The Saga Continues

Thursday, May 31, 2012

The Abbott RZA Joins 826LA Charity Show To Help Child Literacy

Wu-Tang is literally as they say for the children. As RZA joins 826LA charity show on the 14th to help raise money for child literacy.

Wu-Tang Clan Members Will Play Themselves IN ODB FIlm

Announced in march... Michael K. Williams will play Ol' Dirty Bastard, but not in a traditional biopic on the late rapper's life (one has long been rumored to be coming); rather seemingly as a character in someone else's story.

The project is titled Dirty White Boy and will center on...

... the astounding rise of Jarred Weisfeld, a 22-year-old VH1-intern-turned-manager, and his misadventures with the legendary rapper leading up to the performer’s tragic death in 2004...

... said the press release.

Although EW added this about 2 weeks ago:

[The film] is based on the final years of ODB’s life and will focus on the strange personal and professional relationship between the rapper and Jarred Weisfeld, a 22-year-old VH1 production assistant who eventually became ODB's manager in the early 2000s. The film will chronicle the beleaguered rapper's well-known addictions.

So maybe the film really will be about ODB, BUT told from the POV of the then 22-year old Weisfeld?

is based on the final years of ODB’s life and will focus on the strange personal and professional relationship between the rapper and Jarred Weisfeld, a 22-year-old VH1 production assistant who eventually became ODB's manager in the early 2000s.   Watch The Video For 'Gone,' RZA's Tribute To Ol' Dirty Bastard   The film will chronicle the beleaguered rapper's well-known addictions. ODB died of a fatal overdose in 2004 at the age of 35.At the time, Weisfeld told MTV News, "He was the complete opposite of what people made him out to be. He was a teddy bear."
The project is being produced by Lars Knudsen and Jay Van Hoy - the producing team the Oscar-winning film Beginners.

To be directed by Joaquin Baca-Asay (his feature film debut), Dirty White Boy already has financing and is said to have the full support and co-operation of ODB's mother, Cherry Jones.

The last we wrote about the potential for an ODB film, RZA was the man behind the curtain; at the time, he said that ODB's estate was "kind of confused on what to do, and all the rights and all that shit, but it’s definitely been talked about. There’s also been talk about a Wu-Tang Clan movie. So we’ll see what life brings. In my opinion, I’d rather see an ODB pic than a Wu-Tang Clan pic, because Wu-Tang is still alive, and may be active for a few more years. But an ODB pic, just to really describe his life, would be good."

Later, in an interview with MTV, Michael K. WIlliams (while on the set of They Die by Dawn) reveals a number of things about the project worth knowing, like: He's doing a lot of research on ODB; he had the pleasure of meeting ODB's mother, and the talked for three hours, and she told him plenty about ODB that the public doesn't know; he's been talking to other people who knew ODB well and privately, and he's gotten lots of insight into who he was as a man and, "dare I say it, scholar;" that the film will be a straight drama piece - "no buffoonery, for lack of a better word," Williams said; and finally, that the film will cover the last two years of ODB's life, from when he was released from prison, to the day he died.

This morning, answering the question of who will be cast to play the rest of the Wu-Tang clan, since it's kind of obvious that they'd need to be represented in a movie about ODB's *active* years... in an interview with NY Daily News, Williams gave us a bit more news we could use, stating that the producers of the movie "have no desire to cast any actors as the Wu-Tang... We need all hands on deck." So I can only assume that this means we should expect to see the real RZA, GZA, Method Man, Raekwon, Ghostface Killah and the other members of the crew, in the film, playing themselves obviously.

I suppose we should also assume that they have all agreed to the project...?

No confirmation of that... yet, so stay tuned.

I'm looking forward to getting our first look at Williams as ODB; might feel a little strange watching him be ODB while the rest of the Wu-Tang are themselves.


GZA/Genius Finds His Muse in the Stars

n an early May afternoon in the offices of Neil deGrasse Tyson, the director of the Hayden Planetarium, a model of Saturn caught the eye of a 45-year-old high-school dropout, and a lyric was born.

"I thought, this is probably the longest spinning record in the world," said GZA, the hip-hop artist and founding member of the Wu-Tang Clan, referring to the ring system surrounding the planet. About a week later, the words crystallized and he offered them over a vegetarian lunch on the Upper West Side.

"God put the needle on the disc of Saturn / The record he played revealed blueprints and patterns," he rapped in his signature rhythmic baritone, offering a taste from his forthcoming album, "Dark Matter," an exploration of the cosmos filtered through the mind of a rapper known among his peers as "the Genius."

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Daniella Zalcman for The Wall Street Journal
GZA, with Neil deGrasse Tyson, the director of the Hayden Planetarium, in Mr. Tyson's office at the Museum of Natural History.

Informed by meetings with top physicists and cosmologists at MIT and Cornell University, "Dark Matter" is intended to be the first in a series of albums that GZA—born Gary Grice in Brooklyn in 1966—will put out in the next few years, several of which are designed to get a wide audience hooked on science.

"Dark Matter" is scheduled for a fall release. Another album will focus on the life aquatic, a subject he's fleshing out with visits to the labs of marine biologists and researchers, as well as meetings with the likes of Philippe Cousteau.

"After 'Dark Matter,' he said, "we'll be back on earth, but in the ocean."

In between will come "Liquid Swords 1.5," for which GZA will re-record the lyrics to his beloved 1995 album "Liquid Swords," backed by live bands.

Composer and producer Marco Vitali, a Juilliard-trained violinist, is helping to score "Dark Matter." He recalled a recent meeting in which GZA explained the images that the music should convey.

"We talked about frenetic energy, outer space, molecules crashing into each other, organized chaos," Mr. Vitali said. "The grandeur of the fact that the universe was born in a millionth of a second, in this explosion that created billions of stars, these overpowering ideas that are bigger than we can conceive. How do we make the record feel like that?"

In other words, how does one score the majesty of the entire universe?

"We don't have the answers yet," conceded Mr. Vitali. One thing he does know is that the score will utilize "the power of an entire orchestra," likely one from a smaller European country, to keep costs down.

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Scott Gries/ImageDirect/Getty Images
The rapper performs with the Wu-Tang Clan in 2001.

For GZA, a major challenge is convincing skeptics for whom hip-hop and an academic subject like physics seem incompatible.

"It's gonna sound so boring to most people," the rapper said. "There have been times when I've been told, 'Oh, you're doing an album about physics? I hope it's not boring.' They don't get the idea. Because rappers are so one-dimensional, so narrow-minded, it comes off corny."

Still, he believes that "Dark Matter" will tap into the innate curiosity of listeners—even those with no outward interest in science.

"I don't think people have ever really been in touch with science," he said. "They're drawn to it, but they don't know why they're drawn to it. For example, you may be blown away by the structure of something, like a soccer ball or a geodesic dome, with its hexagonal shapes. Or how you can take a strand of hair and can get someone's whole drug history. They're different forms of science, but it's still science."

He plans to package "Dark Matter" with a short illustrated book that may also include the album's lyrics and a glossary, "like an epic textbook," he said.

Penny Chisholm, a professor of environmental science at MIT, said she'd welcome the chance to use a GZA album as a teaching tool. She met with him last December when he came to visit her lab, where she researches the ocean phytoplankton Prochlorococcus, the most abundant photosynthetic cell on the planet.

"He'd been doing his homework on the oceans," Ms. Chisholm said. "I was struck by his appreciation of the complexity of ecology and physics, and his views on life. I think he's now on a new mission, and he could play an important role in getting various messages out through his art form—about the earth, and science. That's why I've become a fan."

It's that kind of academic inspiration that a young Gary Grice could have used growing up in Brooklyn in the 1970s. He was always smart: Before he was the GZA, he could recite nursery rhymes backward and forward.

"He was the Genius, and we called him genius because we knew that he was a genius," said Raekwon, another founding member of the Wu-Tang Clan, the legendary Staten Island hip-hop crew formed in the early '90s.

But as he came of age, the city's blossoming hip-hop scene exerted its own gravitational pull, drawing him away from the classroom. He cut class most days, staying home to write lyrics or hang out with friends and make demos.

"I thought I knew more than what they were teaching in school," he said. "When you look back on it now, it's foolish to be cutting because we had so much more opportunity than now. When I look back at high school, or even junior high, we had all the things that kids don't have now: woodshop, ceramics, metal class, electric class, graphic arts, graphic design."

Instead he poured his efforts into music. A first album, "Words From the Genius," failed to make a splash in 1991. Two years later, he and eight friends—including two cousins, who would become the RZA and Ol' Dirty Bastard—released "Enter the Wu-Tang (36 Chambers)," a critical entry in the hip-hop canon. His solo follow-up, "Liquid Swords," went gold, winning acclaim for its sophisticated lyrics.

Despite have left school in the 10th grade, GZA nurtured his affection for science as he developed his skills as a lyricist.

"There were certain things that grabbed my interest, such as photosynthesis, such as us living off plants and plants living off us," he said. "You look at everything in that light—so if I'm looking at ice cubes, I might start thinking about absolute zero, or Fahrenheit and Celsius. There's so much that can make me think about science."

In 1995, when he released "Liquid Swords," GZA solidified his stature as the Wu-Tang Clan's most recognizable lyricist with lines like "I be the body dropper, the heartbeat stopper / child educator plus head amputator." Nearly two decades later, "Dark Matter," with its rejection of the braggadocio and violence often found in hip-hop and its embrace of poetry and natural imagery, could finally enable this father of two to seize that mantle of "child educator."

"There's no parental advisory, no profanity, no nudity," he said. "The only thing that's going to be stripped bare is the planets."

May 31th 2012 - Wu-Tang Arts & Crafts


What do you do when you are a big Wu-Tang Clan fan and have left over white Apple stickers from an Apple Computer, iPhone, iPad, iPod or other Apple device? You make Wu-Tang Clan stickers! Because I'm a fan and want others to know that Wu-Tang is forever I wanted a sticker to put on my cars back windshield.

Step 1: Find those Apple logo stickers.

Step 2: Measure the space between the left edge and the bite in the apple. (This tends to be 35-45mm).

Step 3: I created an art board 35-45mm in Adobe Illustrator. Using the pen tool I created the Wu-Tang Clan logo filling it in a light grey so it's easy to cut out.

Step 4: Print

Step 5: Using an exacto blade, cut out the Wu-Tang Clan logo.

Step 6: I used the cut out logo to traced the outer edge onto the white Apple Sticker.

Step 7: Using a combination of scissors and an exacto blade, cut out the Wu-Tang Clan logo.

Step 8: Peel off the back and stick it on something.