Publishers' Weekly Spring 2021 Preview - "Memoirs & Biographies"
"Wu-Tang Clan led a revolution, and S.H. Fernando Jr. was on the front lines—at the shows, in the studio, and on set for the video shoots where these nine hip-hop warriors changed the world. With vivid reporting and sharp critical analysis, From the Streets of Shao-Lin offers a chronicle of the Wu in real time, and truly allows the reader to enter the 36 Chambers."—Alan Light, former Editor-in-Chief of Vibe and Spin magazines, author of What Happened, Miss Simone?: A Biography and Let’s Go. Crazy: Prince and the Making of Purple Rain
“Playing chess, not checkers, author S. H. Fernando Jr. has written a blunted history of the Wu-Tang Clan that reads like a textual tapestry weaving together New York history, old school hip-hop, gritty futurism, crack corners, Five-Percent Nation knowledge, kung-fu flicks, Time Square tricks, Blaxploitation aesthetics, vintage soul, Asian philosophy, Black power, and streetwise poetics. Like the Wu crew, Fernando was driven by passion, knowledge and the desire to drop science. Master-mixing journalistic discipline and research with gonzo enthusiasm, From the Streets of Shaolin: The Wu-Tang Saga is a masterful contribution to the culture and beyond.”—Michael A. Gonzales, Senior Writer, Wax Poetics
“S.H. Fernando Jr. is the original Wu-Tang chronicler. His early work is foundational and his latest tome delivers the titillating travels of these original men with more flavor than Flav.”—Sacha Jenkins, Director, Wu-Tang Clan: Of Mics and Men
“To truly tell the story of a group like Wu-Tang, a writer needs to see so much more than just the music, and look deeper into the culture, sociohistorical context and sheer rawness of the streets that these young gods emerged from. It’s rare that a writer so poignantly unravels the riddle wrapped in a mystery inside an enigma that is the Wu. S.H. Fernando Jr.’s unprecedented early access and immersion into the golden era of hip-hop lends to a deeper story of Wu-Tang’s brotherhood, visual inspirations and the gritty ecosystem that informs Wu-Tang’s come up story. From the Nation of Gods and Earths to The Zulu Nation to Raekwon’s immortal Snow Beach Polo parka, Fernando lyrically illustrates why the life and times of the Wu stands as a great American story. Beautifully nuanced and lushly written, Fernando’s telling of the Wu-Tang story shows (and proves) that it can, indeed, all be so simple.”—Vikki Tobak, author and curator of Contact High: A Visual History of Hip-Hop
“So much has been written about the Wu-Tang Clan, but finally we have the entire story in one place. S. H. Fernando Jr., one of the first ever journalists to cover the group, walks us through not only the backstories of the founding members, but also the specific conditions that led to Wu-Tang’s formation. Economic/racial inequality, the drug trade, the teachings of the Nation of Gods and Earths, kung fu cinema, and the early days of New York hip-hop are explained in full detail, as well as production techniques and the machinations of the music industry, with analyses of the albums (both as a group and solo projects) that took the world by storm and helped define a generation. This is an essential text for any fan of hip-hop culture or American history in general.”—Ben Merlis, author of Goin’ Off: The Story of the Juice Crew & Cold Chillin’ Records