Music, Writings and Art live from the twisted mind of Tokyo Cigar

Archive for October, 2012

TOKYO CIGAR presents WU2 ( Wu tang Clan VS U2 )

AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH High school. The wonder years. I was a kid in boarding school in Ireland.  Running thru Dublin bugging out and soaking in all the Hip hop i could find. I was such a fiend that i remember being in Abbey Discs and buying the “I got ya opin” vinyl even though i didn’t have a record player and having the dude that worked there play the whole shit ( instrumentals included ) and record it to a tape for me. ( Shit i still got the tape i think ) I was ecstatic that they had the joint on import cause when i saw the video on Yo MTV Raps i NEEDED that song in my life. Abbey discs was also cool cause of the people i wold meet there.  I’ll never forget the day this one Irish dude and i got into one of the most detailed conversations about hip hop production i ever had. I had never even thought about making music at that point, i was just a fan, but i remember the way homeboy was breaking down the Al Green drum break in “Mahogany” and telling with me that it was better on that than on the “Tried by 12”  joint.  I was like “WOW dude really knows his shit.”  Hell, i didn’t even really know what a fucking drum break was back then.  Sampling was Fuzzy to me. I just knew the music put me in a zone and i assumed people made it with keyboards or bands or some shit.  One fateful day when i was in school the big homie Hassan called me over and handed me an “Enter the wu tang ( 36 chambers)” tape and life as i knew it would not be the same for the next few decades as the Staten Island crew BLEW particles off my brain. I heard about the clan for a while and i heard “Method man” and “Wu tang aint nutting to fuck with”  so i was drooling to hear the album. The cover hit me the most the first time i got it. CARTEL did a fucking fantastic job with the artwork cause you couldn’t see their faces on some ill Ninja shit. I had never seen an album cover like that before and i was struck. It looked like a damn movie poster or something. When i got back to the dorm, grabbed my walkman and popped in the tape and heard “Shaolin shadowboxing and the wu tang sword style. If what you say is true the shaolin and the wu tang could be dangerous”  it was OVER. The rhyming, the beats, and everything was just too next level. I remember i played it for a couple of the dudes there and heads kept on trying to borrow the tape. I must have dubbed that 36 chambers album for like 7 cats before i even gave the joint back to Hassan. ( Who by the way i was ducking cause i didn’t wanna give that tape back ha ha ). With the exception of “Iron man” i bought all the solo albums while i was still in boarding school too. Hell, i still get Flash backs to to riding the bus to Grafton street every time i hear “Knowledge God” or “Sub Crazy”.  Heads in school were really feeling the Wu as well. I lost track of the amount of times i heard “Protect ya neck” or “Diary of a madman” blasting through somebody’s boombox. Back then most cats that were into hip hop were more into the west coast artists ( Ice-t, Cypress Hill and House of pain got a lot of airplay i remember ) but when the Wu hit it just had all kinds of people open. From those years Wu tang has always been the greatest rap group of all time to me. If you think i ain’t keeping it a 100. Ask anyone that i got into a heated “Wu tang is the best of all time” discussion with.

The First time i ever heard U2 was when i was living in VA. I remember being in the whip with my family and the radio being on and “With or without you” being played a lot. Something about that song just always stuck out as being beautiful but sorrowful. Ironically when i was living in Ireland i was not into U2 cause i was such a “strictly hip hop” kid. I remember hearing the “Joshua Tree”, “Zooropa” and “Achtung baby” bumping but i would tune it out cause i felt “That’s that other shit” Damn shame cause i still remember the way everyone in school was going crazy cause of this one show U2 was gonna play, in retrospect i wish i went cause as much as i love their music now it would mean so much to have the memory of seeing them live.  As i grew up i fell in love with U2’s music. They have mad emotional power and a dope cinematic feel to their music that started to resonate more as time went by and i began to understand great music is great music regardless of genre. But i cant front even back then i was digging the joint that had the Edge rhyming on it. The video was crazy too. When i hear U2’s music now it give me a feeling i cant even describe. That shit just hits me like “Thank God i’m alive to hear this”. As i got more of their albums i also respected the fact that they always reinvented themselves. I can understand why some who swore by “WAR” may think “POP” was too out there musically but hey……………..THE MUSIC WAS ALWAYS CRAZY. Bottom line. I love the fact they always did what they felt like doing cause no matter what the fuck they did they always had joints that would send a chill down my spine when i hear it start. U2 gets into the same zone of some deeeeeeeeeeeeep soul music. Think of the feeling you get when Marvin goes “ohhhhhhhhhh makes me wanna holler the way they do my life” in “Inner city blues”, that soul music that is so raw and strong it actually burns. U2 takes that and spreads it over mad various styles of rock. Crazy!!!!!!

Putting this project together was fun. I originally planned on doing something like my “Black faith mixtape” with Depeche Mode but one random day the name WU2 popped in my head and i couldn’t get it out. I went and grabbed the vocals and when i put em together it was Zen like the way it all fit. Even down to the titles of the songs and the way U2’s music matched the feel of the Wu’s rhymes when blended together. It took about 5 days for the production ( i did the beats for “Love in Daytona” “Holla First” “God’s Zoo” and “Run to the Exit” on the same day matter fact ) and 2 days of mixing in the vocals. When it was all said and done and i listened to it i caught a very ILL feeling.

I hope yall enjoy it


Bugging out at the beat battle in Baltimore