Forming in the early ‘90s in Staten Island, the group fondly known as Wu-Tang Clan, has since solidified their legacy as one of the most influential and best-known groups in contemporary music history. Collectively, the Wu has sold over 40 million albums since their humble beginnings in 1992. Originally comprised of members (using the best-known pseudonyms) GZA, Ol’ Dirty Bastard, Rza, Method Man, Raekwon the Chef, Ghostface Killah, Inspectah Deck, U-God, and Masta Killa (and later Cappadonna), the Wu-Tang Clan adapted their name after the Kung-Fu flick Shaolin and Wu-Tang, drawing a major influence from martial arts, Chinese culture, and the streets of New York City alike. The collective’s debut album, ‘93’s Enter the Wu-Tang (36 Chambers) has long been critically acclaimed, with many considering the album to be one of the greatest ever recorded in hip-hop history.

Following their debut as a group on Loud/RCA, members GZA, RZA, Raekwon, Method Man, and ODB all went on to land solo contracts, with Method Man’s 1994 Tical marking the first official solo Wu album. In 1997, the group released their second album Wu-Tang Forever, debuting at No. 1 on the charts and selling over 600,000 copies in its first week alone. With an onslaught of tours, solo albums, collaborations and group releases tied to their coveted and indisputable legacy, Wu-Tang Clan has made history a dozen times over. From honing a menacing and distinctive East Coast sound uniquely their own to selling the Elusive sole copy of 2015’s Once Upon a Time in Shaolin for two million dollars, Wu-Tang Clan is indestructibly an iconic pillar of the culture, and—as the reputed saying from the late ODB goes—is for the children.

RZA: Can I get a suuuuuu?
audience: Suuuuuuuuuu
Method Man: Aight.
RZA: Chill. Chill.
Host: You know the reason I wanted to talk to y'all before the performance was, there are things that we should explain, like the name ... of the group. Where did that come from?
RZA: Well, Wu-Tang, it represents a suave style of rhyming and clan means family. You know, we're all known for how we speak, how we talk, and how we kick our lyrics. So, when we all came together and banded together as a family, in the clan. So, we put Wu-Tang Clan.
That's how we got the name together, you know what I'm saying?
Host: Yeah. Yeah.
Could I ask about a serious issue? What happened in Frisco?
Method Man: All right, basically ...
RZA: Go ahead, Meth.
Method Man: When the clan was in San Francisco, we had just found out, you know our album went gold.
Host: Right.
Method Man: So, basically, we was going shopping. So, our road manager, Bill [Opery 00:00:48], he brought me, Ghostface, and Raekwon, and Spectah, we all went shopping. So, we stopped at the bank first, stopped at a mall, they didn't have anything we liked. So, we're on our way back and next thing I know, I look back, I seen like three cop cars, they're radioing in for back up. They got shotguns and stuff pointed at us, you know. They made us all get out the car, one by one, but in the process, Ghost Face misinterpreted the directions, so he tried to get out on the passenger side. And, that's when they clicked the guns on us.
Host: Ouch.
Method Man: You know. So, I'm thinking, is they going to kill us or what did I do?
ODB: They [inaudible 00:01:19]
Method Man: ... all outside.
Hold on, hold on. Hold on.
ODB: We're outside now.
Method Man: They got us on the concrete with our faces down on this hot concrete. They told us all turn our faces to the right. When we did this, I see a car come by and this lady's taking a picture, then I look over to the next side, this guy's coming out the store with camcorder. I'm thinking we're on an episode of Cops or something. You know?
Nobody read us any rights or anything. Ghost Face in the process, lost a ring. 2800 dollar ring, you know what I'm saying? In the process. Nobody knows nothing about that.
RZA: Just another case, you know what I'm saying. How the police be treating ... treating all of us, you know what I'm saying. Whether you successful or unsuccessful, you know what I'm saying. If you kinda got this tone of skin, you know what I'm saying, they gonna kinda really bring it on you. So, it's just the same thing everybody else be going through. It's just it happened to us.
I mean, let's realize that all that gold record and all that whatever whatever, it don't really save you from brutality or from the subjects you gotta go through out here. It don't matter, you know what I'm saying? That's all it really was, Man.
Host: Yeah. Yeah.
While we're on that topic ... While we're on that topic, last night me and my drummer, Chuck, were talking, because he got beat down. He'll be wearing sunglasses for awhile, you know. But he got beat down for no reason, didn't even get robbed, you know.
I also want to give a shout out and say, "God Bless the kid involved with your crew". Who can explain it better than me? I heard about it thought.
RZA: [Yougot 00:02:37], one of our members, his son Dante ... He got blasted, you know what I'm saying, around the way. It was a crossfire shootout, Man, you know what I'm saying. And all ... like everything like ... And I ... When you check out our album, you hear us talk about things whatever that relates to what we go through. And, it's real like that, you know what I'm saying.
He's us so improving, you can't escape this violent atmosphere. The buck wild me ... We did do it ourselves, but sometimes you know, you want to snap out of it.
Dante, he got blasted, you know. He lost a spleen.
Host: How old is he?
RZA: He's two years old. Two years old.
Method Man: Two and a half.
RZA: He lost his spleen. What he lost his ...
Method Man: Yeah, he's paralyzed in one leg.
RZA: Paralyzed in one leg.
Method Man: He's going through therapy right now, you know what I'm saying. We all pushing for shorty, man.
ODB: That ain't even the issue. It's about brothers that we grew up with all our lives though.
Host: Yeah.
Method Man: Ghetto basically. The ghetto ain't nothing but a big concentration camp to me, Man.
RZA: Yeah.
Method Man: I mean, they put everything in there so we don't have to leave. We got check cashing places, liquor stores, whatever you want in the ghetto, you can buy it there. You know what I'm saying?
[crosstalk 00:03:32]
ODB: Buy a little more of this.
Host: Not as many educational institutions as there are liquor stores.
RZA: Nah.
Host: We'll be right back with Wu-Tang.

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