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This is gonna sound fuckin’ crazy–trust me, I think it’s fuckin’ crazy–but I think Gorillaz is rock’s Wu-Tang Clan. Damon Albarn is the Wu-Abbot (the RZA), Dan the Automator is the GZA, De La Soul is Raekown, Method Man and Ghostface and…that Japanese chick is ODB. As they get older, more and more collaborators pop up out of the woodwork and you start to wonder, what do they stand for? Where are they going? Who are these new people and why do they matter? Is the message the same?

Who else can get two members of The Clash together? Who else can get Snoop Dogg and Mos Def on that same album? The new album feels like it’s just a collection of tremendously qualified musicians making music together. There doesn’t have to be a label anymore: indie, alternative, country, hip-hop, emo, punk, rap, R&B, psychedelic, symphonic, rock. If you’ve got talent, you’re in.

I feel like this is the future of music. Just like Wu-Tang, Gorillaz is starting to show the effects of our ADD culture. They’re critical darlings because they’re something more than just the amalgamation of their talent. They’re free to create, to innovate in any direction they please because they can add whoever they please to the record: their band is four cartoon characters.

Perhaps, and yes, it’s about to get crazier, they–unlike the Wu-Tang Clan–cannot be classified. And thus, they are far more accessible for critics who grew up on Dylan or Dr. Dre, The Rolling Stones or RZA, Jimi Hendrix or Jay-Z, Beastie Boys or The Beatles.

But the real heart of the matter is that when I grow up I want to be Murdoc: pithy, filthy, rhythmic, sarcastic, animated, talented, tatted, barely clothed. A rock star. Well, maybe not diseased or fictional but definitely smarmy, signed and talented.

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