One of my favorite moments of the 1990s was going to Wu-Tang Clan’s record release party at Webster Hall in support of their debut album, Enter the Wu-Tang (36 Chambers). It was so fresh, so dope, I still remember it as if it all went down last night. I counted two, maybe three, yellow school bus loads filled with Wu’s friends and family from Shaolin. They were ushered in and given carte blanche to the front of the stage before any one else was allowed it. Genius. I remember running into my homie, the writer/actor/renaissance man Bonz Malone, who turned to me at some point during Wu’s performance and said, quite emotionally, “Damn, I love this shit.” I remember Ol’ Dirty Bastard limping around on stage in a cast—I have no idea what happened to his leg, but the cast was wrapped around most of it—and him falling on his back. The room went silent for a few long seconds and Ol’ Dirty exploded with a hearty “Come on baby, baby/ Come on, baby, baby/ Come on baby, baby/ Come ooooonnnnn!!!” as his crew in the front cheered him on and we looked on as if this dude was on some other shit. Well, he was on some other shit, but whatever it was, it made the guy levitate. I swear. If I had to sum up that performance and the night in two words, I would have to be: magic realism.
Fast forward to a few weeks ago: a staff writer from Myspace sent me an email inviting me to contribute a short story inspired by a song from the album. What a fresh idea, I thought to myself, immediately agreeing to it, not caring about whether or not I was getting paid for my piece. In the end, a collection of twelve short stories were gleaned together.
I chose a lesser known track “Tearz,” because I loved the storytelling in it. I love writing fiction and this was an fun exercise for me. It begins like this:
I never understood why it didn’t occur to them to add a thirteenth floor when they built The Caroline Apartments. I mean, there’s a twelfth floor and a fourteenth floor but not a thirteenth? Why act like it doesn’t exist when it clearly does? I wonder if the assholes that built this housing nightmare and then broke out leaving us to fend for ourselves on some Lord of the Flies type shit thought we were that stupid. And it doesn’t really matter anyway because this whole building got a bad case of the fukú.
It all spiraled downhill the moment that motherfucker Tony got deposited in front of 14H…READ WHAT HAPPENS NEXT HERE