Sundance Film Festival managed to convene five Wu-Tang Clan members—RZA, Ghostface Killah, Masta Killa, U-God, and Cappadonna—in Utah for the premiere of the forthcoming Showtime docuseries Wu-Tang Clan: Of Mics and Men, and while they were in town, the rappers sat down with Vulture for a conversation about the film and their roots. At one point during the interview, Ghostface fell asleep, but not for lack of intrigue; seeing their history on screen put the group in a reflective mood, and their sense of vulnerability is worth a read.
Here’s RZA and Ghost on still coming to terms with trauma from growing up in Staten Island:
RZA: They say as time goes, we find terms to identify and then we can look back. When Ghost and Method Man say [in the documentary] they realize they were depressed, I’m like, “Yeah, it makes sense.” Why does this kid have sadness in his eyes? He don’t got the definition for it in his time in his mind. And then he look back on it and go, Oh, I’ve been depressed. Oh shit.
Ghost: I’m probably still depressed. Know what I mean?
The doc seems to have been cathartic for everyone. U-God said he cried while watching a segment of the film about the shooting of his two-year-old son, and both he and Ghostface admitted that watching archival footage of the late Ol’ Dirty Bastard was difficult. Masta Killa called interviews with group members about their emotions back in the day “educational.” On a lighter note, RZA offered up some satisfying third-eye RZA-ness in response to a question about the 25th anniversary of their debut album Enter the Wu-Tang: 36 Chambers (the subject of a separate documentary released last November):
RZA: You’re talking about 25 years. Actually, we deal in mathematics, and mathematics says the history of the planet is renewed every 25,000 years based on the circumference of the planet earth. We’re not going to have 25,000 years, but every 25 years is a big renewal point in life for any man, any band, any person.
During the interview, RZA also rapped an unreleased verse that references A Quiet Place and Bird Box in consecutive bars, which you can hear below. Of Mics and Men is set for release on Showtime this spring; you can watch a trailer here. Read the full Sundance interview at Vulture.