Today, movie distributor Novus Content announced they have picked up and will redistribute the music documentary “The Wu-Tang Clan: Popa Wu a 5% Story”. Directed by Khalik Allah, the film was originally released in 2010 as a 60-minute story, that made few ripples in the worlds of film or music. Remastered and edited into a 90-minute story about Wu-Tang’s patriarch, the film is now being reworked, rebranded, and will release on Netflix in November 2014.
Popa Wu is the voice heard on the intro to "Wu-Tang Forever", Ghostface Killah's "Ironman", Raekwon's "Only Built 4 Cuban Linx". He can also be heard espousing the teachings and beliefs of the Five-Percent on other Wu-Tang tracks as well.
As Allah’s first feature-length effort, the young filmmaker and cultural documentarian offers a unique perspective into the life of Hip-Hop and Black culture. His still-developing photography passion suggests a unique, raw aesthetic that also carries over into his documentarian work. As a follower of the Five-Percent Nation, Allah is given access to fellow Fiver-Percenter and leader Popa Wu, offering a brutally honest (albeit biased) look into the life, artistry, and teachings of Popa Wu and Wu-Tang Clan.
For those unfamiliar, the Five-Percent Nation is a departure from the Black Nation of Islam, developed about 40 years ago. Their name derives from the Islamic belief that 85% of human population is essentially “clueless”, 10% are self-, world-, and divinity-aware, but only 5% take it to the next level and set out to enlighten others. Five-Percenters believe Black man is the embodiment of God and Black woman is the embodiment of Earth. They also believe in a supreme language of the universe based on numerology, and all can be explained thusly. The Hip-Hop term “dropping science” is derived from the Five-Percenter’s scientific ways of explaining awareness of one’s self and all around him.
“The Wu-Tang Clan: Popa Wu a 5% Story” is focused primarily on Popa Wu, not only as a collaborator within the Wu tribe, but also as a leader in his community and spiritual mentor to the ensemble. While the film’s trailer is vague, is it intriguing. Hopefully this film full of potential not only demonstrates Popa Wu’s grand influence on his musical family and the tone of Wu-Tang’s lyrics, but also explores how he’s left an indelible mark on Hip-Hop’s lexicon and urban youth culture without ever being a household name.
Look for “The Wu-Tang Clan: Popa Wu a 5% Story” out this fall, and catch a handful of rare Wu-Tang reunion shows summer.
Film trailer: http://vimeo.com/102561415
Wu-Tang tour dates:
Aug 30-31 Seattle, WA Bumbershoot Festival
Sept 12-13 Chicago, IL Riot Fest
Sept 18-19 Las Vegas, NV Brooklyn Bowl
Sept 20 Brooklyn, NY Barclays Center