The Saga Continues

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

XXL Names The World's Top 10 Rap Books Which Includes The Wu-Tang Manual.


These days, when rappers pull out a pen and a pad, or even get on the computer or their smart phones, it’s not certain they do with the intent of writing a rhyme. More and more MCs are using their creative talents to turn a gift for words into literary works, instead of recorded tracks. Over the years, rhyme slingers from Prodigy to C-Murder to 50 Cent to Jay-Z and The RZA have released their own tomes, ranging from memoirs to novels to guides behind their rhymes. Traditionally, only journalists, scholars and outsiders took aim at putting hip-hop in book form, but as the culture has expanded, more artists have cranked out material for the page, becoming players in the literary world. Most recently, Common, T.I. and Odd Future have released projects, with Nas’s coming down the pike. XXL recaps the 10 best rapper-penned books of all time. Bookmark this.

THE WU-TANG MANUAL
Authors: The RZA and Chris Norris
Release Date: January 4, 2005
First Line of Chapter 1: “And The Rza, he the sharpest motherfucker in the whole clan, he on point.”

Wu-Tang Clan’s Abbot, The RZA, offered rap scholars a comprehensive introduction to his group’s world with his first book, The Wu-Tang Manual (Penguin Group). The curriculum is broken up into four “Books,” each having nine sections, or “Chambers.” Book One familiarizes the reader with all of the Wu members, Book Two explains in detail the Clan’s varying influences (martial arts,
Five Percenter ideology, mafia culture, comic books, chess, etc.), Book Three breaks down several of the group’s biggest songs, and Book Four ventures into the signature musicality of the WTC.

The guide was devoured by fans, with many followers bringing it to shows for Bobby Digital to sign in person. “The book was able to catch people from different walks,” The RZA says. “Some people respected the Christian part of the book; some people were able to relate to getting knowledge of self.”

Manual was such a success that The RZA penned a follow-up, The Tao of Wu (2009), that focused more on his own spirituality. And he’s currently working on a third book, outlining the 36 principles that help steer his life.—by Adam Fleischer, Jesse Gissen, Mark Lelinwalla and Jayson Rodriguez
Image by Socrates Gomez

Others include

I MAKE MY OWN RULES
Authors: LL Cool J and Karen Hunter
Release Date: September 15, 1998
First Line of Chapter 1:
“It took four hours of labor, sweating and pacing.”

REVELATIONS: THERE’S A LIGHT AFTER THE LIME
Authors: Ma$e and Karen Hunter
Release Date: September 16, 2003
First Line of Chapter 1:
“Elder Gus, one of the preachers at the Salvation Deliverance Church on 116th Street in Harlem, was leading the altar call on this particular Sunday.”

E.A.R.L.: THE AUTOBIOGRAPHY OF DMX
Authors: DMX and Smokey D. Fontaine
Release Date: October 21, 2003
First Line of Chapter 1: “My name is Earl Simmons.”

**FOR MORE OF THIS STORY, PICK UP THE NOVEMBER 2011 ISSUE OF XXL, ON STANDS NOW**

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