With the release of Hulu’s Wu-Tang: An American Saga being released on September 4, we reviewed their recent Showtime docuseries Wu-Tang Clan: Of Mics and Men.
Some of the best moments, unfortunately, occur in the first few minutes of the docuseries Wu-Tang Clan: Of Mics and Men. Sadly this Showtime effort, which should have been a more entertaining, moving experience of reminisces and intriguing – wasn’t.
The Wu-Tang sword sound effects were literally my favorite part of the show, and it was a gimmick at the credits. Yes, we learned of how the illustrious, high-rated rap MC collective was named; it was fascinating when the nucleus and set-up were divulged, too.
Nas, the street poet I consider the most effective of all time, is another iconic New York rap star and knows the gang, is among the world’s favorite rappers to talk about the group. He intriguingly speaks of their mystique, quality and the shock of the Clan, 100-deep in the club, making their name on the scene.
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Yet there was not enough substantial material; nor was there a deep deconstruction of the environmental and sociological strains that inspired or marinaded these ingenious hip-hop legends to begin with. Some of the diversely dangerous hoods from Brownsville to the more obvious Staten Island – or Shoalin, as the group nicknamed it – are traveled to, thankfully.
However, not enough time is spent there or revisiting the struggles and events which shaped the dark subject matter of the band. Trust me – I say this as a massive Wu-Tang fan and amateur “Clan'” aficionado.
There are still many elements that provide enjoyment and enlightenment for supporters of the group. RZA, as usual, obviously has a particularly significant part in this doc, as he had in the creating of the collective. So we discover new important information like the peculiar involvement of his brother. Though more aged home video footage being released and included was a missing necessity.
Additionally, ‘Wu-Tang slang’ is explained, a most noteworthy inclusion. It must also be noted that Showtime made an excellent job of cutting together and editing Wu-Tang Clan: Of Mics and Men. The reason for my relatively low score of three stars out of five is indicative of a lack of a surprising or candidly informative nature. Maybe the autobiographies will quench my thirst.
To be honest, I am hoping the new television drama mini-series Wu-Tang: An American Saga is better than the doc. But Wu-Tang Clan: Of Mics and Men is still a must-watch for any hip-hop head. Although, unlike other music documentaries, you cannot recommend it to people not versed in the culture.