GZA and Marty Markowitz

Enter the Wu-Tang: Marty Markowitz meets GZA at Borough Hall

The Brooklyn Paper
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The RZA … The GZA … Ol’ Dirty Bastard … Inspectah Deck, Raekwon the Chef, U-God, Ghostface Killah, and … Marty Markowitz?

The Wu-Tang Clan entered the 36 chambers of Borough Hall on Monday when rapper GZA announced the line-up for the fourth annual Northside Festival with Borough President Markowitz.

“Most people associate Wu-Tang with Staten Island, or Shaolin, but I was born in Crown Heights, raised in Bedford-Stuyvesant, Brownsville, and Bushwick,” said GZA, who will headline the June concert series in a show with the Latin funk orchestra Grupo Fantasma at the Music Hall of Williamsburg.

In a show of Brooklyn pride, GZA adopted Markowitz as the newest member of the Wu-Tang Clan and dubbed him “Marty Wu,” before hinting that the legendary rap group may make an endorsement in the 2013 mayoral race.

Markowitz welcomed the rapper and said musicians such as GZA are evidence of the creative energy nurtured by the borough.

The Northside Festival — a week-long celebration of arts, music, cinema, and entrepreneurship that has become Williamsburg’s answer to the South by Southwest festival — will start June 14 and feature major concerts from groups such as of Montreal, Ceremony, Kool Keith, and Dam-Funk.

The musical portion of the L Magazine-sponsored series moved from last year’s location at McCarren Park to 50 Kent Street, an industrial lot slated to be developed into a park by the city at some point in the next decade.

Markowitz hinted that the entire Wu-Tang Clan could soon grace the borough’s stages for a ”Brooklyn-born” festival at the Barclays Center — but he would not name his favorite Wu-Tang song.

“Whatever he says, I’ll go with,” Markowitz said, gesturing towards GZA. “I’m still listening to the Beatles.”

Brooklyn’s Killa Beep did, however, share a few of his own lyrics to the GZA — lines the politician suggested could be used on the next Wu-Tang album.

“Through cyclones or typhoons, I represent Brooklyn from midnight to high noon / I don’t waste ink, I think, I drop fuhgeddaboudits faster than you blink” rapped Markowitz, who promised not to quit his day job.

GZA, however, believes that Markowitz brought da ruckus.

“I’m ready to sign him,” said the rapper, who is also known as The Genius.

Reach reporter Eli Rosenberg at or by calling (718) 260-2531. And follow him at
Updated 5:32 pm, July 9, 2018
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