Born Lamont Jody Hawkins, U-God is an American rapper and hip-hop artist and one of the founding members of the legendary Wu-Tang Clan. A native New Yorker, Raw is his first book.
"This book is great couldn't put it down finished it in 48 hours
U GOD ALLAH REALLY LIVED HISTRUTH." - Charlamagne Tha
God"Mesmerizing." - Raekwon da Chef"U-God has been with Wu-Tang
since the start, and this book chronicles the entire saga: rough
beginnings in Brooklyn, a vivid project adolescence in Staten
Island, and a glorious leap into the insanely talented collective
that would become the center of the music universe. There's never
been a book that deserved its title more." - Questlove
"Unexpectedly moving...Raw feels cathartic, as Hawkins finds
the language and perspective to reckon with his past. His moment in
the spotlight may be over, but he now has something that few of his
Wu-Tang brothers, still so admired by a younger generation, have:
the distance to tell his own story. He has often been forgotten,
and has sometimes been ridiculed, but he was part of one of the
great hip-hop groups of all-time--perhaps the only member who is
more man than myth." --Hua Hsu, The New Yorker"A classic
rags-to-riches tale, from drug dealing on the streets of New York
City during the crack epidemic in the 1980s to fame and fortune.
It's a nostalgic look back on hip-hop music and the wild times in
New York City before it became a playground for the rich." -The
"You cannot tell the story of hip-hop without the Wu-Tang Clan, and you cannot tell the story of the Wu-Tang Clan without U-God. RAW is an insightful, moving, necessary book for anyone with even a passing interest rap." - #1 New York Times bestselling author Shea Serrano
"From its blunt opening line--'Time is a motherfucker'--Raw: My Journey Into the Wu Tang is brashly funny."
--Brag Magazine"Eye-popping." -The Guardian
"Lamont "U-God" Hawkins reflects on his childhood and adolescence--raised by a single mother in the projects in Brownsville, New York--before his life took a major turn when he met his artistic collaborators and soul mates. Hawkins found compatriots in RZA, GZA, Method Man, Raekwon, Ol' Dirty Bastard, Inspectah Deck, Ghostface Killah, and Masta Killa--the eight artists with whom he would found the Wu-Tang Clan, earning a ticket out of the unpredictable and underserved neighborhoods of New York City and into the spotlight as some of hip-hop's greatest performers." --Esquire (Best Non-Fiction of the Year)"An absolute thrill ride and will most definitely please long-time fans of the group as well as give unknowing readers an amazing journey through an incredible life. Raw is full of jaw-dropping anecdotes about what growing up was like in some of the area's roughest neighborhoods in the 80's and full of rich life lessons that were won out of pure perseverance." -MetroUS
"Propulsive...In this timely memoir, Hawkins' reflects on his childhood--a period when drugs exacerbated the violence in the streets--and the heady years of fame that followed, revealing a man grateful for the music that saved his life." -Esquire (Selected as a Best of the Year)
"A truly gripping book. Hawkins is a gifted observer and storyteller with a quick wit and an effortless freedom with the pen. This is a must-read for anyone with even a basic interest in the look and feel of New York during hip hop's golden age, and a desire to know how one of the greatest rap crews ever assembled came to be. Unvarnished, honest, detailed, and at times magical, Hawkins weaves an immersive tale from street level to penthouse level without ever compromising his clarity of vision. Wu-Tang Clan Is among the most innately literary projects in all of hip hop history and with Raw U-God holds absolutely true to this vision." - Carvell Wallace, former music critic, MTVnews, and host of the podcast "Closer Than They Appear"
"The title says it all. Raw is a vivid, sometimes eye-popping and occasionally funny account of street life, drug-dealing and incarceration before and during the early days of one of hip hop's greatest groups, the Wu-Tang Clan. U-God's book sits in a tradition that runs from Booker T. Washington's Up From Slavery to Charles Mingus's Beneath the Underdog - accounts of African-American striving and transcendence which remind us what it's like to live - and survive, and prosper - in a world set up to crush you. As such it's essential reading - and not just for hip hop fans." - Will Ashon, founder of Big Dada Records"Lamont "U-God" Hawkins has written a memoir that's impossible to put down. The energy in this infectious book is something else--but that should be of no surprise to fans. Storytelling was always a Wu-Tang superpower, but RAW: My Journey Into the Wu-Tang Clan manages to also chronicle a New York of another era. We get everything from street stories to the annals of fame, friendship, family, and brotherhood. It's no wonder he was "the ambassador"--this book can reach so many people, from Wu-Tang diehards to anyone who wants to read about the tough ascension of dreams becoming reality with all the countless twist sand turns along the way." - Porochista Khakpour, author of the memoir Sick and the novels The Last Illusion and Sons & Other Flammable Objects"Hawkins is a wonderful storyteller who spares no detail...and his willingness to share his wisdom in nonsaccharine terms yields an inspirational coming-of-age story." - Publisher's Weekly (Starred Review) "Gritty...will entertain fans of the group and its era." - Kirkus