Last week, Wu Tang Clan played Bestival 2013, bounding around the stage clutching bottles of champagne. However only a few members managed to make it across to the Isle of Wight, with rumours surfacing that the others (Method Man and RZA) had issues with crossing the channel due to Customs Control. Undeterred, that did not stop mammoth crowds turning out to jump and fist pump to Wu Tang’s brand of old-school hip hop. The audience still got the chance to experience Gravel Pit, C.R.E.A.M and the deceased Ol’ Dirty Bastard’s Shimmy Shimmy Ya, among others. There was even a version of The Beatles’ Come Together – something completely unexpected – along with expert mixing and scratching by Mathematics, who spun discs with his elbows and even his feet.
As soon as Wu Tang came off stage, we were there to catch up on what has been happening during their 20th anniversary year.
So, you are at a festival, have you ever been camping before?
Ghostface Killah: Camping? What, in a tent? Hell no! Is it good? Are there TVs in there? No air conditioning?!
How do you feel about the performance?
Masta Killa: Well, my job is to make sure you feel good about the performance. Did you feel good about it? Right, so ifyou feel good I did my job. The crowd were happy. That’s my job to make sure the crowd and everybody enjoys themselves. If you said I did a good job, than I am very happy.
Happy 20th birthday! Do you ever get nervous?
MK: No. Never ever. 20 years might have something to do with it! Thank you for the happy birthday wishes by the way! Thank you, it is the thought that counts.
Have you heard of the Isle of Wight?
MK: The Isle of Wight? I think so… Oh so Isle of Wight is like quiet… People here would be confused by Wu Tang and the festival, right?
How did you get here?
MK: The boat. We flew to London, then got the ferry. “The ferry?” is that the right name? It was cool. We got here today.
What is the weirdest thing you have ever had thrown on stage?
MK: Weirdest thing on stage? Probably panties. Some panties. Yeah.
And the weirdest place you have performed?
MK: That’s tough. I have been to so many places. I can’t really say where is weird because when you are out there on stage, the love that you are shown for hip hop is amazing wherever you go.
You recently performed in Brixton. Did you get a chance to explore?
MK: Yes. But it is mostly just hotel straight to the venue. I mean I’m here, on the Isle of Wight, gonna kick it with you for a while and then head back on the road. It’s very rare that I get a day off and be shown around. I don’t know when I am leaving. I am on standby like a doctor. I do what I am told, like a good boy.
Do you have any guilty pleasures?
MK: What?! What is that? Nah. Haha. I don’t think so. I ain’t got none of that!
Any idea about the new (sixth) album? Even the name?
MK: I have heard of a few different titles but it depends on the music. That is the most important thing.
Are you going to have a big party for the 20th anniversary in November?
MK: A few big parties! Not just in America – everywhere! Even on the Isle of Wight. You never know!
Can you explain the Wu Mansions?
MK: Let’s get a Wu Mansion on the Isle of Wight! For real. Maybe for when we retire. Aw no, we are gonna be around forever. No retiring. I never plan on being old.
Can you speak in some Wu slang for me and translate?
Cappadonna: “Cos you be rubbin it in. Styley beaning [sic].”Translate? I can’t. It’s just a feeling. What did it make you feel like? That’s the best feeling ‘cause Wu Tang stands for: Witty, Unpredictable, Talent And Natural Game.
This year Bestival is nautical themed. What would you dress up as?
U-God: Never a mermaid! If I’m gonna dress up, I’m Dracula. Oh ok, sorry, sea themed. I would be a pirate. A royal prince of the sea! There are a lot of Somalian pirates out there right now taking over the seas…
Even on the Isle of Wight?
Cappadonna: Hell yeah. They take over the ships. We would be Wu Tang rap pirates of the game. We get what we wanna get then keep moving. There are German Shepherds out there waiting for us and they wanna get our secrets but you gotta get through the 36 chambers first, like the first album [Enter the Wu Tang: 36 Chambers]. You have got to get through all them chambers before you can reach the first secret! The secret of the ocean!
Can you tell us a secret?
Cappadonna: I am gonna let you in on a secret because you are very curious and you are trying to learn the way of the Wu, so I’m gonna give you one of the first secrets: knowledge of the self.
Photos: Ambra Vernuccio