From Staircase to Stage: The Story of Raekwon and the Wu-Tang Clan

Raekwon, with Anthony Bozza. Gallery, $28 (320p) ISBN 978-1-982168-72-8
Wu-Tang Clan member Raekwon debuts with a sincere albeit wearying look at his rise from street hustler to star. The rapper’s arduous path to hip hop fame started in a rough neighborhood in Queens, where as a child in the ’70s he saw “bodies hung from poles,” and later Staten Island, where he began selling drugs for cash. But by age 11, after discovering rap from block parties in his neighborhood, Raekwon’s interests shifted: “music was dope.” At 19, while recuperating after being accidentally shot by a neighbor, he began writing rhymes and his reflections on life around him. Soon after, he started collaborating with his friend Robert Diggs (“aka the RZA”) and the Wu-Tang Clan began to take form. RZA and Raekwon were later joined by Ghostface, Ol’ Dirty Bastard, Method Man, Inspectah Deck, GZA, and U-God, releasing their first hit “Protect Ya Neck,” in 1992 to commercial and critical acclaim. Raekwon laboriously traces the making of the group’s numerous gold and platinum albums up through the 2000s—in addition to his own records, including 1999’s Immobilarity—and the tensions that eventually broke the group apart. Remarkable as his story is, though, the narrative unfortunately moves at a plodding pace. Still, fans will relish Raekwon’s story of finding success against steep odds. Agent: Lisa Gallagher, DeFiore and Co. (Nov.)
Reviewed on : 08/25/2021
Release date: 11/01/2021
Genre: Nonfiction
Book - 1 pages - 978-1-9821-6874-2
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