This documentary series revolves around the Wu-Tang Group, which offers a collection of works of art in the field of rap music. The team celebrates the 25th anniversary of their debut album, Enter The Wu-Tang (36 Chambers), a series of interviews with each of the nine living members with real-life footage and archive of their lives from the beginning.
With Wu-Tang Clan: Of Mics and Men Jenkins honors the mythological aura the group constructed around itself and each individual member but refrains from being utterly seduced by it, which goes a long way toward securing its place as a classic.
Wu-Tang is considered by many to be the greatest rap group of all time -- and, with nine members, a most unwieldy subject for an intimate documentary. But Mr. Jenkins turns their story into a first-rate, four-part, nonfiction saga.
In an industry incredibly cut-throat, it was refreshing to witness these brotha's reminisce and watch their lives play out on screen together. They seem to genuinely love each other in a self-created brotherhood that has spanned decades.
The group members only convene as a unit for business purposes, they admit. But to call this tale cautionary is to miss the point. As "Of Mics and Men" makes clear, survival itself is a kind of triumph.
Jenkins chronicles the group's origins and career, but also frames their story in the context of what it means to grow up black and poor in the public housing projects of Staten Island, New York City's forgotten borough until Wu-Tang made it cool.