LOS ANGELES – The Hulu series, “Wu-Tang: An American Saga”, testing the rise of the Wu-Tang Clan – one of the most influential hip-hop groups of the 90s – is back for a second season – and this time around the series will tap into more music.
The first season focused heavily on educating characters in New York City projects, before becoming the pop culture icons fans know today. Now, the long-awaited formation of the Wu-Tang Clan will come to fruition when it returns to the streaming service on September 8.
Wu-Tang: An American Saga – “As High as Wu-Tang Gets” – Episode 210 – Clan strides for Wu domination. Shotgun (Dave East) and Bobby (Ashton Sanders), pictured. (Photo by: Vanessa Clifton / Hulu)
Ashton Sanders, who plays Bobby Diggs, aka RZA, told FOX Television Stations that means season two will focus significantly on music and performance, highlighting “36 Chambers,” Wu’s iconic debut album. -Tang Clan.
“I think the fans are going to be really excited about the music,” Sanders said of season two. “I think the fans are going to be excited to see these boys, these young men go by. We see Bobby go to RZA. We see Dennis go to Ghostface Killah, and so on. I think people were really expecting that. In particular. . ”
Dennis (Siddiq Saunderson), Gary (Johnell Young), Bobby (Ashton Sanders), Ason (TJ Atoms) and U-God (Damani D. Sease), shown. (Photo by: Vanessa Clifton / Hulu)
At a young age, Sanders, 25, already gained national recognition on the big screen, with roles in “Judas and the Dark Messiah” and most notably, the Oscar-winning film “Moonlight”. But, in his first major TV role, he said tapping into RZA’s vocal cadence turned out to be the most difficult aspect.
“I’m not a rapper, so it’s always been the most scary thing for me but also the most liberating thing to do,” Sanders continued.
Sanders has revealed that it can be intimidating bringing such an iconic figure to life, especially with RZA as executive producer and co-creator of the series.
“At first, definitely intimidating, of course,” Sanders revealed. “But, I think the more time you spend with RZA, the more you talk to him, the more you start to understand him as a human being, as a person, [and] all that [intimidation] fades. And you are just thankful to be there and to represent someone like him who is so important to hip hop culture and to be a part of such an iconic project. ”
Sanders revealed that it was the energy of RZA that he wanted to transfer into his portrayal of the legendary artist.
“The way he thinks, his leadership, all of that are things that I’m really able to tap into and hold onto,” Sanders continued. “Having him there has definitely been helpful. He’s a biopic character and luckily he’s still alive. So I can talk to him and reference him if I have any questions. it was definitely useful and made things a bit more comfortable on set actually. ”
In the new season, Bobby knows that success in the music industry could be the boys’ ticket to a better life. But getting the clan members to drop everything for the music is not easy. The resentment between Dennis, Sha, Power and Divine still runs deep, while the other members of the clan struggle to deal with life downtown. This time around, Bobby is dedicated to authenticity and while he knows he can lead his team through the challenges of the music industry, the clan divides might prove too difficult to overcome.
“I’m just excited all around. I think there are a lot of things this season that can attract people,” Sanders said. “Being on this show was it: collectively, spiritually, artistically, mentally fulfilling.”
When asked if Sanders would consider venturing into his own rapping career: “Stay tuned.”
Premieres September 8 on Hulu. Stars: Ashton Sanders (Bobby / RZA), Shameik Moore (Sha), Siddiq Saunderson (Dennis), Julian Elijah Martinez (Divine), Marcus Callender (Power), Zolee Griggs (Shurrie), TJ Atoms (Ason), Dave East (Shotgun) , Johnell Young (Gary), Erika Alexander (Linda Diggs), Uyoata Udi (Rebel) and Damani Sease (U-Dieu).
About the writer: Stephanie Weaver is a Los Angeles-based journalist. She is the host of the national streaming show, LiveNOW from FOX, and is a digital reporter for FOX TV. Find it on Facebook and Instagram at @StephWeaverTV.