The definitive biography of rap supergroup, Wu-Tang Clan, featuring decades of unpublished interviews and unparalleled access to members of the group and their associates
Heralded as one of the most influential groups in modern music – hip-hop or otherwise – WTC created a rap dynasty on the strength of seven gold and platinum albums that launched the careers of such famous rappers as RZA, GZA, Ol’ Dirty Bastard, Raekwon, Ghostface Killah, Method Man, and more. During the ‘90s, they ushered in a hip-hop renaissance, rescuing rap from the corporate suites and bringing it back to the gritty streets where it started. In the process they changed the way business was conducted in an industry known for exploiting artists. Creatively, Wu-Tang pushed the boundaries of the artform, dedicating themselves to lyrical mastery and sonic innovation. One would be hard pressed to find a group who’s had a bigger impact on the evolution of hip hop.
From the Streets of Shaolin by S.H. Fernando Jr. provides a startling portrait of overcoming adversity through self-empowerment and brotherhood, giving us unparalleled insight into what made these nine young men from the ghetto tick. While celebrating the myriad accomplishments of The Clan, the book doesn’t shy away from controversy, revealing anecdotes from their childhoods in the crack-infested hallways of Staten Island housing projects, to stints in Rikers for gun possession, to million-dollar contracts that led to recklessness and drug overdoses (including Ol’ Dirty Bastard’s untimely death). More than a history of a single group, Fernando sheds new light on a musical and cultural shift that started on the streets of Staten Island and quickly spread around the world.
From the Streets of Shaolin weaves together interviews from all the Clan members, as well as their friends, family and collaborators to create a compelling narrative and the most three-dimensional portrait of Wu-Tang to date. It also gives social, cultural, and historical context on The Clan’s development to help fans understand precisely how they have become the cultural icons they are today. Unique in its breadth, scope, and access, From the Streets of Shaolin is a must-have for fans of WTC and hip-hop in general.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR: S.H Fernando Jr., a veteran music journalist who spent a significant amount of time with The Clan during their heyday of the ‘90s, has written extensively about the group for such publications as Rolling Stone, The New York Times, Vibe, and The Source. He is the Author of The New Beats: Exploring the Music, Culture, & Attitudes of Hip-Hop, one of the first books about hip-hop. He is an Alumnus of Harvard University and The Columbia University School of Journalism.
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