|Wu-Tang Clan: Legend of the Wu-Tang - The VideosLabel: BMG Music
It’s a well known fact that Wu-Tang Clan ain’t nothing ta F’ wit.
As one of the most influential (and largest) groups of MCs ever to burst onto the hip-hop scene, their blazing beats and original rhymes separated them from the rest of the hardcore and gangsta rappers of the mid-‘90s – so much so that they’re still going strong in 2006 while many of their fellow rappers (Onyx, Warren G, the list goes on) have fallen to the wayside.
Thankfully for the Wu-Tang Clan, their original and exciting sound speaks for itself. Because this collection of videos makes it painfully clear that while they’ve managed to saturate themselves into the world of film, clothing, video games and even television sitcoms, they still have yet to prove they can consistently make entertaining music videos.
Almost all of these videos are either horribly dated or just plain horrible. Early tracks such as “Method Man” and “Protect Ya Neck” are stereotypical no-budget ‘90s rap videos, featuring nothing but low angle shots of rappers chillin’ on street corners and in dilapidated warehouses. All that’s missing from these clips are some tipped 40’s and a fisheye lens.
Usually when a band makes it big and the money starts to roll in, the videos get better, but the bigger budgets just helped to create bigger bad ideas for the Wu-Tang Clan. Wanna-be epics like Bret Ratner’s “Triumph” (which is about a swarm of killer bees infesting NYC) was silly in 1997 and looks even sillier now (and the Wu’s obsession with killer bees is still confounding). “Reunited,” another big track off of their double-LP masterpiece Wu-Tang Forever, is sloppily compiled of badly shot backstage and concert footage, looking more like something you’d see on YouTube than on an official DVD.
One seemingly major inclusion is the video for “Careful.” This clip never aired on TV, supposedly because of its graphic violence. It could be just as true, however, that it never aired because it was just so damn awful. An incredibly lame attempt at looking “hardcore,” the clip consists of nothing but slow motion shots of rappers shooting each other. It’s like some rap-hating PTA group’s wet dream example of violence in rap music. Way to fight the stereotype there, guys.
Even the good clips aren’t worth the purchase. The dinosaur and gratuitous ninja-fest “Gravel Pit” is still mysteriously censored with annoying Wu-Tang logos covering middle-fingers and up-close booty shots. Another odd removal comes during the early Wu-Tang fav “Wu-Tang Clan Ain’t Nothing Ta F’ Wit/Shame on a Nigga,” which abruptly ends after the first verse of “Shame on a Nigga.”
The lack of extras is also very disappointing. There’s an alternate version of “Method Man” thrown in, as well as the video for Masta Killa’s “Old Man” but that’s it for the most part. A “never before seen documentary” entitled “Enter the Wu-Tang” is also included, but it’s mostly just a glorified electronic press kit. Where are the Method Man and ODB videos?Nearly all the content on this DVD can be found online, legally even. So unless you are a die-hard fan of the W – steer clear of this one.
~James B Eldred