Growing Up On Wu Tang – Yes The Clan

So you’d never know it and you’d never think it unless you truly knew me. If you know me, the era, the climate, the geographic location, the nostalgia of being in your 20s in the 90s then you’d know. We’d lived and had our prime in one of the greatest eras ever.


You’d also know that the stories the clan were sharing were prophetic. They were underground. They were about overcoming and hardships. They were motivational and inspirational. Their rhymes were melodic with spiritual context. They’d offer up insights of historical context. They were thoughtful and meaningful.

They were profound. And they resonated for me. I was an outcast. A well liked one, but lived with my own sense of being an outcast. At times being treated like one, but many times just jiving and flowing with my homies I grew up with as 2pac said.

I’ve had a lengthy career in the broadcasting world. I was an intern for DJ Sway at KMEL in the late 90’s. He was on air 2-6pm and it was he and I in the studio. I in studio C. He in studio B. Sound proof glass between us. And an abundance of smiles and laughs exchanged through the glass.

I’d come out to kick it, but would be back in my booth taking calls. Counting down to caller 106. It was part of our KMEL giveaway. Caller number 106 would win a prize. And I loved counting them down.

And I loved passing the caller on to Sway.

And on Friday’s we’d have a guest. And I’d had the delight of meeting several great MC’s. And on one very incredible Friday RZA and Ghost Face Killa came into the studio. I got to hang out with them for a while. It was me, Sway, RZA, Ghost Face Killa, and one of their homies. It was special.

KMEL was a great breeding ground. Looking back even then I felt very grateful for my job. It was truly awesome interning for Sway. He’s no joke. We knew it even then.

As a storyteller and writer it was the poetic lyricism that captivated me. The clan were dropping poems with a beat. And there was no other more moving combination back then at that time at my age.

Their sound was fresh. It was innovative and new. Their delivery was raw. They were soulful and depth-full.

I was hooked.

And while I’m at a much different stage in my life I love having had the good fortune of coming up in an era that created some of the greatest lyrical geniuses ever.

Skillful, thoughtful and powerful. Wu-Tang made it’s mark in my life.

I see the profundity of the lyrics and how even then I felt I was being given insights from masters.

And looking back now and if you consider the evolution of these exceptional men and the whole heartedness from which they’ve lived their lives you’d see how profound it all really was.

They come to us as great sages to share insights on living boldly, powerfully and poetically.

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Sue Dhillon is an Indian American writer, journalist, and trainer.