Here at The New Rockstar Philosophy we’re big fans of collectives. A number of artist get together, create a project (album, video, etc) go promote it as a team, and get more press and plays together than they would on their own. Broken Social Scene is a great Canadian collective who’ve done it well. But one of the original collective groups was Wu-Tang Clan.
But recently evidence has come to light that Wu-Tang Clan were more like a mob family than a artists collective.
…Wu-Tang Clan are portrayed as a criminal organisation, co-ordinating drug-deals and homicides – sometimes with musical rewards. “Once individuals have proved themselves as good and loyal members,” officers claimed, “they are offered record contracts to record Rap type music.” In 2000, Wu-Tang Clan were apparently under investigation by NYPD’s violent crimes/gangs squad, the US Attorney’s office, a Staten Island detectives unit and the Richmond county district attorney… via Guardian
Whatever Wu-Tang’s methods were, they certainly had a consistent flavour. I’m not saying that criminal activity is good for a collective, but having defined goals (make money) and a common enemy (the Police) always will help a group of people solidify their relationship.