City Books presents: Will Ashton
Will Ashton: Chamber Music About the Wu-Tang (in 36 Pieces)
Twenty-five years ago an album was released that changed the world. The complexity, range, humour, musicality, power and reach of Enter the Wu-Tang (36 Chambers) electrified music fans everywhere.
Will Ashon tells, in 36 chambers (or chapters), how this extraordinary album came to be. From the history of jazz to social housing, from fashion to politics, from crack to the FBI, from Hong Kong martial arts movies to racism, race and a confused USA, Chamber Music is the explosive and revelatory story of our world in 1993 and today.
Chamber Music ranges from provocative essays to semi-comic skits, from deep scholarly analysis to satirical celebration, seeking to contextualise, reveal and honour the singularly composite work of art.
“Each of these chambers contains wonders of history, destiny and mythology. Chamber Music is hip hop as race and class politics, as music and as poetry on the move.” Margo Jefferson
“Ashon’s book is stylistically loaded, reckless, funny, naked, thorough, thoughtful, mysterious, devastating, unrelenting, and compassionate. One of the most rewarding pieces of hip-hop criticism ever written’ Jeff Chang, author of We Gon’ Be Alright: Notes on Race and Resegregation
“A remarkable achievement and the sort of writing this landmark album deserves … Just plain dope.” Guy Gunaratne
Will Ashon is the author of Strange Labyrinth: Outlaws, Poets, Mystics, Murderers and a Coward in London’s Great Forest (Granta, 2017) and two novels. He previously ran BIG DADA records where his artists included Roots Manuva, MF DOOM, Kate Tempest and Diplo.