The Wu-Tang trademark has become synonymous with gritty, street corner hip-hop. With album sales totaling more than six million, the Staten Island, New York collective has made quite a name for itself in the last decade and shows no sign of slowing down. Wu-Tang mastermind RZA says, "The Killa Beez is everybody in the Wu-Tang family."
The Sting, the Killa Beez sophomore effort is due out March 12, 2002 on KOCH/In The Paint and Wu Tang Records.
The Sting is the follow-up to the Killa Beezâ€™s 1998 debut record entitled The Swarm, a certified Gold release. It reunites the many branches of the Wu-Tang family tree. RZA continues, "the record features ODB, U-God, Inspectah Deck, Sunz of Man, Royal Fam, Black Knights, North Star, American Cream Team as well as solo artists like Solomon Childs, Lord Superb, and War Cloud. Basically, everyone in our family is considered a Killa Bee." RZA adds, "A Killa Beez album is the type of album where you can gather flavors from everybody. On this album, I tried to reach out to all the Killa Beez to come out and bless this project."
With all the pieces in place, the concept for The Sting was a decidedly simple one: "The Killa Beez concept is originality, which is the Wu-Tang concept," says newcomer Solomon Childs. "RZA is like the black cat in Voltron, he brings everything together. He makes it all possible. Everybody has their ideas, but first you have to tighten a few screws and fix a few doors and thatâ€™s the part that RZA plays."
"On the Killa Beez albums, Iâ€™m in total control," adds RZA. "Itâ€™s all about me coming with the track that I like or having one of the producers in my camp create a track that I like and having artists come spit on it, itâ€™s more of a freestyle session. Weâ€™re not making this for radio. This is hip-hop, straight up rhyming, and straight up vibing. Weâ€™re not driven to do anything other than what we normally do. This is what we do, weâ€™re hip-hop heads. This is an album that expresses that." U-God agrees, "Itâ€™s a nice compilation album. It's just nice, underground hip-hop music, it ainâ€™t that pop shit!"
The first single from the new Wu-Tang Killa Beez record is entitled "Killa Beez," featuring The RZA, Inspectah Deck, U-God, and up and coming R&B singer Sugar Bang Bang. The B-side is called "Doe Rae Wu," featuring ODB and Kinetic. Check out the joint "G.A.T." It features The Black Knights, North Star, Solomon Child, 12â€™ Clock, Shyheim and RZA.
The Sting continues in classic Wu-Tang tradition in that family always comes first. "Weâ€™re blood brothers" says RZA of the bond that binds the crew. RZA continues, "Weâ€™re all trying to get on the same plane mentally because Wu-Tang is not only about the music, itâ€™s a way of life. We strive to make sure that everybody with us is in the same frame of mind."
"Weâ€™ve got to be tight," Childs adds. "We could have the biggest fight with each other, but that doesnâ€™t mean weâ€™re not going to be brothers in the morning. Weâ€™re going to keep that bond tight because if you notice the industry consists of families right now, and we started that. Weâ€™re just trying to make sure that no matter what you hear from the Wu-Tang, youâ€™re going to hear family."
There are so many crews and cliques within the hip-hop world. What sets Wu-Tang Killa Beez and The Sting apart? Solo artist Solomon Childs sums it up, "When is RZA going to go get some other niggas? The Wu got talent, but I want to hear some other niggas. Now, your prayers have been answered. Now, weâ€™re going to give it to you just the way you want it."