The Wu-Tang Clan has protected its neck for over 20 years

The Wu-Tang Clan completely changed hip-hop from the second its sound made it onto the airwaves. With gritty flows, heavy production, and raw messages, Wu-Tang stood in stark contrast to the mainstream, sanitized hip-hop (think Will Smith) at the time. And it wasn’t by accident. From Wu-Tang’s inception in the early 1990s, RZA had a 20-year plan for what he wanted the group and its members to do. From sneaking into the radio station and convincing Stretch and Bobbito to play the group’s first track (“Protect Ya Neck”) to signing the Clan to one record label while allowing the individual members to cut deals with different labels, RZA took a chess grandmaster’s approach  to the Wu-Tang’s career. On the 20th anniversary of Wu-Tang’s first album Enter the Wu-Tang (36 Chambers), RZA discussed his long-term his strategy on NPR’s Morning Edition yesterday.

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