Designed and Wu’d  with Sharon De La Cruz

Straight from the streets of Shaolin (Long Island, NYC), The Wu-Tang Clan came together to create one of the most influential Black-Male rap groups of all time. The RZA, the GZA, Ol Dirty Bastard, Inspectah Deck, Raekwon the Chef, U-God, Ghost Face Killer and the Method Man, have been an active collaboration since 1993 and in 2013 celebrated the 20th anniversary of their first album, “36 Chambers”. Cult hits such as “C.R.E.A.M“, “Protect Ya Neck“, “Bring Da Ruckus” came from this album and ever since have brought one of the largest international fan bases today.

This fan base has continued to grow throughout the years, as younger generations of music listeners have come to appreciate the brilliance that is the Wu-Tang Clan and actively show their support on Twitter. Twitter being one of the largest forums of active presentation of one’s self-interest, it was appealing to Sharon and myself that at any place or time someone was tweeting Wu-Tang lyrics or tweeting to members of the Wu-Tang Clan. With the #Wutang alone, thousands of individuals tweet something related to this group but like many of us tweet and go unnoticed. In an attempt to reward these brave individuals to fill their Twitter space with Wu-Tang tweets and keep the group’s music ageless, we came up with “The Wu Is Back” project.

By working with Twitter4j, a java library for  the Twitter API, we made a processing sketch that searches for tweets that contain Wu-Tang Clan lyrics and song titles, run our animation, play the song mentioned in the tweet, and re-tweet the original tweeter with a completed image of our sketch through a Twitter account we made, @Wu_ITP. The user interface is shaped by how the user chooses to interact with the Wu community on Twitter. Their decisions translates the animation and image that is rewarded to them for tweeting a Wu-Tang related topic.

To reiterate here is a breakdown of the project

Here is are the steps of our sketch:

  • Processing sketch scrapes Twitter
  • Sketch finds “#WuTang” + “#CREAM”
  • Triggers C.R.E.A.M..MP3 in Processing sketch
  • Sketch animates Wu Tang logo with lyrics
  • Sketch takes picture of the results
  • Sends the picture back to user who’s tweet we scrapped, with #WuIsBack and direct them to the project’s website


Our challenges dealt mostly with manipulating t the Twitter API and order of operation of our code. This was especially a problem when Sharon and I combined sketches and had to re-write a couple of things like converting an “if” statement to a “while”, etc. Nevertheless, having a working search and response system through the Twitter API is a major success and it is especially rewarding that we can now bring further support to the Wu-Tang community!

Watch this video for further understanding of our process and what happens when you mess with the WU! (on Twitter)