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Thread: Discussing U-God's book [SPOILERS!]

  1. #1
    Jamal Arief
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    Default Discussing U-God's book [SPOILERS!]

    As the title suggests I opened this thread for discussing Uey's book in one place without spoiling details for those people who haven't yet read it.

    I have finished the book a couple of days ago and want to start off by giving a little review as well as put some issues that I had with it as discussion points.

    First of all: Cool that "Goldie" put in the effort. The book reads as if editing was indeed minimal, fortunately and unfortunately. Fortunately, because we all know dude is a character, and it would have surely been less entertaining if his personal stamp had been tampered with too much. Unfortunately, because the book is highly repetitive, contradictory, and generally all over the place. As it is, I'm afraid it is hardly going to be widely read outside of the hip hop community, or even the usual "Wu subset" of the hip hop community. Personally, I think the book is most entertaining when it comes to the little insights ("RZA Radish" ) and anecdotes, and I would have liked to have a bit more of these (I thought Buddha's book was better in this regard).

    Some points for discussion:

    • Analyzing the incident where Uey gets busted by the cops, he seems to think that his main mistake was to bring back the coke, thus leading to him being caught with both a hammer and the (bad) coke. But then he must have been in the possession of both a firearm and the product every single time he went for a re-up (and he suggests so himself). So yes, he exposed himself to an unnecessary risk by bringing back the coke, but then it was only a risk that he regularly took. Instead, it seems to me that where he really fucked up was that he actually let the dude go to grab the money (alone, mind you!), thus giving him a chance to bounce and call the cops. This is an almost absurd mistake for an experienced hustler and somehow reminds me of these ridiculous lines from the otherwise great Napoleon track True Hollywood Story:
      "Then I fucked up, '97, caught a case
      Armed robbery, damn, I should have bought a (? don't really understand what he should have bought)
      But the plan was so ill, I thought it was safe
      Until the cameras in the store recorded this face"
    • WTF he "got violated" for a positive drug test not once, not twice but three times?! All while (supposedly) never actually having consumed any drugs. One would think that he would have had enough time to suspect something there. But then again it is really hard to imagine how different times were even just 25 years ago. I do wonder though who eventually suggested to him a possible connection between positive drug tests and handling kilos of cocaine without protective gear. That must have been quite an "aha moment" for poor Uey!
    • If I didn't know any better, I might leave the book with the impression that Intell is still a physical wreck, when in fact just a couple of weeks ago I have seen him playing street ball with Meth's and Ghost's sons in a video posted here. I might also think that he is just a hopeless dreamer pursuing a film making career, when instead (or rather in addition) he has created a very respectable body of work as an emcee over the last two or three years or so, with quite a following, too. However, U-God hasn't acknowledged his son's rap career with even just a single syllable in the book - or in fact anywhere else as far as I know (certainly I've never heard a track with the two of them). And this is particularly weird to me given that Intell is quite clearly the most talented of the Wu's seeds. Since I've never heard Intell speak with anything but respect for his father, I can only assume that this is perfectly deliberate, in order to give him the chance to build a fan base off his own strength. But then again, Meth co-signs his nephew pretty much wherever he can, appearing on a couple of tracks with him, acting in one of his short movies (also check out this one, btw, both of them are pretty dope!), and featuring him on Meth Lab (where he at least held his own if not outshone such veterans as Meth, MK & Street on this dope track).
    • Speaking of Meth Lab: While I understand that U-God is tired of dealing with street thugs, he should acknowledge that a big part of his fan base felt drawn towards the Wu exactly because of that mentality in the first place. So hating on Meth for releasing the Meth Lab tapes (some of Meth's better projects since T2000 in my humble opinion, both when judging Meth's individual performances and the overall products) and dealing with Hanz On and them dudes really annoyed me. Especially because, quite in contrast to his claims, over the course of the last couple of years, all sorts of 90's and 00's SI veteran emcees and a subset of Wu generals come together every Monday in Hanz' and Meth's studio to record together in a productive, professional and unusually peaceful environment (according to what I have heard from some of the Ruthless Bastards). Just do your thing, Uey, and don't try to knock other people's hustle! As much as I like his recent albums, I love me some raw SI street shit!
    • I never liked the "washing-dirty-laundry-in-public", "blaming-everyone-else-but-yourself" and "better-than-thou" attitude, but hey, this is "RZA is a slave master" U-Godzilla - so that wasn't unexpected. A bit more self criticism for Mr Xcitement, the Hillside Scramblers project (btw, what's up with giving exactly zero details on the beef situation with Leathafase etc??) and his own role in the fragmentation of the Clan probably might not have hurt though, especially if he's serious about protecting the Wu legacy. Instead of making a step towards (some of) the others, he seems to actually rather try to burn any remaining bridges. Particularly some of his statements towards RZA seem very inflammatory and downward offensive, making the two or three "I will always love and respect RZA" claims come off as a bit trite to me. Whether the wrath is justified or unjustified, this is hardly in line with any reasonable strategy at settling conflicts (especially not when going against a man with an even bigger ego, and apparently surrounded by yes men). Speaking of anger management..... :-D
    • What's with the name dropping???


    All these rather critical points aside, I still think it's an interesting book for any Wu fan. And moreover, I absolutely loved Dopium, and liked Keynote Speaker a lot, too. In fact, I think that no general has had a better catalog than Uey over the last ten years, and from what I've heard so far, Venom seems to go right along the lines of the previous efforts. So I'm more than happy with Uey's turn of career and I am looking forward for him to come through with his promise to release at least 8 solo albums (which would be at least another 3 after Venom!). More Power to him!

    Peace.
    Last edited by Jamal Arief; 03-06-2018 at 05:37 PM.

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    Double Secret Probation Artsdradamus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jamal Arief View Post
    As the title suggests I opened this thread for discussing Uey's book in one place without spoiling details for those people who haven't yet read it.

    I have finished the book a couple of days ago and want to start off by giving a little review as well as put some issues that I had with it as discussion points.

    First of all: Cool that "Goldie" put in the effort. The book reads as if editing was indeed minimal, fortunately and unfortunately. Fortunately, because we all know dude is a character, and it would have surely been less entertaining if his personal stamp had been tampered with too much. Unfortunately, because the book is highly repetitive, contradictory, and generally all over the place. As it is, I'm afraid it is hardly going to be widely read outside of the hip hop community, or even the usual "Wu subset" of the hip hop community. Personally, I think the book is most entertaining when it comes to the little insights ("RZA Radish" ) and anecdotes, and I would have liked to have a bit more of these (I thought Buddha's book was better in this regard).

    Some points for discussion:

    • Analyzing the incident where Uey gets busted by the cops, he seems to think that his main mistake was to bring back the coke, thus leading to him being caught with both a hammer and the (bad) coke. But then he must have been in the possession of both a firearm and the product every single time he went for a re-up (and he suggests so himself). So yes, he exposed himself to an unnecessary risk by bringing back the coke, but then it was only a risk that he regularly took. Instead, it seems to me that where he really fucked up was that he actually let the dude go to grab the money (alone, mind you!), thus giving him a chance to bounce and call the cops. This is an almost absurd mistake for an experienced hustler and somehow reminds me of these ridiculous lines from the otherwise great Napoleon track True Hollywood Story:
      "Then I fucked up, '97, caught a case
      Armed robbery, damn, I should have bought a (? don't really understand what he should have bought)
      But the plan was so ill, I thought it was safe
      Until the cameras in the store recorded this face"
    • WTF he "got violated" for a positive drug test not once, not twice but three times?! All while (supposedly) never actually having consumed any drugs. One would think that he would have had enough time to suspect something there. But then again it is really hard to imagine how different times were even just 25 years ago. I do wonder though who eventually suggested to him a possible connection between positive drug tests and handling kilos of cocaine without protective gear. That must have been quite an "aha moment" for poor Uey!
    • If I didn't know any better, I might leave the book with the impression that Intell is still a physical wreck, when in fact just a couple of weeks ago I have seen him playing street ball with Meth's and Ghost's sons in a video posted here. I might also think that he is just a hopeless dreamer pursuing a film making career, when instead (or rather in addition) he has created a very respectable body of work as an emcee over the last two or three years or so, with quite a following, too. However, U-God hasn't acknowledged his son's rap career with even just a single syllable in the book - or in fact anywhere else as far as I know (certainly I've never heard a track with the two of them). And this is particularly weird to me given that Intell is quite clearly the most talented of the Wu's seeds. Since I've never heard Intell speak with anything but respect for his father, I can only assume that this is perfectly deliberate, in order to give him the chance to build a fan base off his own strength. But then again, Meth co-signs his nephew pretty much wherever he can, appearing on a couple of tracks with him, acting in one of his short movies (also check out this one, btw, both of them are pretty dope!), and featuring him on Meth Lab (where he at least held his own if not outshone such veterans as Meth, MK & Street on this dope track).
    • Speaking of Meth Lab: While I understand that U-God is tired of dealing with street thugs, he should acknowledge that a big part of his fan base felt drawn towards the Wu exactly because of that mentality in the first place. So hating on Meth for releasing the Meth Lab tapes (some of Meth's better projects since T2000 in my humble opinion, both when judging Meth's individual performances and the overall products) and dealing with Hanz On and them dudes really annoyed me. Especially because, quite in contrast to his claims, over the course of the last couple of years, all sorts of 90's and 00's SI veteran emcees and a subset of Wu generals come together every Monday in Hanz' and Meth's studio to record together in a productive, professional and unusually peaceful environment (according to what I have heard from some of the Ruthless Bastards). Just do your thing, Uey, and don't try to knock other people's hustle! As much as I like his recent albums, I love me some raw SI street shit!
    • I never liked the "washing-dirty-laundry-in-public", "blaming-everyone-else-but-yourself" and "better-than-thou" attitude, but hey, this is "RZA is a slave master" U-Godzilla - so that wasn't unexpected. A bit more self criticism for Mr Xcitement, the Hillside Scramblers project (btw, what's up with giving exactly zero details on the beef situation with Leathafase etc??) and his own role in the fragmentation of the Clan probably might not have hurt though, especially if he's serious about protecting the Wu legacy. Instead of making a step towards (some of) the others, he seems to actually rather try to burn any remaining bridges. Particularly some of his statements towards RZA seem very inflammatory and downward offensive, making the two or three "I will always love and respect RZA" claims come off as a bit trite to me. Whether the wrath is justified or unjustified, this is hardly in line with any reasonable strategy at settling conflicts (especially not when going against a man with an even bigger ego, and apparently surrounded by yes men). Speaking of anger management..... :-D
    • What's with the name dropping???


    All these rather critical points aside, I still think it's an interesting book for any Wu fan. And moreover, I absolutely loved Dopium, and liked Keynote Speaker a lot, too. In fact, I think that no general has had a better catalog than Uey over the last ten years, and from what I've heard so far, Venom seems to go right along the lines of the previous efforts. So I'm more than happy with Uey's turn of career and I am looking forward for him to come through with his promise to release at least 8 solo albums (which would be at least another 3 after Venom!). More Power to him!

    Peace.


    I thought 99% of this book was great, but I have criticisms of 1% of it. If you haven't read it yet, don't allow these criticisms to sway you from buying it.

    In repsonse to your notes...


    I agree that the editing was not the greatest. When U-God mentions Meth's career fell off on his last album when he started working with street dudes, the editor (i assume) added "on the Tical 0 album". But that was with Puffy, not a street dude. I'm pretty sure Uey was talking about the Meth Lab album.

    U-God did address the Leatherface situation (p.267-268)


    I was also hoping U-God would address the issue that from what Rza has said in the past that no record label would sign U-God and that Rza himself had to put up a $1 million for Redemption, which he never recouped. U-God only complains that Rza only produced a couple tracks for him so he had to go find his own producers.

    Most of U-God's complaints about Rza, Divine and Mook either withholding money or making bad business decisions probably hold weight, but I think U-God was acting paranoid about Rza purposely putting his own verses directly after U-God's on Wu-Forever as some sort of sabotage. I don't understand this. If this was happening, maybe it was either subconscious on Rza's part, or maybe he just liked the way his voice/verse sounded better after Uey's. Maybe someone can explain this better. I think Uey's words were that Rza was trying to "steal his rhymes".

  4. #4
    God's Replica Mumm Ra's Avatar
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    finished the book yesterday..

    adding on to the first post, I think he did bash RZA an unnecessary amount towards the end of the book too. Claiming RZA only wants money and has nothing to show for it or people to share it with, and that RZA doesn't even 'have a Kardashian' or woman like that...when to my knowledge he's been married to the same good looking chick since long before Uey started writing the book. Bit of a low blow, as if having a Kardashian is a good thing anyway, and Uey is single himself according to a recent radio interview.

    I don't doubt some shady or not 100% honest business/ pay being done, but i think he's a bit jealous and bitter of RZAs success. Like when he complained about RZA regulating the Wu mansion according to his own rules when it was supposed to be for everybody.... I'd wager RZA was the only person to put money into that place, and a lot of it
    Last edited by Mumm Ra; 03-19-2018 at 07:13 AM.


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    God's Replica Mumm Ra's Avatar
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    did enjoy the book a lot and would recommend it though. was dope to see how he and most of the Wu came up and mentioned a lot of local dudes that have been name dropped in various songs over the years that they've never really talked about, and how certain slang came about


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    aka Orion Zemo RADIOACTIVE MAN's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mumm Ra View Post
    finished the book yesterday..

    adding on to the first post, I think he did bash RZA an unnecessary amount towards the end of the book too. Claiming RZA only wants money and has nothing to show for it or people to share it with, and that RZA doesn't even 'have a Kardashian' or woman like that...when to my knowledge he's been married to the same good looking chick since long before Uey started writing the book. Bit of a low blow, as if having a Kardashian is a good thing anyway, and Uey is single himself according to a recent radio interview.

    I don't doubt some shady or not 100% honest business/ pay being done, but i think he's a bit jealous and bitter of RZAs success. Like when he complained about RZA regulating the Wu mansion according to his own rules when it was supposed to be for everybody.... I'd wager RZA was the only person to put money into that place, and a lot of it

  7. #7
    Kung Fu Alter Ego num2son's Avatar
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    Is there an audio version of that book?
    Quote Originally Posted by soul controller View Post
    i remember random shit i dont need to know lol
    "Who's the wickedest, street officialist, Guess, Gortex
    Lex is the crispiest, ice the vidiculous
    Peep and look, the unexplainable'll keep ya shook
    High illism, the realism got you hooked"
    AZ - Doe or Die (Rza Remix)

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    Quote Originally Posted by num2son View Post
    Is there an audio version of that book?
    Yep! https://www.amazon.com/Raw-My-Journe.../dp/B07611QDT4

  9. #9

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    Just started reading this book (E-Book version), this part is fucked up...

    "I don’t know who my father is or where he comes from; I wish I could find out more about him. A big part of why I don’t know much about him is because of how I was conceived. My mother probably wouldn’t want me to bring this up, because she hates me talking about it, but I was a product of rape. I was a rape baby. She told me my father had tricked her into believing he was a photographer and wanted her to model for him. He told her she was a natural beauty and all this other fly shit. He lured her to a spot and took advantage of her. She never pressed charges and never even reported it."



  10. #10
    Kung Fu Alter Ego num2son's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by quiesumquam View Post
    Yep!

    ^^Thanks
    Quote Originally Posted by soul controller View Post
    i remember random shit i dont need to know lol
    "Who's the wickedest, street officialist, Guess, Gortex
    Lex is the crispiest, ice the vidiculous
    Peep and look, the unexplainable'll keep ya shook
    High illism, the realism got you hooked"
    AZ - Doe or Die (Rza Remix)

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