The Wu-Tang Clan and RZA
A Trip through Hip Hop's 36 Chambers
by Alvin Blanco
April 2011, 254pp, 6 1/8x9 1/4
1 volume, Praeger

Hardcover: 978-0-313-38442-4
$49, £37, 41€, A70
eBook Available: 978-0-313-38443-1
Please contact your preferred eBook vendor for pricing.

The Wu-Tang Clan is one of the greatest hip hop groups of all time, with six platinum albums, more than 40 million records sold, and extensive influence on both the music business and their fellow artists. Notwithstanding their success, the group’s language and the mythology that guides it have both been difficult to understand—until now.

This insightful biography looks at the turbulent lives, groundbreaking music and lyrics, and powerful brand of hip hop's infamous Wu-Tang Clan.

The Wu-Tang Clan and RZA: A Trip through Hip Hop’s 36 Chambers chronicles the rise of the Wu-Tang Clan from an underground supergroup to a globally recognized musical conglomerate. Enhanced by the author’s one-on-one interviews with group members, the book covers the entire Wu-Tang Clan catalog of studio albums, as well as albums that were produced or heavily influenced by producer/rapper RZA.

Wu-Tang Clan’s albums are analyzed and discussed in terms of their artistry as well as in terms of their critical, cultural, and commercial impact. By delving into the motivation behind the creation of pivotal songs and albums and mining their dense metaphor and wordplay, the book provides an understanding of what made a team of nine friends and relatives from Staten Island with a love of Kung Fu movies into not just a music group, but a powerful cultural movement.


  • A chronology of important events and milestones pertaining to the Wu-Tang Clan
  • Photographs of the group and its individual members
  • A glossary of slang words and colloquial jargon used in Wu-Tang Clan's lyrics
Alvin Blanco is a writer and editor. He received a BA in African and African American studies and psychology from the University of Virginia, Charlottesville, VA. A former features editor at, over the past decade his work has appeared in Vibe, Spin, XXL, The Source, Village Voice, and many other notable publications.
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