Tag Archives: wutang

GZA Speaks: The Lost Art of Lyricism

 

ARTICLE CREDITS : CUEPOINT 

By : GZA

Rap lyrics sure ain’t what they used to be

Music is forever changing. Hip-hop is not going to be what it was 15 or 20 years ago. Everything changes. There are different sounds, different dances. But at the end of the day, to me it’s all about the lyrics.

Hip-hop started with street poets with great lyrical skills, and that’s what hip-hop has always been about for me. If you hear people talking about the Golden Era of rap they’re usually talking about the early-Wu Tang Clan era. And then Nas and Biggie and so on. But for me it goes back to the 80s — 1986 to 1989.

Take somebody like Big Daddy Kane, his first record was “Raw.” When Kane came out as an artist, I’d get chills from his music because it would be so dope and so lyrical and so strong and so fresh and so new. On “Raw” he says:

“Here I am, R-A-W / A terrorist, here to bring trouble to / Phony MCs, I move on and seize / I just conquer, and stomp another rapper with ease / ‘Cause I’m at my A-pex and others are B-low…” ~Big Daddy Kane

…and he’s talking about MCing! He’s talking about his craft! Yah, Kane was a player dude. He was a sex symbol in hip-hop, he was flossy and drove the fancy cars. But he never really rhymed about it. He still lived that life but he was talking about MCing in his songs. Same thing with Rakim: He rolled with a bunch of hardcore street dudes but he never talked about running up in the club and blasting dudes. He was beyond that. He spoke about his lyrical skills. Or take an artist like Nas, he’s one of the greatest out there. He’s done his party-type music, but he’s always been lyrical with it and had good analogies and had good wordplay and good sentence structure and good visuals without talking about running the block and smoking people.

Rakim, Big Daddy Kane and Nas: three undisputed lyrical legends of the rap game, staying smooth in their 40s

Sure, it was always about the image in rap, whether a positive or negative one. Back in the day some dudes wore costumes: Afrika Bambaataa and Soulsonic Force, they were looking like the Village People. Melle Mel. It’s all good, though. Because they all had a message: socially, politically and economically. They spoke about the injustices in the city. They spoke about poverty, and they told a great story.

Of course, you still had your corny MCs. Kurtis Blow was nothing lyrically compared to Kool Moe Dee in the late 70s. But Kurtis Blow was basically the first hip-hop artist to be signed to a major label. Sugarhill Gang was the same way. That’s the stuff I grew up on, it was always about that balance.

Bottom line is they all had messages, but nowadays it’s changed. You’ve got shorties talking gangster stuff — they put music out about that and they’re not really about that life. And then you bring that energy to you and it changes the dynamics of the industry. We don’t have songs like “Self Destruction” or “We’re All In The Same Gang” anymore. Rappers aren’t grabbing you anymore, it’s not pulling me in. What can I get from talking about my car? It’s irrelevant. It’s not about the art form anymore. I think it was Chaka Khan who said, “I would sing for nothing because this is what I love to do.” It was never about money for me. There’s a line we had in Wu-Tang for years:

“It was not a hobby but a childhood passion /
That started in the lobby and was quickly fashioned
~Gza, from “
Rushing Elephants

I’m sure there are great lyricists out there today, but when you look at mainstream hip-hop, lyricism is gone. There are some artists out there that think they’re great storytellers, but they’re not. Nowadays there are certain things I don’t hear anymore from rappers: I haven’t heard the word “MC” in so long; I haven’t heard the word “lyrical.” A lot of rappers think they’re hardcore or say they’re from the streets and there’s that thing where they always say, “I live what I rhyme about, I rhyme about what I live.” But you don’t always have to do that. Because for me it’s not about telling the story — it’s about weaving the tale.

Since early childhood, I’ve been trying to learn all I can. Science is everything; it’s not just physics. It’s the way of understanding your environment, the world around you. When we were younger, whatever we felt was interesting enough to write about we would write about it. And science has always been that something for me. Not to the point where I wanted to study science and become a scientist and physicist or anything like that, but it’s just understanding life. That’s been a part of my lyrical history for years.

If you go back to my 2002 album,Legend of the Liquid Sword, I had a rhyme on there where I said, “My U-N-I-verse run like clockworks forever / Words pulled together, sudden change in the weather / The nature and the scale of events don’t make sense / A storm with no warnin’ you’re drawn in by immense / Gravity that’s gone mad, clouds of dust and debris / Moving at colossal speeds, they crush an MC / Since this rap region is heavily packed with stars / Internal mirror in the telescope, notices the Czar / From far away, they blink as the lightin’ strolled / Great distance of space between precise globes / That travel in a circle of order.” It’s all about tapping into life.

I think sometimes most rappers’ imaginations are sterile. I can write about anything and it will be interesting. If someone gave me a beat to a song and said the title of the song was called “Drinks On Me” and then gave it to another artist, lyrically theirs would probably be all about the same types of things and mine would be completely different. I wouldn’t talk about buying bottles up in the club; I’d talk about someone that’s putting date rape drugs in drinks. You have to use everything as a vehicle. If I’m writing about a pencil I might say something like, “So I bang him in the head, just lead / No eraser / One shot, no chaser / Who’s your replacer?” It’s all a metaphor, in a sense. When you say, “So I bang him in the head / Just lead” that could be about the pencil or the gun. In a way I’m still saying the same thing other rappers are saying, I’m just saying it differently.

When I was in Wu-Tang, and even before that, it’s always been about being lyrical — who can craft the wittiest, the most intellectual, the smartest and the cleverest rhymes. It’s always been that for us as MCs from Day One. It’s the same for me now. It’s all about the story.

Raekwon & Ghostface Killah – Only Built 4 Cuban Linx… 20th Anniversary Tour

 

 

 

Sirius XM Satellite Radio Presents :

Raekwon & Ghostface Killah – Only Built 4 Cuban Linx… 20th Anniversary Tour

**RSVP PRESALE & TOUR DATES**
RSVP to this FB Event and we will send you a Notification with the presale password on Wednesday at 10AM. This is your chance to get tickets before they go on sale to the general public on Friday at 10AM.

Jul 07 – Philadelphia, PA – Theatre of The Living Arts: http://cncrt.ly/50f
Jul 08 – Silver Spring, MD – The Fillmore: http://cncrt.ly/50g
Jul 09 – Columbus, OH – Park Street Saloon:
Jul 10 – Joliet, IL – Mojoes:
Jul 12 – Minneapolis, MN – The Cabooze: http://cncrt.ly/50h
Jul 14 – Chicago, IL – House of Blues: http://cncrt.ly/50i
Jul 15 – Cincinnati, OH – Bogart’s: http://cncrt.ly/50j
Jul 16 – Cleveland, OH – House of Blues: http://cncrt.ly/50k
Jul 17 – Boston, MA – Paradise Rock Club: http://cncrt.ly/50l
Jul 19 – Providence, RI – Lupo’s Heartbreak Hotel:
Jul 20 – New York, NY – Irving Plaza: http://cncrt.ly/50m
Jul 23 – Norfolk, VA – The Norva:
Jul 24 – Raleigh, NC – The Ritz: http://cncrt.ly/50n
Jul 25 – Charlotte, NC – The Fillmore: http://cncrt.ly/50o
Jul 26 – Asheville, NC – The Orange Peel:
Jul 28 – Nashville, TN – Marathon Music Works:
Jul 30 – Louisville, KY – Mercury Ballroom: http://cncrt.ly/50p
Jul 31 – Memphis, TN – Minglewood Hall:
Aug 01 – Chattanooga, TN – Track 29:
Aug 02 – Columbia, SC – Music Farm:
Aug 05 – Pensacola, FL – Vinyl Music Hall:
Aug 06 – New Orleans, LA – House of Blues: http://cncrt.ly/50q
Aug 07 – Dallas, TX – House of Blues: http://cncrt.ly/50r
Aug 08 – Houston, TX – House of Blues: http://cncrt.ly/50s
Aug 09 – Austin, TX – Emo’s:
Aug 11 – El Paso, TX – Tricky Falls:
Aug 12 – Tempe, AZ – Marquee Theatre:
Aug 13 – Tucson, AZ – Rialto Theatre:
Aug 15 – Riverside, CA – Riverside Municipal Auditorium: http://cncrt.ly/50t
Aug 16 – San Diego, CA – House of Blues: http://cncrt.ly/50v
Aug 18 – Los Angeles, CA – Belasco Theater:

Ghostface Killah Discusses “Supreme Clientele 2″ & “Wu Block 2″

ghostface-killah1

 

 

Ghostface Killah says he has a number of projects in the works.

“[I’m] helping Rae finish up his album,” the Wu-Tang Clan member says in a video from Video Music Box. “Then I got the Supreme Clientele #2. I’m just working. I’m just working. Me and Sheek Louch [are doing] another Wu Block album. It’s just a lot of things happening.”

Last month, Raekwon discussed the release of his forthcoming album on B Real’s Smoke Box series. “My next move is this next album I’ve been working on,” he said. “It’s called Fly International Luxurious Art. It’s a long title but that’s how I felt right now. It’s a fly album though. You know me. That’s my thing. I like to make a body of work that I could put in people’s cars and they could just listen to it.”

In February 2013, Ghostface Killah said that Supreme Clientele 2: Blue & Cream is scheduled for release this summer and that it could possibly arrive as early as July.

Blue & Cream, hopefully this summer,” he said at the time. “Hopefully this summer. Maybe like August or something like that. I’m going to try for August, September or maybe July, but I think August might sound more reasonable if I can do it. I shouldn’t set it, because sometimes when I say a date, it don’t ever [stick]. But I gotta put it out because I’ve been sitting in it going on three years.”

The first Wu Block album featured members of the Wu-Tang Clan and D-Block and was released in 2012. An unofficial version of the tracklist for Wu Block 2 was released last month.

Kool DJ Red Alert, who was conducting the interview with Ghostface Killah, asked the rapper what it was like appearing on television, likely referring to his role on the VH1 program Couples Therapy, on which Ghostface Killah appeared.

“It is what it is,” Ghostface Killah says. “Cameras is my thing. I do what I do, but cameras is me. It’s all good.”

Wu-Tang Clan Will Sell Only One Copy Of Secret Double Disc Album

bjqxynmcqaah14k

 

 

Somewhere on the outskirts of Marrakech, Morocco, inside a vault housed beneath the shadow of the Atlas Mountains, there sits an engraved silver-and-nickel box with the potential to spawn a shift in the way music is consumed and monetized.

The lustrous container was handcrafted over the course of three months by British-Moroccan artist Yahya, whose works have been commissioned by royal families and business leaders around the world. Soon, it will contain a different sort of art piece: the Wu-Tang Clan’s double-album The Wu – Once Upon A Time In Shaolin, recorded in secret over the past few years.

Like the work of a master Impressionist, it will truly be one-of-a-kind—in lieu of a traditional major label or independent launch, the iconic hip-hop collective will make and sell just one copy of the album. And similar to a Monet or a Degas, the price tag will be a multimillion-dollar figure.

 

“We’re about to sell an album like nobody else sold it before,” says Robert “RZA” Diggs, the first Wu-Tang member to speak on record about Once Upon A Time In Shaolin, in an exclusive interview with FORBES. “We’re about to put out a piece of art like nobody else has done in the history of [modern] music.  We’re making a single-sale collector’s item. This is like somebody having the scepter of an Egyptian king.”

Wu-Tang’s aim is to use the album as a springboard for the reconsideration of music as art, hoping the approach will help restore it to a place alongside great visual works–and create a shift in the music business, not to mention earn some cash, in the process. The one-of-a-kind launch will be a separate endeavor from the group’s 20th anniversary album, A Better Tomorrow, which is set for a standard commercial release this summer.

According to RZA and the album’s main producer Tarik “Cilvaringz” Azzougarh, a Morocco-based part of Wu-Tang’s extended family, the plan is to first take Once Upon A Time In Shaolin on a “tour” through museums, galleries, festivals and the like. Just like a high-profile exhibit at a major institution, there will be a cost to attend, likely in the $30-$50 range.

Visitors will go through heavy security to ensure that recording devices aren’t smuggled in; as an extra precaution, they’ll likely have to listen to the 128-minute album’s 31 songs on headphones provided by the venue. As Cilvaringz puts it: “One leak of this thing nullifies the entire concept.”

Though no exhibition dates have been finalized, Cilvaringz says Wu-Tang has been in discussions with a bevy of possible locations, including the Tate Modern (a representative from the institution did not respond to a request for comment). Other venues, including art galleries and listening tents at music festivals, could eventually round out the tour.

Once the album completes its excursion, Wu-Tang will make it available for purchase for a price “in the millions.” Suitors could include brands willing to shell out for cool points and free publicity (just as Samsung spent $5 million to buy copies of Jay Z’s latest album for its users) or major record labels hoping to launch the album through the usual channels (they’re used to paying top acts seven-figure advances).

There’s also the possibility that a wealthy private citizen could buy it and either keep the album or release it to the public for free in the name of democratizing a cultural artifact.

GZA Says “Hip Hop Was Started To Stop Violence”

GZA chess facebook

 

GZA speaks on the ability Hip Hop has to educate the youth and promote positivity.

According to the Brooklyn-born musician, Hip Hop was created to stop violence, specifically gang violence. He later revealed that Hip Hop can still be used to educate the youth and “promote a positive vibe.”

“Rap itself or rhyming is sometimes considered by some as an inferior or lower language because or probably because of the ignorance and the negativity and the violence that’s associated with it,” GZA said. “Hip Hop was started to stop violence, not increase violence. Or not help promote violence. It was started to stop gang violence. When those from the early days, the pioneers came out and played the music and put down all they colors and formed a group and came together. So, back to using Hip Hop as a means of educating the youth is a great thing because we can uplift them to a certain level and promote a positive vibe.”

The topic of science and music and the parallels between the two was also discussed during GZA’s lecture as he expressed interest in wanting to learn more about the science behind sound.

“Science is a way to improve our quality of life by understanding ourselves more and the things that surround us,” he said. “It’s a way of upliftment. But why music? Because music is a universal language. Music is a world within itself and a language we all understand. Said by Stevie Wonder. Music is a healing force of the world. Understood by every man, woman, and girl. Said by The O’Jays. It is a healing force. Music is universal. Both imaginary and real. I’m more interested in the reality of sound and how sound physically exists in the universe.”

 

 

IS THE HIP HOP SUPER GROUP THE WU TANG CLAN REALLY .. FOREVER ? NEW ALBUM .. A BETTER TOMORROW COMING SOON

Wu-Tang_Forever

 

IS WU TANG REALLY FOREVER ?

THE HIP HOP SUPER GROUP IS ABOUT TO DROP WHAT IS BEING PROMOTED AS THERE LAST ALBUM.

BUT IT SEEMS THAT MEMBERS OF THE GROUP ARE NOT HAPPY WITH HOW THE ALBUM IS BEING PUT TOGETHER.

THE ALBUM IS TITLED ” A BETTER TOMORROW ” BUT WILL IT BE FOR THE CLAN ?

HOPEFULLY THE WU TANG CAN SEE PAST WHAT HAS DESTROYED SO MANY GROUPS & PUT OUT A GREAT ALBUM.

HIP HOP NEEDS THE WU TANG .. ESPECIALLY IN A TIME WERE ” RAP ” MUSIC IS WATERED DOWN & LACKS SUBSTANCE

NO 1 WANTS THE WU TANG TO PUT AN ALBUM OUT THAT LACKS THE ESSENCE & SOUL OF THERE LEGACY & STYLE.

THE INDUSTRY HAS DESTROYED SO MANY GROUPS .. CAUSE OF GREED $ & CONTROL ..

ONLY TIME WILL TELL .. HOPEFULLY WU TANG IS FOREVER