Since bursting onto the rap scene in 1992, Wu-Tang Clan has remained one of the most fascinating musical groups to grace the hip hop genre.
The influential collective — formed by RZA, GZA, Ol’ Dirty B***ard, Method Man, Raekwon, Ghostface Killah, Inspectah Deck, U-God, and Masta Killa — is not only comprised of some legendary emcees, but their story is a rags to riches tale that boasts no shortage of behind-the-scenes drama and conflict.
Wu-Tang Clan’s journey lends itself perfectly to a dramatic telling, and one is coming our way this year. As noted by Indiewire, Hulu has released a trailer for Wu-Tang: An American Saga, a series that will tell the story of the group’s early days.
Created by Alex Tse and RZA, the series will transport viewers back to New York City in the early 1990s to chronicle the legendary hip hop group’s formation against an inner city backdrop of drugs and crime.
The show stars Ashton Sanders, Shameik Moore, Dave East, Siddiq Saunderson, Marcus Callender, Julian Elijah Martinez, Zolee Griggs, Erika Alexander, TJ Atoms, and Johnell Young as the younger versions of the group members. The real-life group members will serve as producers and creative consultants.
The story of the group is well-known. Several books and documentaries have told the story of how they escaped harsh conditions to become one of the most influential hip hop dynasties of all time.
However, RZA states that the upcoming Hulu series will delve deeper into their background to tell are more insightful story, per USA Today.
“We grew up in the ‘hood, and we kind of think every camera is a cop. But (now) as mature men we’re ready to tell our story…. It opens up more about the Wu that you can’t find in the documentary.”
RZA also told USA Today that while the show will include fictional elements, for the most part it will be an authentic experience. He also said that fans will learn more about the band members’ childhoods and how they initially got into rapping.
“[We] don’t know a lot about what Method Man was going through as a child; we don’t know much about this lyrical genius.. there’s an episode where we go into that world. You think about Ghostface, you think about Raekwon, (the series looks at) what makes them tick.”
In addition to the biopic elements, Wu-Tang: An American Saga is heavily inspired by the group’s philosophy, which RZA documented in his books The Wu-Tang Manual and Tao of Wu. Their approach to music and life draws influences from their upbringing, as well as Eastern spiritualism and martial arts movies.
Wu-Tang: An American Saga will debut on September 4 with three episodes, followed by a new episode every Wednesday.