Set in New York in the 1990s, Wu-Tang: An American Saga sheds light on how the Wu-Tang Clan, one of the most influential hip-hop groups out there, was formed.
The group's early days gave rise to many controversies. Season 2 of Wu-Tang: An American Saga touches on some of these, showing how the Wu-Tang members' experiences influenced the music. How realistic is Wu-Tang: An American Saga? Did Ghostface Killah get shot in the neck?
Did Ghostface Killah really get shot? How realistic is Season 2 of 'Wu-Tang: An American Saga'?
RZA was charged with felonious assault in 1991 after shooting a man named Willie Walters in the leg. RZA managed to clear his name. Further details about the incident aren't that easy to come by. RZA talked about the tension-fraught period during a panel discussion held at the A3C Festival & Conference in October 2018 in Atlanta, Ga.
"I kept seeing a cycle of non-success," RZA said, per Ambrosia for Heads. "'Yo, so-and-so got shot,' 'Yo, they stabbed [Wisegod],' 'Yo, they shot [Ghostface Killah].' It was never right. Then, all of a sudden, myself is in violence; I'm facing eight years in prison. All of this knowledge that I accumulated is worth toilet paper right now because I’m not [properly] utilizing it."
If the numerous anecdotes are anything to go by, Ghostface Killah did get shot in the neck in real life. The incident is also mentioned in books like Alvin Blanco's The Wu-Tang Clan and RZA, per Complex.
"We're targets, man," Method Man reportedly told 'Vibe' in 1999.
The early days of Wu-Tang are often told through stories about turf wars and violent displays. Many of these revolve around gang rivalries and their unending battle against a racist system.
The hip-hop group even became the target of an FBI investigation concerning drug crimes, money laundering, and other crimes. The investigation reportedly began in 1999 and concluded in 2004. At one point, they were even given the label "281F," which denotes a "major crime organization."
Per Vice, the FBI ran investigations on a disproportionate number of rap and hip-hop groups. They also had files on Radiohead, Blink-182, Army of the Pharaohs, and others.
"We're targets, man," Method Man told Vibe in 1999, per The Village Voice. "I mean, our lives are in danger. If I got a gun, it's for protection. You have motherf--kers who love your music and would still rob your ass."
In the interview, the "The Meth Lab" singer described the suffocating climate the members of the group found themselves in after reaching a certain level of commercial success — which didn't exactly come without complications. (Cue: FBI.)
Season 2 of 'Wu-Tang: An American Saga' references lived events, but it is billed as a fictionalized drama.
Over the years, Wu-Tang's meteoric rise to success became the subject of several movies and books.
RZA's autobiography, The Wu-Tang Manual, came out in 2004. It was followed by The Tao of Wu in 2009. U-God published Raw: My Journey Into the Wu-Tang in 2018, while Raekwon's From Staircase to Stage is slated to be released on Nov. 9, 2021. There are also documentaries, such as the 2019 Wu-Tang Clan: Of Mics and Men.
The first three episodes of Season 2 of Wu-Tang: An American Saga are available on Hulu now.