Twas a well night spent last night at Minneapolis' "Triple Rock." Famous for they're live and loud punk/metal rock shows, the events' head banging attendees jammed out to a different buzz. A sound in which transformed Twin Citians into killer bees as they were stung by the venom of one of the founding members of the Wu-tang Clan, the "genius" himself: GZA.
Before the Brooklyn, NYC native born Gary Grice took a hold of the mic, the crowd was hyped up by opening acts from militant rapper St Paul Slim accompanied by Dj Snuggles, and Minneapolis massacre Muja Messiah alongside Dj Turtleneck who spun a few sets throughout the nights. The crowd was thick and diverse with your traditional hip-hop backpackers rocking black and gold "Wu" t-shirts awaiting to "Enter the Wu-tang's 36 Chambers."
As I roamed the room, greeted a few people, and felt out the vibe of patiently waiting fans, I made it back to my place backstage to interview GZA before he turned the venue into a human beehive. It was truly great to sit next to an original member of a crew who has influenced so much of my work as an emcee and hip hop advocate. M.I.: The Wu-Tang Clan has been known globally for almost 2 decades now. As hip-hop continues to grow and media depicts the changes of representation, Where do u see the future of the Wu-Tang Clan's expansion? GZA: Schools, education.
Wu-tang has opened many doors for hip hop. I see us continuing to open doors for the youth and students through entering more curriculums; alongside Hip-Hop courses being taught and adapting in universities and colleges now I see us more adapting those lessons with lyrical workshops and discussions. M.I.: Would u consider the Wu-Tang Clan to be on the high ranks of spreading outreach to communities of activism? Would you say the Wu uses poetic expressions to walk alongside the formed movement of the 1960's Black Panthers and Young Lords? GZA: Yes most definitely. Not in the same path such as Chuck D (Public Enemy), but more so along the guidelines of staying committed to giving back and speaking the truth through our craft and motivation. As well as keeping our projects productive to help benefit each artists.
It's all about organization. M.I. What has been a success to be able to progress the Wu's message? GZA: Education is the tool. Even if we haven't directly instructed a session. I think Wu-Tang has been an instructor of education to anyone who has been a fan, anyone who has supported our movement whether its been from buying a Wu-tang cd or coming to see a show. I feel each listener/supporter has received a jewel or a blessing of knowledge and motivation that they can carry inside of them forever. We don't just talk about repin' our hood.
We bring patterns of mathematics and ancient history through modern metaphors. Something I wish more artist these days could continue building from. M.I. What's one thing that stands out about the Twin Cities? GZA: Not to many 24 hour sit down food joints yo. Whatsup with that?! (Smiling) M.I. I can't give much of an answer to that. I've been waiting my whole life here in the TCs to have a more of a selection than the normal "fast- food" all night service and Mickey's diner on my side of the river.
But hey the SotaRico kitchen is open all day! :) As I wished the GZA a good show (and informed him if he finished his set he may have a chance to grab a slice at Pizza Luce), I made my way back out towards the sound board at the Triple Rock to catch what would be once again an amazing set by one of the Killer Bees. Bumping shoulders with Atmosphere's ANT and fellow Rhymesayers label mate Toki Wright, I took a moment to discuss and acknowledge how truly great the culture we live in is.
It's about having a purpose and recognizing that even after 20 years in the game rocking a mic and spitting knowledge, you can continue to motivate and move forward to help establish the next chambers that await their destiny. Pa'lante mundo! -M.I. Check out M.I. Song of the post: St Paul Slim's "HORSES" www.myspace.com/stpaulslim