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Wu Tang Clan talk music, their first Saudi performance, and more

We sat down with a few members of the hip-hop collective ahead of Balad Beast…

Wu Tang Clan is an American hip-hop collective that was formed in Staten Island, New York City, in 1992. Credited for bringing back East Coast hip-hop, the group includes RZA, GZA, Method Man, Raekwon, Ghostface Killah, Inspectah Deck, U-God, Masta Killa, and Cappadonna. The stars just headlined the 2024 edition of Balad Beast in Jeddah.

Ahead of their debut performance in Saudi Arabia at the 2024 Balad Beast, we sat down with a few members to talk about all things music.

 

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What’s On: What’s a piece of advice you would give to the generation of young Saudi musicians?

U-God: Get you a lawyer. Get your lawyer things straight first, then do the music. It’s a business, and you gotta know that, it’s not all about showboating, gold chains, diamonds, jets, and all those things. You gotta build your way there, you gonna do a lot of work. It’s a lot of work, it’s a lot of work involved. We make it look easy; you have no idea how many miles these feet done walked. You’ve gotta have a warrior mentality.

Masta Killa: Well, you know today getting your music out, there’s just so many way to get your music out into the universe. When we first started, we needed a label, we needed to signed, you know nowadays, you can just be consistent and just have the drive. The web is at your fingertips and you can just do your thing you know what I mean, don’t let anyone deter or stop you.

Mathematics: Don’t let nothing stop you; it’s like perseverance. It’s like you’ve got to have the drive, you’ve got to stick with it, no matter what no body tells you, you gotta do it.

What’s On: How have you been finding Saudi Arabia so far?

U-God: I love this country. I don’t know, I resonate with this country. I really feel like this country is a safe zone if you want to be clean and refined.

Masta Killa: Well, this is our first encounter with most of the people here in Saudi, because we just got in today, basically, but it’s love and it’s a blessing to be here and to experience, you know, another side of the world and people are here to enjoy the music, and it’s a blessing.

Mathematics: People seem very peaceful, which I like, the atmosphere, the weather— it’s all beautiful. Even when we were driving over here, I’ve seen a lot of people outside, setting up and eating dinner, it’s beautiful.

 

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What’s On: What’s been a moment that stood out for you as a group?

U-God: Oh, when we was in Hawaii. When Dirty (Ol’ Dirty, member of Wu-Tang from 1992-2004) was alive, that’s like one of my favourite times; we had such a good time; we were young, and you know it was triple platinum; as a matter of fact, we were quadruple platinum; you know where we came from and what we saw; and then we were on Hawaiian islands. We were out there for a month, and it was just lovely.

What’s On: On a scale of 1-10, how excited are you to be performing here?

U-God: I’m usually like laid-back and I just like to take it as it comes. I don’t look forward, I don’t know how the audience is going to react. I’ve been in so many situations where we thought the crowd was gonna be like this and it turned out to be like that, and there were times when I thought the crowd was going to be nothing but they wind being the ones that get you.

Masta Killa: 20.

Mathematics: He (Masta Killa) said it best. I’m just glad that’s my brother and we’re here doing it together.

What’s On: Are you working on any new music at the moment?

U-God: Well, we did some new music; I don’t know where it’s gonna go. Like I said, I do things, and I can’t really put all my energy into thinking what’s going to happen to it. I try to do my best and put my best into it. After that, I sit back and let the powers that be take over.

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