There were signs hip-hop was selling out. By the end of 1997, even Martha Stewart had a copy of Puff Daddy’s No Way Out. By the end of 1999, Jay-Z had everybody shaking to his rendition of Hard Knocks Life from Annie. So when the Wu-Tang Clan’s Wu-Street Boys record crushed N SYNC’s No Strings Attached on the Billboard charts last week, most critics jaws dropped in disgust. But according to the RZA, the producer and mastermind behind Wu-Street Boys, the Wu-Tang Clan has not sold out.
Wu-Tang Clan has always been about making a buck from day one, he said in a recent interview. It’s about C.R.E.A.M. Get the money, dollar dollar bills, y’all. The segment of the population with the most dispensable income is 13- to17-year-old girls. We already had the hip-hop market cornered. So, we thought cornering the boy-band market would provide us with the loot to keep Wu-Tang swarming into the 21st century.
So far it seems the RZA has been successful in his endeavor. The first single off Wu-Street Boys, My Jimmy’s Slick (and It’s Ready to Swim) has topped all the hip-hop and R&B charts. It pulled a close number two on the pop charts, right behind Shania Twain’s I’m Plastic.
The secret to Wu-Tang’s success? Two twins freshly discovered by the RZA, the newest additions to the Wu-Tang Clan, the SZA and the PZA.
They call me the SZA, cause I cut the beats up like a scissors, said the SZA.
They call me the PZA, because I.uh.go to the bathroom a lot, added the PZA.
The sultry voiced twins that have made the Wu-Street Boys sound were actually born in Anchorage, Alaska.
Yeah, added RZA, when I met them they were like, eating Subway or some shit. They were in Port Authority and had taken the Greyhound to NYC to make it.
Added Ghostface Killah, the co-conspirator in the Wu-Street effort: They had nothing. Absolutely no street credentials. I mean PZA (real name Dwight Nimoy) wanted to know where he could go ice fishing on Staten Island.
Ghostface Killah and RZA decided that they could use the twins as singers instead of rappers.
We’ve had this Wu-Street thing on the back burner for awhile, said the RZA.
Still the whole Wu-Tang Clan insists that although they are in it for the money, the Wu-Tang’s essential items dominate the record.
I’ve always wanted to sing, this is our chance as a group to enhance our musical performance, said Cappadonna.
Ol’ Dirty Bastard, Cappadonna, and Ghostface Killah complete the quintet with the SZA and PZA.
It’s still real, you know, said Ol’ Dirty Bastard. It’s still got the kung-fu element. The beats are still menacing. It’s irresistible to the teeny-bopper who’s sick of that Backstreet Boys, NSYNC crap.
With songs like Pack it with Cheebah, 14-Year-Old Dynamo and Karate Kid, you can tell that, although it drips with doo-wop and soul, it’s still a little too hard for many parents.
In My Jimmy’s Slick, PZA and SZA sing My Jimmy’s slick and it wants to go swimmin’/In all the suburban girls and the middle school women. Needless to say, these lyrics caught the attention of the Parents Music Resource Center.
Tipper Gore called my house! said the RZA. At 4 a.m. one morning she called my house! She kept blabbing on, so I invited her to rap on one of the tracks. People say I’m a little crazy, but she is friggin’ nuts.
That track `Sleepin’ with the VP’ is the closer on the album that record stores can’t order enough of.
People can say we sold out, but they’re suckers! says SZA. I cut the beats up!
RZA adds: I don’t care what they say. I don’t care if Rudy Giuliani shows up at my front door saying `why did you go boy band RZA? Why?’ Because all I have to do is play him My Jimmy’s Slick, and he’ll know why. In my mind Wu-Tang has pushed the boundaries of hip-hop and filled up our bank accounts. And we’re swimming in it like Scrooge McDuck!