'Wu-Tang: An American Saga' Season 2 Episode 9 Review: Show fails to pack a punch
Season 2 of 'Wu-Tang: An American Saga' is nearing its end and with eight episodes down, the journey of the clan members has been through a lot of hairpin bends. The Hulu original chronicles the life of Wu-Tang clan members as they grind on the streets with an intention to make it big in the world of hip-hop. So far, we have witnessed how the members left the world of drugs and crime and got serious about their careers in rap.
Episode 8, titled ‘Saturday Nite’, saw the clan hitting the stage for the very first time as they tried to crack a deal with a record label. The latest episode is titled ‘C.R.E.A.M’ which originally refers to one of their original songs from their debut album ‘Enter the Wu-Tang (36 Chambers)’. ‘C.R.E.A.M’ is an acronym for ‘Cash Rules Everything Around Me’. The series ‘Wu-Tang: An American Saga’ has been created by RZA and Alex Tse. The show has been executively produced by the duo alongside Brian Grazer, Merrin Dungey, and Method Man. Wu-Tang members namely Ghostface Killah, Inspectah Deck, Masta Killa, and GZA serve as the consulting producers along with ODB.
After nailing their performance at a club, Episode 9 opens with the members sitting with a record label boss still trying to figure out their deal to get their first project released. While the label’s boss wants to drop a single, Bobby Diggs aka RZA (Ashton Sanders) suggests him for an album release to which the boss gives him a sword which has the price mentioned of $100K. The scene cuts to RZA, Divine (Julian Elijah Martinez), and Power (Marcus Callender) getting excited over the new possibilities.
We then see a few of the clan members hitting the studio deciding the placement of the songs and their respective verses. Rebel aka Inspectah Deck (Uyoata Udi) asks RZA how he is planning to make money when all of them were “broke motherf**kers.” During the process, the squad also forms a new friendship with a radio host and a music executive who had first played their song ‘Protect Ya Neck’ on the radio in one of the earlier episodes. Under one roof, the radio folks make it clear to RZA that he and his gang were free to do anything creatively while their job was to sell records. It eventually turns the two labels are trying to get Wu-Tang on their plate while the squad is also willing to speak to other labels.
The makers like the previous episodes try to balance the hustle of Wu-Tang clan members with their personal tragedies. While all of them are working hard to get a record label deal, the rappers also fight their inner demons. In one of the scenes, Sha Raider aka Raekwon (Shameik Moore) gets mad while conversing with other members saying how they got to take their families out of this mess. This inspires Raekwon to drop a fresh new verse on the song ‘C.R.E.A.M’ which is also the title of Episode 9. He raps the original verse in the studio spitting, “But it was just a dream for the teen who was a fiend/ Started smokin' woolies at 16/ And runnin' up in gates and doin' hits for high stakes/ Makin' my way on fire escapes/ No question, I would speed for cracks and weed.”
The makers also shed light on how the record label deals go. While the artists focus on their songs, the job of record label executives is to market, advertise and sell the records. One record label executive tells RZA they want them to be “street but not too street”. He tells RZA, Divine, and Power how Michael Jordan makes more money from branding as compared to playing basketball. The members then in one of the other scenes get to perform the song ‘C.R.E.A.M’ in front of another record label boss which leaves him thoroughly impressed. The episode, in a nutshell, juggles between the clan learning the tricks of the trade and recording their new single. The episode closes with the clan having a gala time at the hotel after they get a nod from the record label bosses. However, we are yet to see the deal getting final.
The latest episode fails to punch a pack on emotions but we did thoroughly enjoy the process of how the members struggle and grasp new things about the business of music. Unlike previous episodes, the makers have placed intense scenes randomly which doesn’t really make sense. Ashton Sanders who plays the role of Bobby Diggs aka RZA gets to enjoy the maximum screen time. Julian Elijah Martinez, who plays Divine and Marcus Callender who portrays Power also shine in their respective supporting roles.
‘Wu-Tang: An American Saga’ returns to Hulu every Wednesday.