually or together. Once you see one person, you see the whole of Wu-Tang. We all represent the Wu.
TWU: A lot of groups that started around the same time as you have either broke up or are inactive. What’s the secret behind you guys sticking together for so long?
Masta Killa: This is a marriage, basically. This is my family...
Method Man: Those other groups say that they’re family, but they don’t really mean it.
TWU: A few rappers are affiliated with Wu-Tang Clan, but have you ever been close to adding other members to the clan?
Method Man: It’s always been the same; you’ve got nine individuals trying to eat off the same plate – we don’t need any more mouths to feed. It just works for us, which is a blessing.
TWU: The UK rap scene is reminiscent to the US hip-hop scene around the early 90s, with artists starting to get records deals and radio play. Do you listen to any UK rappers and do you have any advice to give the UK rap scene in general?
Method Man: What’s that dude’s name? Tinie Tempah? Yeah, he’s kinda cold! I like that dude. But my advice to the UK rap scene is just stay true to yourselves. That’s the most important thing.
TWU: Odd Future (OFWGKTA) have picked up a big buzz over the past six months and are constantly compared to Wu-Tang Clan. What are your opinions of them and the comparisons?
Method Man: There are some similarities with the way they came up, but that’s where it ends, right there. I have to give those dudes credit, they have their own style, I like what they’re doing. I want some of them beats, so if you get in their ear, tell them I need some of them beats (laughs). I’ve seen the show footage and those dudes are bananas. Tell them I f**k with them!
TWU: How long do you think you guys can go on for?
Masta Killa: I’ll go on for as long as I can go!
Method Man: We can go on for as long as James Brown did. You know there’s always gonna be an ear out there. We can’t just do what we did and go away.
Wu-Tang Clan are currently on tour around the UK.
Stay up to date with The Wu-Tang Clan on Twitter – www.twitter.com/WuTangClan
Words: Tobi Oke (@TeflonTobz)
Online editing: Joseph 'JP' Patterson (@Jpizzledizzle)