As the Wu-Tang Clan has transitioned into elder statemen of rap where a majority fans want to hear thirty year old classics instead of anything recorded lately, there has been a renewed interest into their superhero origin story. In recent years, the incredible and unprecedented story of the nine-(sometimes ten-)man crew’s ascension from the front of the project building to the top of the hip-hop world has been told multiple times in multiple formats, including a Showtime documentary, a Hulu scripted series, and a pile of books courtesy of both journalists (Chamber Music; From the Streets of Shaolin), and some the group’s members themselves (RZA’s The Wu-Tang Manual and The Tao of Wu; U-God’s Raw: My Journey into the Wu-Tang).
Roger Federer is one of the greatest tennis players in history, his game an incredible combination of grace and power. He’s a worldwide superstar with various endorsement deals and an estimated net worth of $450 million.
Ryan Holiday is my favorite author.
Here’s a riddle: When is losing the best way to win?
The answer, for a long time, was the NBA Draft, as teams that lost – sometimes purposely – were rewarded with a chance to choose the best players coming into the league.
How can a writer bring a new perspective to a man – and a marriage – that ended two hundred years ago?
“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed, citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.”Margaret Mead
For more than three years, the Snyder Cut was part-myth and part-fantasy.
“Men write history, but women live it.”Chloe Angyal
It’s true that history is written by the victors, but it’s also been predominately written by men. That is especially true in hip-hop. As the culture closes in on its fiftieth birthday, the contributions of women, whether behind the mic or behind the scenes, have been largely overlooked, marginalized, or outright ignored.
The Motherlode (Abrams, 2021) by Clover Hope could help begin to change that. A cogent and forceful entry in the ongoing need to give the ladies their due, it is a book that is undefinable, or at least not easily categorized, that also happens to be the definitive history of women in hip-hop.
“Let us dare to read, think, speak and write.”John Adams, “A Dissertation on the Canon and Feudal Law”
John Adams took his last breath on July 4, 1826, on the fiftieth anniversary of his – and his fellow revolutionaries’ – greatest achievement.
Of all the hand-wringing about our current state of politics, a major complaint is that today’s voters choose personality and attitude over policy and ability. However, students of history know that this has been the case for centuries in America, almost from its inception.
In most cases, progress and evolution happen slowly, over a period of time marked by small, incremental changes. Occasionally, however, a seismic shift occurs and a culture transforms overnight.
That is what happened in 1986 when a young man with a voice that sounded like it was from outer space came in the door and changed the game forever with “Eric B. Is President,” the first single from Eric B. & Rakim. The latter half of that duo was still in high school when he introduced a “new era of rhyme style” with complex internal rhymes full of multisyllabic words and a relaxed, composed delivery that was more conversational than shouting.
It was a new day in hip-hop.