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Paperback The Wu-Tang Manual Book

ISBN: 1594480184

ISBN13: 9781594480188

The Wu-Tang Manual

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Format: Paperback

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Book Overview

The Wu-Tang Manual is The RZA's first written introduction to the philosophy and history of Hip-Hop's original Dynasty, the Wu-Tang Clan. Written in a style that is at once personal and philosophical, The Wu-Tang Manual unravels the intricate web of personalities (and alter egos), warrior codes, numerological systems, and Eastern spiritual ethics that define the Wu-Tang dynasty. Packed with information that reflects the breadth and depth of the RZA's...

Customer Reviews

5 ratings


The Wu-Tang Manual is akin to all the EU (Expanded Universe) novels, comic books, and publications related to the Star Wars franchise for a hip hop fan of one of the culture's biggest phenomenons ever. The Manual is chock full of EVERYTHING an intellectual listener and avid fan of the Wu would want to know: biographies, lyrics explanations, philosophy, music equipment, and spirituality. The Wu-Tang started a new sound in hip hop in early '93: gritty, minimalistic, atonal, and lo-fi, all exemplified in the classic debut 'Enter: The Wu-Tang'. From then on, a legend was born: numerous solo albums from all nine members, even including the honorary tenth member Cappadonna, movies, television, touring, guest appearances on other artists' projects, RZA even composed music for the original soundtrack to the Tarantino's two-parter 'Kill Bill'. The Wu-Tang even have their own "Expanded Universe" of branch-off emcees and groups that rivals the amount of material in that of the Star Wars EU (e.g. Cilvaringz, Killah Priest, Sunz of Man, Black Knights, Killarmy, etc.). And they're STILL going strong with a slew of new albums already dropping (Ghost's awesome 'Fishscale', Sunz' 'Old Testament', etc.). The Wu-Tang Clan are HIP HOP LEGENDS, and this Manual chronicles the beginning of the movement all the way to the present, even chronicling the events that shaped the life of Robert Diggs (RZA), which would eventually also shape his movement. To the initiated, [hip hop] heads know the Wu stand for something and they're some pretty deep brothers. RZA quotes everyone from Nietzsche to the Hagakure, a guide of bushido commentaries for the warrior (samurai). Being heavily into philosophy myself, I was really intrigued and exhilerated to read what some of the artist's actually meant behind some of their poetic verses. I saw this book at a mom 'n' pop store (Hasting's) in San Marcos and absolutely fell in love with it. If you're into hip hop, you're more than likely a fan of the Wu as well, and if you are, YOU NEED THIS BOOK -- become more intimately knowledgeable of the legendary Clan and everything they stand for and how they came to be. "CLAN IN THE FRONT!"

The Wu saga continues....

Excellent read!The Rza gives an indepth look inside the minds of the Wu-tang Clan and the lives they live. If you are a fan of the Wu-tang than this book is a must read. There are many good photos of the group and the Rza gets very personal with his words. Pick it up, you will enjoy it.

Fantastic Read

I could not set this book down once I started reading it. It is a great book for anyone who is new to the Wu. It startsoff with great little bios about each artist, but it quickly gets into Wu-history and philosophy that rewards any fan of the group and does what any comic/book/speaker does; it makes you want to explore what RZA's philosophy is even more. This book also, amazingly, does all this with no chest beating. RZA comes off proud, but humble. This is something that 95% of all modern musicians could never do.

Absolutely essential for any Wu fan!!

This brilliant book, written by the RZA (aka the Abbot), goes into detail about pretty much everything about the Wu Tang including their musical/movie influences, their neighborhoods, the mythology of the 36 chambers (it's not just the name of their first album), and the philosophies regarding the 5 percent Nation and the tenents of the Nation of Gods and Earths. The RZA also breaks down the Shaolin fighting style and how Wu has incorporated this unique fighting style into their raps. He also gives an in-depth analysis of how the game of chess plays a crucial role in not only lyrical battles but also in terms of defeating enemies in real life. This guide/book also comes with a handy translation of some of the Wu's lexicon and slang. But the true gem of this book is the RZA's breaking down some of the lyrics of the Wu's most famous songs so that when the Rza spits "Connectin' Brooklyn/Shaol like the Verazanno -Narrows", you will know what he is talking about. I highly recommend this book to any true Wu fan!

Wu-mythos finally emerges as a whole

All I can say is, why'd it take so long? Oh yeah, that's right. They were too busy releasing albums, touring, doing shows (and drugs), getting locked up, getting released, appearing on Chapelle's Show, making comic books, scoring movies, and growing the legend of the nine generals, to finish writing a book. Wow. This is an astonishingly exhaustive work explicating fully the reasoning behind all the insane lyrics behind the Wu, plus the culture with which they were inculcated in their youth. I've been a Wu fan since around Killa Bees/Gravel Pit days, and my collection now includes nearly every group and solo album (less Deck's The Movement, some Cappadonna, U-God's stuff, and Immobilarity). As such a thorough fan, I'm highly impressed. Lyrics in their songs that I'd just skipped over before or barely acknowledged take on added depth and meaning with the Abbot's commentary. And it's not just Wu-devotees that will find material in here to their liking. The book begins very simply, with biographies of each of the original nine swordsmen. Containing exhaustive lists of aliases (some of which I had -no- idea belonged to the emcee that they do), birthdates, anecdotes, and releases, these serve perfectly to introduce the reader to the individual rappers. From there, however, the book progresses into a deeper analysis of the underpinnings of Wu tradition, including looks at -all- their obvious influences (kung fu movies, mob movies, comic books, drug culture, etc.) and some less obvious ones (did you know that the famous Shaolin Sifu Shi Yanming is personal friends with RZA and Iron Man?). During a time when rap is seen as mere gangsterism and cliched thug-talk, RZA shows a blinding level of intellectualism and scholarship, drawing quotes from Nietzsche, the Hagakure, Lao Tze, and Charles Mingus (among others). He also explains the particular religion of the Five Percent Nation, and the Gods and the Earths. Personally, as a producer and emcee in training, RZA's section on technical details and equipment was also very valuable - he discusses working with equipment very specifically, and details how he built the characteristic Wu style. Coming as it does during a renaissance of Wu music (Pretty Tony Album, No Said Date, and the Wu live CD all having been well-received in the last year), The Manual both reassures the Wu-fanboy within me while also relighting the fire for the Shaolin Style. Suuuuue!

The Wu-Tang Manual: Enter the 36 Chambers, Volume One Mentions in Our Blog

The Wu-Tang Manual: Enter the 36 Chambers, Volume One in A Music Festival Reading List: 10 Great Music Books
A Music Festival Reading List: 10 Great Music Books
Published by Ashly Moore Sheldon • April 17, 2020

Today would have kicked off the final weekend of the epic Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival. Of course, this isn't happening because of concerns around coronavirus. Since nobody can actually experience Coachella (or any other live music events) right now, we decided to explore a literary tour of the star-studded desert fête.

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