Starting off with his very first encounter with de facto leader RZA, the rapper touched on the group’s beginnings and how strong the buzz around them initially was. However, to Nas, their inclusion in the rise of East Coast hip-hop was more than just musicians respecting fellow musicians. “It was like cousins, almost. It was like, you know, project kids. That was the language–project kids,” he explained. “We felt it, we smelt it off each other, and it just shows you that out of those housing projects come some brilliant people.”
Nas also spoke on the chemistry that makes Wu-Tang one of the kind. Launching with a packed roster of distinctly different rappers, they were all able to strengthen their voices both as a group and as individuals. “The special thing about Wu-Tang being 8 or 9 guys was each one was a rapper that can represent his own individual self within that crew. They were the example for all of us because we didn’t really see that before,” he said, highlighting the clan’s idiosyncratic flavor that turned them into one of the most celebrated acts today.
Watch the full clip above. Wu-Tang Clan: Of Mics and Men is streaming now on Showtime.