Monday, December 21, 2009

Book Review: The Tao of Wu-The Rza

The Tao of Wu, a memoir by a founding member of The Wu-Tang Clan and music industry mogul, The Rza, is a deeply profound collection of stories, lessons, and thoughts. The Rza not only gives readers an insider's perspective on how The Wu-Tang Clan came to leave an indelible mark on the music industry, but he weaves the teachings of Taoism, Islam, and his own hip-hop philosophies into his story.

The Rza presents very meaningful, profound teachings through his own unique language and perspective. Using the common denominator of knowledge, The Rza is able to present truths taken from Taoism, Islam, the game of Chess, and a variety of other philosophies from different parts of the world. In using broadly accepted principles, he is able to let readers relate to his experiences, which is no small feat considering he has seen and done things of which most readers will only have dreamt.

For anyone who is a fan of the Wu-Tang Clan, this book is a must-read. The Rza details exactly how the group came to be from the Kung-Fu movies that piqued his interest in Eastern culture, to the strategies he employed to market and promote the individuals in the group to become stars and lift the profile of Wu as a whole. His heartfelt memories of the events leading up to Ol Dirty Bastard's death as well as his description of how he prevented Method Man from being shot to death in a housing project in Staten Island are both moving accounts.

This book is informative on many levels. It permeates knowledge both ethereal and material. The Rza is a perfect example of why hip-hop culture deserves much more credit than it gets as a legitimate, thought-provoking art-form.

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