Hopefully i”ve established that 1993 was a pivotal year in the development of K-OTIX, with the group undergoing a pretty huge growth spurt – working full time while enrolled in college, all while writing and recording at a maniacal pace. We did the bulk of our recording in the studio of Newstyle Records, which was located in an office building that also housed Houston”s leading urban radio station, 97.9 The Box (KBXX). In fact the studio was directly next to the radio station”s office, so we would occasionally see artists coming to and from the radio station.
Towards the end of 1993, we were well into working on a studio-quality demo that would eventually become “The Yellow Tape”. On the evening of December 12, 1993, we were in the studio with DJ Cozmos laying scratches to a track called “Causin” Chaos”. The label head, Doug, came into the room and told us that we were going to have some visitors in a few minutes, this new group from New York that needed to burn some time before their radio appearance. Some group called “Wu Tang Clan”, or something like that.
Wu Tang”s “36 Chambers” album had only been out for a couple of months, but most of us in that room had been aware of them for about a year or so. Will Strickland, then a DJ at Rice University”s KTRU college station, play a huge role in getting Wu Tang exposure in Texas (actually, the South and Midwest in general), and helped in getting them signed to Loud Records. If you listen to “Wu Tang Clan Ain”t Nothin To F*** With” at the 2:30 mark, you”ll hear RZA shouting him out. Will was also a record promoter, so we were always around each other. All of this to say – by the time Wu Tang made it to Houston in December of 1993, we were well aware of who they were.
So we”re in the studio doing what we do when the door swings open, and in walks a mob of surly-looking rap dudes. They were pretty cordial, acknowledging everyone and exchanging daps and pounds all around.Cool people. They were curious to hear what we were working on, and we obliged. I think they were at least moderately impressed, or at least pretended to be.
Inspectah Deck: “That”s hot, kid.”
Raekwon: “That”s hot, yo.”
GZA: ” That”s dope, son.”
ODB: “Yo, hide this 40 for a n****. I ain”t supposed to have it in here and sh*t.”
Ol” Dirty pulls a 40 of Olde English from his trenchcoat and hides it behind a door. And online casino
leaves it there permanently.
I didn”t recognize Ghostface because i”d never seen him without a stockign on his face. One of us asked RZA how many people were in Wu-Tang:
“It”s deep, kid. Deep as the Atlantic Ocean.”
As he stole a handful of promo tapes from the studio”s promo drawer.
U God was there, too. The end.
Method Man had a bandage around his hand, which struck us as curious. When we asked, he explained that they had a show the night before which didn”t end too well. Bottles were thrown, and in the process he received a lacerated hand that required stitches. When we later asked people who”d attended the show, they said that Wu Tang accosted the crowd, accusing “yall country motherfuckers” of “not being up on some real hip hop shit.” This prompted a response in the form of glass bottles raining from every direction, forcing the group to rush to their tour van, where they received more flying bottles as parting gifts.
This initial meeting with Wu Tang, only 7 days removed from our fateful meeting with ATCQ and co., was the first glimpse at a rap life that wasn”t all fun and games. Musicians were suddenly real people who drank, cussed, and bled like the rest of us.
This entry is getting kind of long, so in the next installment i”ll cover our other run-ins with the Wu, and the lasting impact that they would have on our experiences in music.