“Our crew had lots of meanings for the words Wu-Tang—“Witty, Unpredictable Talent and Natural Game,” “We Usually Take Another Nigga’s Garments”—in China, I learned another, the original one: “Man who is deserving of God.””
I’ve been a Wu-Tang fan since the 1990s. When I heard that RZA, the leader of the legendary 9-man collective from Staten Island, NY had authored a book, it was a must-read.
RZA’s writing tells the story of his life, from his rough, impoverished childhood to his introduction to the Five Percent Nation (coincidentally by his older cousin, also known as Wu-Tang rapper GZA) some tough early-adult dealings and finally the formulation of the Wu-Tang Clan.
The music stuff weaves its way in between the larger picture of what RZA shares in Tao: His learning of self through his studies of the Five Percenters’ 120 Lessons (many of which I knew verbatim solely through listening to Wu music over the years) and Eastern philosophy. RZA and Wu are fans of, and had much of their music inspired by, kung-fu movies, which you can hear in their music — and RZA explains how many of the flicks’ stories mirrored his own life and career.
Tao of Wu is a short book and an easy/must-read for any Wu-Tang Clan fan.
You Should Read Tao Of Wu IF: You’re a fan of the Wu or 90s hip-hop. The audience for this book is clear.