Wu: The Story of the Wu-Tang Clan tells the story of the rise, fall, and eventual rebirth of the Wu-Tang Clan, one of the most successful hip-hop groups in history. It follows them from their humble beginnings as kids in Staten Island watching kung-fu movies to the height of fame and power as rappers, record producers, actors and major motion picture composers.
The impact of the Wu-Tang Clan cannot be overstated. The simple fact that the group had nine MCs is amazing in and of itself, to say nothing of their dominance of the industry, brought about by their unique deal with Loud Records which allowed each member of the group to sign with a different record label for their solo releases. From clothing stores to video games to nail polish, the Clan branched out into many different avenues of business, each one of them successful.
But success has its price, as this film documents. Internal struggles within the group and personal problems essentially dissolved the Clan. It seemed that their egos got the best of them as rivalries and feuds made enemies out of former friends. Struggles with personal demons led to the incarceration and eventual death of founding member Russell Jones aka Ol’ Dirty Bastard. Much of the film is dedicated to ODB’s problems and acts as something of a tribute to this often misunderstood but immensely talented individual.
The film features interviews with friends and family as well as never-before-seen performance footage from the early days in clubs to sell-out arena crowds. The impact of the group is underscored by this amazing footage. The crowds at these shows are so diverse: seemingly people of every color and culture loved the Wu-Tang Clan and at several times throughout the performances, it would seem that the crowd is the MC. They know every single word to every song. It’s almost like a rally or a revival meeting. There’s something almost religious about these events and the power comes through on film.