At the beginning of the early 2000s, I started to give Hip-Hop a lot more attention. I was reading books and magazines about the culture and watching documentaries about it and listening to rap. I would listen to a lot of rap. I was obsessed with it: the beats, the rhymes, the flow. Everything was so exciting so much that it took me down a rabbit hole. One that would take me in the deep seas of Hip-Hop.
While learning about the culture, something stroke me. Logos. The logos that rappers, rap groups, clothing brands and crews owned were mindblowing. I was astonished by the aesthetics involved in Hip-Hop’s visuals and imagery. It was so new and incredible – to me. One of the logos that had the most impact on me was no other than the Wu-Tang Clan’s “W”.
This logomark fascinated me and still does today. I was obsessing over it, spending hours drawing it from memory on any piece of paper that I had. It was like if I was possessed. There was a certain satisfaction in being able to (massively) reproduce such an iconic logo. I would then try to draw the different variations of it. By variations, I mean the individual Wu members logos.
I did this because I had found something that spoke to me. The thing is that I had not yet heard any of their music, but was able to understand the importance of the mark still. Not what it meant but more what it represented: the strength in numbers and that the unity of the rap group was as strong as the roots of a 300-year-old tree. It was just like in the old Kung-Fu, and Shaolin flicks that my uncle Issa used to watch. It is a symbol of truth, unity and honour and remains one of my favourite logos out there.
Not only I have a strong connection to it due to my love for Hip-Hop, but it is also a logo that remains relevant after 20 years of existence, which is the most important that a logo has to do. Stay relevant.
This was made possible by Mathematics, Wu-Tang’s DJ, who designed the now-famous logo. However, the “W” was originally accompanied by a chopped head deemed to gore by Wu-Tang’s founder The RZA for an official logo. Yet, they were able to use it for the artwork of their first demo tape.
I hope you’ve enjoyed reading about this as I will likely write more posts about iconic logos such as this one. Maybe you have one you would like the read about? If so, you can let me know in the comment section.