Music News

Unaired Wu-Tang TV Shows

Over the past year or so — since just before last December's release of 8 Diagrams — legendary hip-hop crew the Wu-Tang Clan has become its own reality show, what with all the infighting over creative direction (RZA versus Ghostface and Raekwon) and the bona fide superstars (Method Man, Ghostface) having to share space with the has-beens or never-weres (U-God, Masta Killa). While the Clan can claim a strong influence on numerous facets of popular culture — music, cinema, fashion, etc. — in its two-decade existence, the group's never made inroads into the world of reality television. But that hasn't been for lack of trying. Here are a few of the Wu projects over the years that never really got off the ground:

Wu vs. Wild: The plan was to parachute Method Man into such remote, unforgiving, and challenging regions of the globe as the Sahara Desert, the jungles of Indonesia, and Des Moines, Iowa, where he would show viewers how to make it out alive. But when he learned that he'd have to survive for three days without weed, kung-fu DVDs, or perennial sidekick Redman, he balked.

Wu'd: The premise was for RZA to mastermind elaborate pranks on his celebrity pals. For the pilot, he called up bandmates Ghostface and Raekwon and had them come over to his house, where he told them that for the Clan's comeback 8 Diagrams album — hoped by many, including several within the group itself, to be a hard-hitting return to the 36 Chambers days — he was going to record a mellow cover of the Beatles' "While My Guitar Gently Weeps," featuring guest spots by Erykah Badu, John Fru­sciante of the Red Hot Chili Peppers, and George Harrison's son, Dhani. Ghost and Rae predictably freaked the hell out, creating a tense scene, but the hidden camera crew was poised to capture the relief and laughter when RZA told them they'd been Wu'd and it was all a big joke. The problem was, it was no prank . . .

Wu Wants to Marry a Multi-Millionaire: Tired of being alone and sad despite his riches and fame, GZA intended to find a bride. But he didn't want one of the chickenheads from around the way, who might divorce him and take all his money. He wanted someone already independently wealthy. So the producers conned Martha Stewart, Oprah Winfrey, J.K. Rowling, Wal-Mart heiress Alice Walton, and 21 more filthy rich women to go to a secret location in Staten Island, but when they arrived and learned they were to compete for GZA's hand in marriage, everyone left in a huff. Except for 80-something L'Oreal magnate Liliane Bettancourt, who was smitten with GZA's "Wu-Tang style." However, GZA quickly decided to forego romance and dedicate his life to the Wu, as well as unceasing tours performing Liquid Swords in its entirety.

Wu the Bounty Hunter: RZA, Masta Killa, and Inspectah Deck moved to Hawaii, opened their own bail bonds business, and let camera crews follow them as they served as bounty hunters. Unfortunately, as it turned out, the fugitive they had to track down every week was Ol' Dirty Bastard.

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Michael Alan Goldberg