I love the Wu Tang Clan. Not so much the ganster vignettes or relentless profanity, but the sheer mythology.
Each man must create his own system or else he is a slave to another mans
So said William Blake. And that is what RZA and his band of merry men have done. From the grit of Staten Island they raised Shaolin and built a hermetic world from the shards of martial arts movies, street slang, soul samples and Eastern philosophy. Like all invented worlds, sometimes the heady suspension of disbelief made possible by this pop cultural stew is strained by a lack of quality control, especially in the later output, but 36 Chambers and Wu Tang Forever, along with stone cold classics from the likes of Method Man (my all time fave) and GZA tower above the commercial hip-hop of the time.
Doctor Dee, a musician scheduled to appear in the second book in my London sequence, was directly inspired by the Wu, especially RZA and to some extent GZA. As the streets of London morph and skew across the planet, so the music of the Killa Bees resonates with the urban flood.