SHAKEZPEARE – Troubled

RELEASE: APRIL 20, 2018 NEW GOLDEN ERA/LIMITLESS VISION

REVIEW BY MICHAEL GRANT, C.E.O. of RePPiN4U/INTERNATIONAL REP for WU-WORLDWIDE DJ COALITION

1994: If there was one aspect I hated with a passion at school, it was studying Shakespeare, particularly that Romeo & Juliet. That story used to get on my last nerves. Two people from rival families fall in love with each other and then end up killing themselves…Give me a break. I used to roll my eyes over that all day. That gave me a ‘troubled’ mindset and wound up the English teacher.

1997: Wu-Tang Forever is released. As stated elsewhere in this blogsite, one of my highlights from that was ‘A Better Tomorrow’ imagine my horror when I discovered 4th Front Cover -Troubled - ShakezpeareDisciple used the sample from that same Shakespeare classic I hate.

Fast forward some 20 odd years later, I come across an artist by the name of ‘Shakezpeare’, introduced to me by our radio cousins FATP HIP HOP SHOW UK, this guy is all about the poetry, and not necessarily in the way William himself would have liked. Don’t call him ‘Trouble’, he’s already TROUBLED, as his latest album suggests (shout out to Method Man, heads will know what I did there), this album takes to a more deeper, almost twisted side to the persona, whether intentional or not. RePPiN4U was blessed to receive an advanced copy of this, and we are about to tell you what you can expect. One thing is guaranteed – more BARS OVER BULLSH!T, with the troubled one himself going in for dolo handling all the production going under the alias ‘TSS BEATS’.

It starts off with ‘Who Am I’, which sees Shakezpeare seemingly re-introducing himself to the world who may not know him too well, it just seems so ironic how I used Wu-Tang’s A Better Tomorrow track from Wu-Tang Forever for this review because their hook states “You can’t party your life away, drink your life away………………….because your seeds grow up the same way”, and the evidence shows when Shakespeare mentions his daughter and how she is just like him. He also knows the value of being blessed as he walks through the ‘Shadows Of’…

“If the milk turns out to be sour, I ain’t the kind of pussy to drink it, you nah’mean?”

My suspicions say that is an altered, distorted voice cameo from FATP’s PC The Producer akin to Raekwon in Supreme Clientele’s ‘Clyde Smith’, but I cannot prove it…not yet. ‘Sour Milk’ is a sure-fire album highlight. Three tracks in, and the album has maintained a haunting, deliberate pace, and it has no intention of stopping. In ‘Misguided’, Shakezpeare does not mince his words with his blunt delivery: “Getting sick of false idols, faking the game/pink dreads and lipstick/battyman strange!”

shakezpeare troubled

‘Trouble’ is the first single from this project. Naturally this is the recurring theme throughout, no matter how much Shakezpeare wants to escape, so rather than that, he’s always staying sharp and ahead from backstabbers and will face them head on. Meanwhile, ‘Certy’ sounds like it has the Mobb Deep influence all throughout its sonic production, not to mention it has the stamp of approval from Havoc himself. It’s at this point Shakezpeare decides to turn up the intensity with ‘Looking Glass’, where he sees himself with his ‘inner Blanka’ just begging to be unleashed on the world.

The penultimate skit has a jewel spoken by Dr Malachi Z.York over a SAW theme. It sets the tone for the album’s last track ‘Nah’, where he puts himself on another playing field when it comes to being gutter.

Back Cover - Troubled - Shakezpeare

NOT THAT GUY

Conveniently dropping on 4/20, this project is definitely one for the smokers who can zone out and really feel the intensity here and relate to a troubled mind… that is until the final track where at the end of the journey, Shakezpeare kicks you out of his mind and proclaims you are NOT like him, and the likelihood is – he’s right. The album hits like a shaolin buddah finger (soft strikes but can easily kill when struck at the right power point.) The timing is right as well as he will be performing tracks from this album at the Killah Priest show which is days later (at time of this publish). Even if you are ‘straight edge’ like myself, this is an album you can channel your emotions into.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Advertisements

PHAROAHE MONCH LIVE @2FUNKY MUSIC CAFE, LEICESTER UK – MARCH 24, 2018!

REVIEW BY MICHAEL GRANT, C.E.O. of RePPiN4U & International Rep for Wu Worldwide DJ Coalition

Pharoahe Monch scratches my head. Like seriously. I don’t understand. Allow me to elaborate. This is a guy who has four critically acclaimed albums under his belt (five if you include ‘Lost In Translation’), but certain heads have STILL not heard of this guy? Going as far as not even knowing that he’s behind the classic anthem ‘Simon Says’? Like – how is this even possible? It’s not like he’s an obscure artist either! Thank goodness for Pharaohe Monch live Leicester igthose in attendance at the 2Funky Music Cafe in Leicester (My home away from home). For the past two years, I have attended this venue more times than any other venue for music gigs, which says a lot for this country’s so-called ‘second capital’ (Birmingham promoters get it together!!!)

Once again I have to big up Shakezpeare and his catering crew. They really make the events feel right at home with their Caribbean cuisine. Venues across the UK STEP YOUR GAME UP!

Big shout out to the DJs on the ones an twos. KMS & DJ YESS providing the sounds on the outside while heads get their smoke on and what not, but special mention goes out to DJ Ninja Bob, who really impressed me with the way he selects his music. The casual head may not tell the difference, but someone like myself would be able to tell that Ninja Bob was carefully mixing old school with new school hip hop in his set, and I’m not talking mumble rap either. That true to form Hip Hop that is played on RePPiN4U HIP HOP SHOW. We need more DJs like him who isn’t afraid of answering to the higher-ups of what to play.

In past reviews I have criticized the venue for having too many opening acts before the main event, but this time they nailed it. Strizzy Strauss kicked things off when Big Ben struck twelve, Mercz The 1st impressed me coming off all smooth and then backing off his jacket halfway through his set proclaiming ‘That’s the commercial stuff out the way’, going in with harder sounds and then finishing with a Leicester victory anthem, presumably made upon Leicester City’s premiership victory triumph in 2016.

Friend of RePPiN4U – Loaneski was up next and owned the stage with his fierce delivery leaving the stage hot enough for D-Crime to bring the Hip Hop 4x100m relay baton to the finish line. The only drawback was these guys didn’t have enough time on stage to really show off their skills.

Now on this night, the UK were turning their clocks forward, so 1am became 2am. and between 2:15am and 2:20am DJ Boogie Blind introduced the guest of honor to the stage. Fitted with a leather jacket with the anarchy symbol on the back, this is a Renegade ready for War, starting the set with ‘Assassins’. There I was looking around the corner looking for Jean Grae to surprise us but then remembered we are not in London.

Pharoahe blasts through his powerful resume of hits such as ‘Oh No’, ‘Clap’, ‘Desire’, and ‘Got You’, but once again his epic storytelling in ‘Time 2’ was the show stealer, as a ‘drunken Pharoahe’ stumbles in and out of the spotlight, with the chair as the centerpiece, and Pharoahe eventually shoots himself with a water pistol (playing the role of the gun obviously)…

Pharoahe ends his set with the tune he’s best known for, the mosh pit anthem to end all mosh pits. SIMON SAYS. It’s just a real shame the women doesn’t do what Simon Says… and there were quite a number of them on this night!

Pharoahe Monch 2 Funky

PHOTO TAKEN COURTESY OF K PIX PHOTOGRAPHY

With no new album (that we know of) in the works, this was a stellar show which everybody enjoyed, and this has further cemented Leicester as THE place in the Midlands for Hip Hop. In the space of two years, this city has seen Onyx, Lowkey, Kool G Rap, Havoc, Dom Pachino, and now Pharoahe Monch…Birmingham – TALK TO YOUR PROMOTERS. TALK TO EM!!!

KEMETSTRY A.K.A. SPIDA LEE – Spirit Vs Ego Freestyle

ARTICLE BY MICHAEL GRANT, C.E.O. of RePPiN4U & International rep for Wu Worldwide DJ Coalition

KemetstrySometimes, classics should be left alone. They are classic for a reason. Not only is it an unwritten rule in film, but the same applies in Hip Hop, unless you are a special kind of talent who can pull it off. Such is the case for Huddersfield MC – Spida Lee, who has taken on a new alias – Kemetstry, and along with it – a new clothing line.

Thankfully this man has a knack of dropping powerful freestyles over classic tracks, and this time it’s the turn of Dr. Dre’s 2001 cut – Ackrite featuring Hittman. King Of Da Hillz TV (KODHTV) invited him on to show us the struggle and comparison between ‘Spirit Vs Ego’, combining conscious mindset with Jamaican humour. Check the video below after the jump…

Firing off the starting blocks with “Spirit Vs My Ego/tryna be Professor X with thoughts of Magneto/you clown fish rappers gonna find you like Nemo/Gangsta like Premo/Like George Bush taking Twin Towers to Ground Zero..” Kemestry goes in, and warns the ignorant ‘never mention banana boat again!’

In an era where people are more aware of logos, symbols, and their meanings, whereas others think they are ‘woke’, Kemetstry breaks down the meaning of his logo in the video below.

 

“REAL KINGS DON’T DIE, CAUSE YOUR SPIRIT LIVES ON…”

If you like what you hear, you can download the freestyle for free on soundcloud. You can also check out the rest of his catalogue on bandcamp, and you can also purchase the Kemetstry gear at his official website.

LIKE KEMETSTRY ON FACEBOOK @kemetstryOfficial

FOLLOW ON TWITTER @Kemetstry_music

FOLLOW ON INSTAGRAM @kemetstry_official

Kemetstry Clothing

CLICK HERE FOR OFFICIAL WEBSITE

BLACK PANTHER

RELEASED: FEBRUARY 16, 2018, Director – Ryan Coogler

REVIEW BY MICHAEL GRANT, C.E.O. of RePPiN4U, International Rep for Wu Worldwide DJ Coalition

DISCLAIMER: This review is written from the perspective of a casual fan, and not necessarily that of a Marvel Comic fanatic.

The craze began mid-summer of 2017…after the success of the Netflix hit ‘Luke Cage’ which had hip hop and Marvel fans in a frenzy, it was time for director – Ryan Coogler to pull the trigger and announce Black Panther… not only was it the first superhero movie of its kind (Black director, Black writers, predominately black cast, with the lead role also played by a black person) but it is also a vital piece to the puzzle which coincides with the story to the 2018 blockbuster – The Avengers: Infinity War. The hype leading to this movie has been incredible, to the point where a superhero film has crossed mainstream borders the magnitude of the first Spiderman movie which starred Tobey Maguire back in 2002. I can tell you that I never saw the trailers, yet I got hype. How does that even work? Maybe it was word of mouth, maybe it was the talk of black people dressing up in their Sunday best which was unheard of. It had me contemplating whether to draw for the Infamous Purple Suit… I walked into Cineworld Wolverhampton expecting a total takeover by black people carrying the dutch-pot with fried fish, dumpling, hardo bread, plantain, Guinness punch, bun & cheese, all that good stuff, but instead what I saw was a glorious mixture of my fellow brothers and sisters, with the Marvel Comic fans, with even older people 50+ years old attending this movie. The moment that got me hype however was this video…

Special shout out to Kendrick Lamar who provided the soundtrack to this movie. The lead single ‘All the Stars’ featuring fellow label-mate SZA captured the true essence and vibe, something not seen in a superhero movie since arguably Seal’s ‘Kiss From A Rose’ for Batman Forever. If this feel good track does not get you hype for the film, you’re reading the wrong review.

Black Panther is a story of how the perception of the African nation Wakanda is viewed by the whole world as a third world country, but they couldn’t be further from the truth as Wakanda is the most technology advanced place in the world, with its main source coming from a metal called ‘Vibranium’, which powers all their transport and equipment, and best of all – can heal their people. Well that eliminates the legalisation of cannabis, doesn’t it?

The back story dates back to 1992, when the brother of the King of Wakanda was accused of betraying them and steals a piece of that metal. They send a spy after him to help track him down, and when the King finally caught up with him in Oakland California, he kills his brother after he shows resistance, not realising that his son – a young Erik ‘Killmonger’ Stevens a.k.a. N’Jadaka (played by Michael B Jordan) witnesses what happened from the distance.

Fast forward to present day, and The King of Wakanda has passed away, and passes his throne down to his son T’Challa (Chadwick Boseman), along with the power of the Black Panther.

Killmonger learns of his family history and then devises a plan to overthrow T’Challa. Not just that, but also to use the Vibranium to wage war against the world as revenge for what happened to his people centuries ago.

Let’s take a moment to compliment the movie with its wardrobe outfit designs. they are nothing short of exquisite. I couldn’t help but hear chuckles from some of the younger audiences when they saw what looked like discs embedded in some of the mouths of the tribesmen. As mentioned earlier with regards to Kendrick Lamar, the music treatment really matched those action sequences.

Some of these scenes are straight up epic, such as the ritual combats T’Challa had to engage in to become King or defend his throne against Killmonger. In the former battle, T’Challa was on the brink of defeat when he sees his mother Ramonda (Angela Bassett) cry out to him which prompts him to hail himself “I AM T’CHALLA! SON OF T’CHAKA!” in a similar war cry fashion to Apocalypto when Jaguar Paw declares himself as king of the jungle before making an epic comeback.

Kudos to the film’s sub-villain Ulysess Klaue (Andy Serkis) who has some great one-liners like telling his enemies to ‘check his music on soundcloud’, or the bodyguards led by Okoye (Danai Gurira) who shows no fear in battles, they are sure to inspire the youth of today just as T’Challa’s sister Shuri (Letita Wright) who makes the weapons and what not, or even Killmonger himself, who despite his villainous antics, his heart is in the right place at times because when the film cuts to a scene in London UK you know something is going down when he visits the British museum and puts them on blast about English ancestors robbing Africa for their riches which resulted in gasps heard within the cinema. Yes people Marvel Comics are teaching their fans. And of course, Stan Lee just had to find himself in the film… and rightfully so.

Mike Knoxxx Killmonger meme

Photo art courtesy of Mike Knoxxx of BDSIR NETWORK/SoulNSports

That is a fantastic line by Killmonger in his dying moments in the film’s climax, just as the final scene where the kids in LA are fascinated by T’Challa’s aircraft while one kid takes a step back and notices T’Challa simply standing there. the kid approaches him and asks him if the craft belongs to him. Very powerful moment to close the film.

Without watching any trailers and not knowing what to expect, this is such a great film and worth all the hype which you couldn’t even tell that it was meant to be a connection to Avengers: Infinity War to the casual viewer. If there were any minors about the feature, it might be some of the CGI effects which looked dated in places, maybe it’s budget cuts saved for the infinity war but the casual viewer is already so engaged and BlackPanther_Movie_Poster_MrDesignJunkie_04_1383x2048invested in the action that it’s not even a factor. It’s a real shame about Killmonger going forward, he could have made a great ally in future installments but again, steering away from the comic book adaptation may annoy purists. A personal gripe of mine which is not even to do with the film itself, but people going in and out of the cinema, words from the wise – use the bathroom facilities before you leave!

People are going to the cinema to watch this movie, and leave either wanting to be an engineer or some kind of skilled warrior, or wanting their own necklace hoping it will give them super powers. With box office records already broken, Let’s be real – a sequel is inevitable… you best plan out your next outfit from now…

 

 

SKYZOO: In Celebration Of Us

RELEASED: FEBRUARY 2, 2018 – First Generation Rich/EMPIRE

REVIEW BY MICHAEL GRANT@ C.E.O. of RePPiN4U & International Rep for Wu Worldwide DJ Coalition

“Similar habits, get it on the strength, and I got her eating donuts every February 10th – I’m #AllAboutThat..” – (Skyzoo, #AllAboutThat, 2011)

Let’s be real – February is a month of CELEBRATION. Some of us wanna act all ‘pro black’ on social media and rattle on about how Valentines, Thanksgiving, Christmas etc are pagan holidays but there we are hoping to be showered with gifts, getting our teeth into that succulent turkey, or how we talk about February being ‘Black History Month’ but we should celebrate all year round’ but there we are again dressing up in African garments and the like just to watch a superhero film… down to J Dilla (and Baatin) February has Skyzoo Celebrationmore Dilla social media posts than any other time in the year…Skyzoo is aware of this, and so he’s decided to take full advantage. He was born Gregory Skylar Taylor December 24, 1982, he has paid homage to Dilla in previous joints, Spike Lee is his hero, and so he just wants to celebrate black love and community, not just that but more specifically – himself and his parents in this latest album – IN CELEBRATION OF US – which dropped in FEBRUARY.

When the album starts you quickly realise that the year is 1982 two guys in the conversation are Skyzoo’s (soon to be) father and his friend and how Pops plans to raise his unborn son away from the world he’s been exposed to which is great looking out.

Skyzoo’s lyrical prowess wastes no time in ‘Everybody’s Fine’ over a jazzy backdrop which is a theme which re-occurs throughout the project, and basically that’s what the album ‘Sounds Like’. But here – your head is viciously nodding uncontrollably. This is going to be an instant favourite among boom bap fans and more importantly – concert ready.

This flows relentlessly into the album’s lead single ‘Baker’s Dozen’ featuring The Love King himself – Raheem DeVaughn, which is basically D’Angelo’s Devil’s Pie brought into 2108 and updated. This shuts down critics about Apollo Brown’s production as this is a complete departure from the grainy vinyl soul sound we know and expect from him. In a period where we have gone crazy over the visual presentation of black superheroes, it’s great to see Sky use a clever line  – “Black lives in black 5s, the frame boxing out, 
I’m Luke Caging but more related to Cottonmouth…” Personally – I will always prefer Sky & Raheem’s Dream Deferred outing ‘Drew & Derwin’ which should have blown up on many levels. On the off-chance Sky & Raheem see this, I sincerely hope they still give that track the visual treatment.

An instant album highlight, ‘Crown Holder’, as soon as you hear the sample. !llmind slows down the 1989 Soho Jazz hit while Sky’s head gets a little respectfully big “You can call this my new sh!t, but it ain’t new tho, I done helped raise a couple stars that you know, Know the fans I be attracting is ’bout a loophole, he isn’t lying, through him I discovered the likes of Torae & Rapsody… and oh yeah – that sultry Heather Victoria chick…

Sky continues to play the lyrical show off in ‘Heirlooms & Accessories,’ when halfway through the track, the beat switches and so does his flow and he does it without flinching. Not just that, when the beat was done, Sky wasn’t done! He can go ‘Forever in a Day’ if he wanted to.

kaycola

KAY COLA

The spoken word interlude has Sky turning his attention to the women… or rather, the woman has turned her attention to him. ‘The Purpose’ of it, is to bring out more of the Lucid Dream Queen herself – Kay Cola, another gifted soul artist who features on the track.

In every 4 bars Skyzoo breaks down the definition of the word ‘Love’ and it’s metaphors in this no-hook wordplay assault, and the album’s February celebration theme re-occurs… “Or love me like a purchase on 47th and 6th, And the Russian jeweler knock off $100 off what you pick, 
In the middle of February your sleeves up off your wrist, And you add another $100 when discussing what you spent…” 

The last few bars in ‘Black Sambo’ is the unfortunate reality of our young black youth who could become victims of the racist police brutality and even through live social media Saba abrahaseen by millions (because that sort of thing goes viral quick) there’s still no justice.

Allow for ‘Parks & Recreation’ to zone you out with Saba Abraha providing the chorus, once again Skyzoo referring to his earlier track where he continues to raise new stars. It becomes evident at this point that when it comes to guest appearances for this project, he’s calling on NO MC. He’s going in alone, thus defeating the myth of ‘new album! What’s the line up like?’ The zone out continues in ‘Collateral’ featuring Jake&Papa, and right off the bat makes a snappy Wu-Tang reference “Can It Be All So Simple, Corey & Dennis?” Later you hear what appears to be a Caucasian voice use the ‘List of Jericho’ to state everything black people like… zone out session isn’t over in ‘The Stick Up Tape From Menace’… no prizes for guessing which classic film that is a reference from. Zone out session ends with ‘Hoodie SZN’…the lyrical content in this album will have hip hop fiends deciphering those lyrics for a good while yet.

The album closes out with one of the most epic tracks ever heard since arguably Jay-Z’s American Gangster in ‘Honor Amongst Thieves’, and here Sky has his most ‘4:44’ moment, by that I mean when he talks about his upbringing and personal life in such a vivid picture to the shocking conclusion of what happened at the neighborhood school and why his parents never wanted him there. Sky told us from the jump that this would be his most complex and focused work to date.

Skyzoo has come a long way from being a 9th Wonder protegé to becoming that hip hop superstar he is today and retaining all the credibility he had which a lot of artists would have sacrificed in less than half of that tenure, and the reason this is his most personal work because now Skylar himself is about to be a father and now the cycle starts again.

This IS a celebration. Raise your glasses, Skyzoo has done it again. Best album perhaps since arguably The Salvation…

LOANESKI: LONE WOLF

RELEASED: OCTOBER 29, 2017, Abeo Music, Adam Lewis Mixing, DJ RadioHead Beats, Flowfullsoundz and G.Lewis – REVIEW BY MICHAEL GRANT, C.EO. of RePPiN4U & INTERNATIONAL REP for WU WORLDWIDE DJ COALITION

“…six years after working with them (Bizznezz Fam) everybody went their separate ways and I thought – you know what? I wanna carry on…” (Loaneski, Shebangs Interview, 2016)

Lone wolf epThat interview right there tells you that if you looked in the dictionary and looked up the meaning of the word ‘passion’, there would be a picture of Loaneski waving at you right next to it. This is a guy who started writing at 8 years old, took it seriously in his teenage years, overcame religious beliefs whilst pursuing his music career, and has taken a step further in giving back and teaching while he was still a student of the music game himself, literally at De Montfort University.

The Lone Wolf EP finally dropped last year in which Loaneski promises more of his conscious mind but also introducing a bit more cockiness which his close people know him for in just 4 tracks.

The EP kicks off with the ‘Predator’, with a very familiar beat every hip hop head should know. Here Loaneski further backs up the claim I stated earlier about adversity: “You can’t stop me/like Makoveli/it’s gonna take more than five shots to drop me…”

Then in ‘Paisa’, Loaneski truly goes into conscious mode on how money is manipulating us in  so many ways and conforming to the pagan lifestyle. The subject matter spills into ‘British Yout’, which is a powerful message to our youth that they haven’t got to go the route of a ‘roadman’, so to speak, and not act so ignorant fighting over foolishness.

 

The EP closes out with its title and the persona Loaneski has adapted, with a jazzy backdrop. Here he tells you how he cares not for materialistic things, and how the term ‘freedom of speech’ is so hypocritical. He also goes into little more detail of why he

Loaneski Havoc

PHOTO COURTESY OF LOANESKI

became the Lone Wolf, maybe referring to the ‘break up’ of ‘Bizznezz Fam’, or perhaps a double meaning.

With only four tracks, an EP before that entitled ‘Black Thoughts’, only shows that Loaneski is just getting started, and already 2018 is promising to be a mammoth year for him. This is quality lyrics with crisp production. Loaneski was told that he’s better suited to Hip Hop as opposed to grime… whoever told him that was telling the truth. It’s good that he mentions Mobb Deep in this project, the endorsement from Havoc alone should be enough to entice you into checking this out.

Loaneski cover photo

CLICK HERE FOR WEBSITE

LIKE LOANESKI ON FACEBOOK

FOLLOW LOANESKI ON TWITTER

FOLLOW LOANESKI ON INSTAGRAM

SCHOOL OF SHAOLIN: Movie Premiere @Pop Brixton, December 11, 2017!

Director: Nick Donnelly

SHOWN AT POP BRIXTON, LONDON December 11, 2017,

ALSO SHOWN AT GORILLA, MANCHESTER, December 19, 2017

REVIEW BY MICHAEL GRANT, C.E.O. of RePPiN4U & International Rep for Wu Worldwide DJ Coalition

“People Say, Love is just an energy, dealing with the claim…”

The very first thing I must do is give thanks and praises to a former university colleague of mine – Karl Hughes. That man didn’t have to look out for his fellow peers, but he chooses to out of the goodness of his heart. If it wasn’t for him, would the RePPiN4U HIP HOP SHOW have manifested? Or more importantly, would I have been involved in something monumental and historic such as this?

School of Shaolin2Ever since the success of Straight Outta Compton, Wu-Tang fans in particular have been clamoring for a similar cinematic treatment for their favourite team. So far we have the upcoming biopic about Ol’ Dirty Bastard entitled ‘RAW’, Hell Razah has been promoting his real life documentary (Risen: The Story of Chron Smith) for the longest, and just patiently waiting for the perfect time to strike which could be sooner than you think. But just like the clan emerging from the shadows in 1993, Director Nick Donnelly wasn’t trying to wait like everybody else.

Filmed in 2013, this was celebrating the 20th Anniversary of Hip Hop’s most influential dynasty. The unique selling point of this movie was the fact that it was a UK spin on how the 10 men with Witty Unpredictable Talent And Natural Game impacted the fan-base and artists out here in the UK and Europe (this whole Brexit thing is really confusing). Donnelly closely follows the clan during their anniversary tour and crams it all in a 95 minute feature. I had the honor and privilege to be invited to see the premiere before an intimate crowd down at Pop Brixton as a part of the Wu Worldwide DJ Coalition. It was an opportunity that was an eyelash of going wrong because of the heavy snowfall, but in London, not a snowflake was seen.

Highlights in the film include footage of RZA during a sound check process before a show which was highly intriguing, following a young female DJ who now travels with Raekwon for shows, UK artist Yung Meth, who has been endorsed by Method Man himself, what is interesting here is that Yung Meth feels that although he is gaining credible success, he feels that America would gravitate towards him more. He also makes a point of not sounding American, something rookie UK artists fall in the trap of doing hoping to make their music relevant. Donnelly also speaks to the Clan’s tour manager Simon Green and how he got involved and possibly landing a dream job, talking to Leaf Dog of The Four Owls, who actually produced on U-God’s Keynote Speaker album – a funny moment in the film occurs when Leaf Dog makes a parody of the commercial side of what mainstream media calls ‘Hip Hop’ and has the audience in Pop Brixton (and possibly Gorilla too) chuckling along, he also speaks with producer Statik Selektah, and hanging out with Ghostface Killah shopping, further showing Iron Man’s down to earth nature and further proving that just like he said in the Pretty Toney album, ‘God is his bodyguard’

School of Shaolin crowd

Photo taken courtesy of Nick Donnelly

“Let me tell you what they gon’ try to do
And y’all remember the sh!t, y’all gon’ tell the f***!ng world
Teach all the babies and sh!t
They gon’ try to make black and white go against each other
Which they can’t because we already having a good time!” (Ol Dirty Bastard, If What You Say Is True, 2017)

With this feature, Donnelly went IN with his research with not just the clan but with everyone featured in the documentary. After 95 minutes elapsed, both sold out venues gave a standing ovation, which was something Donnelly was not expecting. Some die-hard fans thought while they enjoyed the film, they learned nothing from it, on the opposite side of the spectrum the film made some members of the audience NEW Wu-Tang fans in the process which has to be most surprising.

If there was a negative to be pointed out, was that maybe the pace of the film slows down in places where Wu-instrumentals could have been used as a music bed as a means of fair use. But that is a minor. As stated earlier, people came into the venue not knowing a thing about the Wu-Tang and left the building as Wu-Tang fiends, and that’s what the School of Shaolin truly achieved, expanding, getting more pupils so that the knowledge can spread.

Take a bow Nick Donnelly, you have helped put the UK Hip Hop scene on the map even more with this, and now you got other cities worldwide interested. Now that’s a snowball I can get behind.

November 2018 marks the 25th Anniversary of the Wu-Tang Clan. Stay tuned for more announcements of when you can see this film at a theater near you for 2018!

CLICK HERE FOR URBAN KINGDOM WEBSITE

FOLLOW SCHOOL OF SHAOLIN ON FACEBOOK

FOLLOW SCHOOL OF SHAOLIN ON INSTAGRAM