DJMikeG's Reviews > The Tao of Wu

The Tao of Wu by The RZA
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Apr 16, 10

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A must-read for Wu Tang fans. RZA goes a little deeper into his religious and philosophical beliefs here than he did in "The Wu Tang Manual". This book is as crazy, brilliant, edgy, contradictory, controversial and wild as the best Wu Tang music is. There are nuggets of great wisdom, and many, many interesting stories of Wu lore here. I thought the way the RZA sort of tip-toed into the more insane beliefs at the core of the 5% Nation to be sort of strange and a bit cowardly. For the first part of the book, RZA really is trying to appeal to everyone, of every race, and is talking about how the 120 Lessons of the 5% Nation saved his life. He mentions that one of the lessons was hard to memorize, then quotes it, which mentions that the white man is the devil and he was created by Dr. Yacub. He doesn't warn the reader and mention that it might be hard to swallow some of the 5% philosophy if you didn't grow up poor and black, he just kind of pussyfoots around it and sort of drops it in there. I've been a Wu Tang fan since 1994, and I'm white, so I've gotten used to taking the 5% rhetoric in their music with a large grain of salt, but if I wasn't familiar with this wild belief I would be pretty alienated by reading it here.
RZA is a very smart man, but he seems pretty brainwashed by the 5% Nation. Even towards the end of the book, when he is comparing his own trials to those of Malcolm X, and he seems to be hinting that his own 'White Man is the Devil' beliefs were formed by growing up in poverty in a racist society, he still reiterates that the white man is 'prone to devilishment'. No offense, Ra, but 'devilishment' isn't even a word.
This is a good book, and RZA is a great thinker and creator, but racism is racism. When you judge someone by the color of their skin, you are no better than the racist people you are rebelling against.

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