hungry hearted

serving up a healthy portion of pop culture commentary, random infatuations, and introspective ramblings

RZA, hit me with that shit one time

About a month ago I came across Wu's new track, "Heart Gently Weeps." As a huge Beatles fan, I instantly fell in love the crossover. The shit caught me off guard and basically blew my mind. In addition to a new take on an old riff from, "While My Guitar Gently Weeps," the track features Erykah Badu, one of my favorite songstresses of all time. The version I had was rough and was tainted by the "this is a exclusive" sponsorship repeated throughout, which is the main reason I haven't posted about this previously and/or offered a download for the track. Thankfully, the wait paid off. It was in fact a demo and the album version, which is much more dynamic and polished has been leaked. Enjoy:

While the Wu-Tang conglomeration is typically overwhelming and I am usually turned off by overexposure, I have a soft spot for Wu-Tang, another reflection of my east coast roots. Back in high school, I'm pretty sure I played 36 Chambers until the cassette tape wore out. I'll always associate that album directly with my adolescence, learning to drive and experiencing that initial taste of self-sufficiency and freedom. I'll admit the picture of me driving around New Paltz's country roads in my old Camry bumping Wu-Tang is laughable, but I've always been smitten by creative lyricism and they bring it. Furthermore, I appreciate the way they use explicit language. They don't use it as a crutch to prove their edge, but rather as an accessory to help illustrate their rhymes. That's important when considering censorship issues and freedom of speech. I think Wu-Tang represent the intersection for street and conscious rappers.

I found this interview with RZA, who seems to be the puppet master of the group when it comes to logistics. I appreciate the insight, not only to the concept of the song, but especially the collaboration with Dhani Harrison (son of George) and the surprising bond between the two artists.

The representation RZA speaks of between the guitar and veins is a compelling metaphor, even though when watching his casual interview it's somewhat hard to take him completely seriously.

There's no doubt both Wu-Tang and The Beatles have had their issues with drugs especially in the context of their rock n' roll lifestyle. I recently found this video of John Lennon performing Cold Turkey, which feels appropriate to share here. The song is about his own struggle with heroin and the pains of detox.

(Check out that Wizard!)

Personally, I think Wu-Tang consistently keeps it tight. They always flow and pass the mic with highly amusing and often intellectual rhymes. Even with their street-life emphasis, they maintain a focus on reaching a higher level of awareness. From what I've heard, read and anticipate, 8 Diagrams is really going to hone in on that. I've read some really harsh reviews, but people need to realize that things change, artists grow and try new things. That's fucking real. Get over it. If you wanna hear old Wu listen to Forever or 36 Chambers. Right?

If you ask me, they're keepin' it straight sexy.