One of the most critically and commercially successful hip hop groups of all time comes to L.A. this weekend. The world famous Wu-Tang Clan – hip hop's Grammy winning group – is set to perform at the House of Blues on the Sunset Strip, Sunday, December 23 at 9pm.
Among its members are multi-platinum selling solo artists, multi-platinum record producers, Grammy winners, TV and film stars, screenwriters, product spokespersons, business owners and major motion picture composers and actors. Group member Rza was most recently seen in the hit film, “American Gangster.”
Wu-Tang Clan shot to fame through their uncompromising brand of hardcore rap music. Since their debut, they have introduced or launched the careers of numerous other artists and groups, and already in 1994 there were credited to be over 300 Wu-Tang Clan affiliates known as the Wu-Tang Killa Bees, consisting of rappers, producers, and record label CEOs.
The founders of the Wu-Tang Clan were RZA, GZA, and Ol' Dirty Bastard. Their frustration with the workings of the hip hop music industry would provide the main inspiration to Wu-Tang Clan's revolutionary business plan.
According to The Wu-Tang Manuel at the group's inception, RZA promised the members that if he had total control of the Wu-Tang Empire, it would conquer the hip-hop world within a dynastic cycle, after which he would relinquish his total control.
Perhaps only true fans of Wu-Tang Clan know that the group has influenced many current-day hip-hop acts in the areas of rapping, production technique, subject matter and image. Among these contributions have been RZA's sampling style, certain Clan members' Mafioso rap personas, usage of slang terms, and the tendency of artists to run in tightly-knit groups.
According to RZA, he tries to have no more than 20-25 percent sampling on any given record, something starkly different from many other major hip hop groups. He uses "the sampler more like a painter's palette than a Xerox. Then again, I might use it as a Xerox if I find rare beats that nobody had in their crates yet."
RZA's production technique, specifically the manner of chopping up and/or speeding or slowing soul samples to fit his beats, has been picked up by some of music's top producers.
The group is touring the country promoting its CD, 8 Diagrams, with a series of live performances. This weekend's performance is the only L.A.-area show scheduled so far.
Wu-Tang Clan at House of Blues, Sunday, Dec. 23 at 9pm. Tickets are $75.00