Up until today, there was no reason to doubt the long-accepted fact that the Wu-Tang Clan’s name comes from Shaolin And Wu Tang, the martial arts movie sampled on its debut, Enter The Wu-Tang (36 Chambers). Now, though, the release of an official coronavirus safety poster has called decades of trivia into question. Thanks to a single picture, we must now ask ourselves if the group somehow saw into the future long ago and understood that the best way to combat the pandemic they glimpsed therein was to release some of the century’s greatest music under an acronym for virus-thwarting safety tips.
Seeking to address the more than 36 styles of danger represented by the virus, Wu-Tang Clan’s Twitter posted an image titled “Protect Ya Neck against the Coronavirus.” Beneath the Wu-Tang symbol, it explains what their name has always been meant to communicate: “W - Wash hands, U - Use mask properly, T - Touch nothing, A- Avoid large crowds, N - Never touch your face with unclean hands, G - Go to the hospital if you have severe symptoms.”
This is all good advice, and Wu-Tang is asking people to help spread awareness by sharing the image widely. But it’s also an earth-shattering revelation that calls into question the incredible extent of the group’s powers. RZA’s forward thinking, trend-agnostic musical vision helped make Wu-Tang a massive success, but we always assumed his leadership lay within the capabilities of a non-psychic human being. Has he, in fact, also tapped into a gift that breaks down the barriers of time and space? Is the coronavirus PSA poster just the first demonstration of his powers?
There’s no way to be sure for now. All we can do is heed the acronym’s advice, study the group’s discography and RZA’s printed works, and, just to be safe, start making the Wu-Tang sign as an additional step in our hand washing. Who knows? 30 years from now, scientists may discover the “W” finger formation is actually the best way to achieve the deepest possible cleaning.
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