The Tao of Wu
(l-r) J. Christopher Norris; R. Ruler-Zig-Zag-Zig-Allah Diggs, the RZA.
“Artist memoir, ghetto narrative and manual of divine mathematics, The Tao of Wu is unusually compelling for a book written by a star-caliber musician. That’s because the RZA, who masterminded the Wu-Tang Clan at their dawn and height, has led a more heroic and eventful life than most stars.” —Robert Christagu, Rolling Stone
“As with all RZA writings, this one’s better if you read it with his voice in your head, but that’s not to discredit him or co-writer Chris Norris. Together they’ve compiled the foremost documentation of Wu-Tang philosophy, one that every student of Shaolin should read.” —Austin Chronicle
“The Tao of Wu is written in a conversational style that’s both easy to digest but difficult to put down…And if you ever had a doubt as to why The RZA, aside from being the Wu-Tang Clan’s chief producer, is heralded as the group’s leader, The Tao of Wu will make that unmistakably clear. —hiphopisread.com
Barnes & Noble, August, 2014.
The Wu Tang Manual
“This book serves as the quintessential Wu-Tang reference, as well as proof that The RZA’s multiple personas are real. The same can be said of his entire Clan, which is not only an anomaly in a genre where most groups dissolve before they meet their potential, but also the only crew that warrants having a B.I.B.L.E. to tell its story.” —Boston Weekly
“A glance at the chapter titles — ‘Martial Arts,’ ‘Capitalism,’ ‘Chess,’ ‘Organized Crime,’ ‘Technology’ — presents the recipe for a worldview that made this nine-member group the most distinctive force in urban music of the 1990’s… There’s something touching about the RZA’s account of how kids from the projects learned life strategies and ethics from kung fu movies, and something weirdly inspirational about their ability to take those lessons and expand into brand extensions like a Wu-Tang comic book and a nail salon.” —New York Times Book Review
“Is there a Pulitzer Prize in the Wu’s future?” —XXL
The Best Music Writing of 2011
“These collected pieces offer a soulful anthem to the vibrancy of music writing today.” —Publishers Weekly
“Aficionados of music and illuminating critical writing will find much to savor in this collection, which exemplifies Ross’s assertion that music can ‘reach across the human universe with astonishing ease.’ Recommended.” —Library Journal
“This is some fearless writing by America’s best writers…During and after reading, you’ll listen anew.” —San Francisco Book Review
New Yorker music editor Ross curates the year’s finest scribbling about sound. Befitting the times, pop mega-stars are the focus of several penetrating profiles: Vanessa Grigoriadis on Lady Gaga, Chris Norris on Will.i.am, Caryn Ganz on Nicki Minaj. —Kirkus Reviews
The Best Music Writing of 2005
“Drawn from such varied publications as Interview, Spin, The New Yorker, Rolling Stone, The New York Times, and even The Onion, the style and content of these selections range from whimsical to scholarly to frothy to profound.” —The Free Library.
“I continue to be amazed by the consistent quality of the highly diverse writings.” —Kliatt.
The Vibe History of Hip Hop
“…More than fifty of the finest music writers and cultural critics of today have combined to produce what is essentially a hip hop bible…” —Touch Magazine
“…boasts articles by major league music journalists and cultural critics […] this collection has some illuminating insights into hip-hop’s major figures and stylistic movements…” — The Independent
Spin Alternative Record Guide