It’s Wu-Tang forever, literally.
Although the beloved limited series that details the rise of one of hip-hop’s most iconic groups is coming to an end, the impact of Wu-Tang: An American Saga has now secured a spot within the group’s legacy for a whole new generation of talent.
“That’s one of the greatest joys for me as a producer and as a creative artist, is that something that was in my youth, you know when I was 21/22, years old, and wanting to burst out into the world and show Wu-Tang. We succeeded at it,” said RZA in a recent interview with Shadow and Act. “But yet, to see a group of young actors like Ashton, Shameik, Siddiq, Julian, Zolee…all come together and also grow through this Wu-Tang experience and grow as artists — because I felt that from season 1 to season 3, there was a great trajectory of the artists all growing — but also growing personally and business-wise. The show has been successful.”
He added, “You know, for some actors, on your first TV series, you hope they will continue to have season 1, season 2, season 3, because that helps build your economics and build your strength for your future. So knowing that this show is a potential platform that will launch all of these young actors into a great future simply is a blessing because I’ve seen it do the same for Method Man, Raekwon and Ghost, and now I can see it do it for Siddiq, Zolee and all of them.”
Ashton Sanders, who portrays RZA, opened up about what the show has done for him as an artist.
“It’s cool that we have been chosen to be a part of, we’re now part of Wu-Tang’s legacy, like, forever,” he told us. “And when you think about it, that s**t is deep as hell, you know? It’s bigger than us. So it’s such a blessing.”
And speaking of legacy, in this final season, TJ Atoms continues to explore and showcase ODB’s impact beyond just Wu-Tang, but on the culture as a whole.
“I hope the kids get to see what ODB meant to his time and the artists, because a lot of the new stuff that’s going on right now… ODB was ahead of his time with the grills, the hair, the wildness,” Atoms explained. ” A lot of people were real lyrical-based, [and] he just ain’t care. He just did what he wanted and I feel like a lot of people are doing that now in music. So I definitely want them to take away just being yourself fully to the fullest extent [and] not caring what nobody thinks about you.”
For rapper Dave East, having Method Man’s approval of his portrayal of him is everything, but the role, which became his first major acting gig, has helped him to peel back his own layers of talent as an artist.
“Just seeing what he went through, coming out in a group and then doing his solo thing and just everything that came with that, I definitely could relate,” said East.
Siddiq Saunderson, who plays Ghostface Killah in the series, admits that the biggest takeaway from Wu-Tang: An American Saga goes far beyond just the music.
“I hope that people feel the energy that I bring to the character and in telling the story, people can really see how much of a legend this man is,” said Saunderson. “Beyond being a legend, how much of a human he is. I think it’s very important to see people as human beings.”
As the final chapter of the series prepares to close, Shameik Moore, who is also the voice of Miles Morales in Spider-Man: Into The Spider-Verse told us that becoming Raekwon aka The Chef is another check off the versatility box for him as an actor.
“Wu-Tang is a deeper bad boy, further away from who I am, and I think that there are people in reality that really do live the life that The Chef lived, that’s really cooking, selling on the block [and they’ve] got to figure it out. I feel like everything has impacted me,” he said. “The fact that they can relate to me and then some little kid can relate…like me being a vessel that’s used for that is [something] I don’t take lightly.”
The third and final season of Wu-Tang: An American Saga drops new episodes weekly on Hulu.