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April 24th, 2012

Five Questions For WU LYF About Wu Tang Clan

In PW this week we wrote a story about Manchester’s WU LYF. We like them quite a bit, even though, on certain soaring vocal notes, they veer dangerously close to Coldplay territory. But they always have the good sense to pull up just before crashing into that particular soft cliff. Also, we have no idea what they’re saying. It’s a good thing, then, that they’re starting to put lyrics in their videos. (See “Dirt,” above.) Oh, we like their Tumblr too. It’s all youthful rebellion and smoke bombs and kids bein’ kids. Angry. Hopeful. Artistic. It leaves us with the impression they’re naive enough to think they can change the world, and smart enough to maybe do it.

ANYWAY, WU LYF have nothing at all to do with Wu Tang Clan. We asked bassist Tom McClung about them anyway. (LOLROFLWTFSMH.) They play tonight at Union Transfer. See you there.

1. Who’s a more integral part of the Wu Tang Clan, Ol’ Dirty Bastard or The Genius?

McClung: I think The Genius. He’s my favorite MC. For me, his lyrical content, him being so cerebral, made me like rap more. Just generally, his lyrics are more cerebral. He calls himself The Genius. ODB was like ammunition. He had this musical voice that brought a whole new angle. I like that, but I’m going with The Genius.

2. Better Wu Tang lyric: “Here I go/ Deep tight flow/ Jacques Cousteau could never get this low” or “Throw your shitty drawers in the hamper/ Next time come strapped with a fuckin’ Pamper.”

McClung: [Laughs] I like “Jacques Cousteau could never get this low.”

3. More underrated Wu Tang album: Iron Flag or The W.

McClung: The W

4. Like WU LYF, aka World United Lucifer Youth Foundation, Wu Tang Clan are very fond of using acronyms, which you can see throughout their lyrics, many of which are explained in The RZA’s book The Wu Tang Manual. On a scale of One to 10, how important are acronyms in Wu Tang’s work?

McClung: I think they rate a heavy nine for showing how funny they could be and how such a serious rap group… they could flip it one way or the other. I know in the RZA book he talks about how they used to sit around smoking weed all day just like thinking of different acronyms and stuff. I think if we ever did that we’d just fall asleep. We were pretty straight when you think about it.
We never drank while recording, we never went out to the clubs afterward and had a round. When practice was over we just went home, we didn’t have a lot of money to go out. When you listen to Wu Tang, the acronyms, it’s like some of the more serious things came out of it. But from reading, it’s like they were just messin’ about.

5. What’s the best Wu Tang album of all time? It can be from a solo member or the group.

McClung: Liquid Swords … because it’s got such great guitar parts in it, and I’d never really heard good guitar in hip-hop before that. You gotta understand when we were growin ‘up, Limp Bizkit was on the charts, and some people thought that was rap music.

Those were dark days indeed.

McClung: Yes. They were.

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