Music and Personalities Behind the Wu-Tang Clan
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One of the phenomenal changes in the music industry is the introduction of the so-called hip-hop music popularized by the minority groups of blacks, Latinos, and native Caribbean Americans in New York City. Although the music started underground, mostly at parties and community gatherings, it became a solid trend that will forever change the course of music in the 70s. In the 80s hip-hop is widely spread, with different artists starting to flock, entering the unique industry and sharing out newer ideas to the genre.
Perhaps one of the iconic groups in the hip-hop industry is the Wu-Tang Clan. Formed in 1992, this 10-man rap group paved the way for the modernization of the hip-hop genre, trademarking the eminent “East Coast Hip-hop” and hardcore hip-hop.
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Where Did the “Wu-Tang Clan Name” Come From?
Contrary to the ethnicity of its members, the Wu-Tang Clan is not of Chinese descent. They, however, draw the name from the 1983 kung fu film Shaolin and Wu-Tang. During that time, kung fu movies were a great hit and the original members of the group are avid fans. They also made an acronym from the word “WU-TANG”—Witty Unpredictable Talent and Natural Game.
Wu-Tang Clan Members and Their Real Names
Wu-Tang Clan is a 10-member rap group specializing in hip-hop rap. They each have their aliases when it comes to their shows. Each member of the group is known as a “Wu” rapper.
Let’s get to know more about the ten members of this highly respected music group.
Coming from his old alias Prince Rakeem, Robert Fitzgerald Diggs is best known for his moniker RZA. He was considered the leader of the group, producing most of the gems of the Wu-Tang Clan. RZA is now a distinguished filmmaker and record producer. He directed the movie The Man with the Iron Fists and produced music for Kill Bill Volume 1 and 2.
Originally named The Genius, rapper, and songwriter Gary Eldridge Grice is one of the founding members of the Wu clan. He is considered the “spiritual head” of the group, acting as the very first member and the oldest.
Ol’ Dirty Bastard (ODB)
Russell Tyrone Jones is formerly known as The Specialist from their old original group “Force of the Imperial Master” before changing to ODB after the foundation of the Wu-Tang Clan. Among the members, Russell is often involved with legal troubles such as illegal drugs and incarceration. Unfortunately, he died in 2004 due to a drug overdose.
The man behind the Method Man is Clifford Smith, Jr., a now renowned songwriter, and record producer. He is also one of the members of the duo group “Method Man & Redman”. He won a Grammy Award for Best Rap Performance by a Duo or Group in 1996.
Corey Woods, behind the stage name Raekwon The Chef, is also one of the first Wu rappers of the group. He pursued a solo career album in 1995 entitled “Only Built 4 Cuban Linx…” which received positive feedback from his group’s fans and critics.
Best known behind the stage as Dennis Coles. Like Raekwon, he also pursued a solo career in 1996 with the album Ironman and was proven to be successful. His name came from one of the characters in the film “The Mystery of Chess Boxing”.
Known in real-life as Jason Richard Hunter, Inspectah Deck is one of the celebrated members of the Wu-Tang Clan for his complex lyricism and lines. He later on became a producer of his music.
Lamont Jody Hawkins, best known as U-God, has been with the Wu clan rappers since its foundation in 1992. He is best known for his deep humming voice. He is a close friend of Method Man and Inspectah Deck and a childhood friend of Raekwon.
Another profound member of the Wu group is Jamel Irief, also known as Masta Killa. He is the least popular member of the group before entering the spotlight of the Wu-Tang Clan. Unlike other members, his career and popularity only started with the Wu clan’s debut in 1993.
Also known as Darryl Hill, he was an old acquaintance of the Wu rappers and was U-God’s mentor. Amid their popularity in 1993, he went to prison and was replaced by Method Man. He made his first appearance comeback in 1997 in their album “Wu-Tang Forever”.
Notice the quirky and smart aliases of the Wu-Tang rappers they used in their stage performances. This made other artists in our present era take aliases’ names for themselves. Artists like 50 Cent, Eminem, and Ja Rule are a few examples. Due to Wu-Tang Clan’s popularity, there are numerous Wu-Tang name generator websites to help users create their Wu rapper names.
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Wu-Tang Clan’s Best Hits
With over 6.5 million albums sold in the USA alone, the Wu-Tang clan is proven to be very successful in the hip-hop industry. Check out some of our best hand-picked Wu-Tang clan songs that you should check.
Its Yourz (1997)
Its Yourz is one of the best songs of the Wu-Tang clan with a catchy rhythm and Flip Top Battle style lyrics.
Our Rating: 7.5/10
Hollow Bones (2000)
Hollow Bones is proof that Wu-Tang Clan is not only for aggressive rap but also for lyrical and minimalist style. For those who want to chill with nice lyrics and calming beats, this is a must-try.
Our Rating: 8/10 – some parts are repetitive and maybe cringe for others.
Wu-Tang: 7th Chamber – Part II (1993)
Interesting title with a lot of hot twists both in lyrics and beats. This is one of the songs that sealed the Wu gang into the spotlight of the music industry.
Our Rating: 9/10!
Protect Ya Neck (1993)
We know we’re putting older songs into our high-rate list, but the older ones just seem too great and incomparable for us. Debuted from the first album, Enter the Wu-Tang (36 Chambers), this song features a lot of verses from the great minds of the nine original members of the Wu clan.
Our Rating: 9.5/10
Da Mystery of Chessboxin’ (1993)
This song reminds us that rap is there to tell stories. This gives us the impression that raps are more than what 50 Cent’s “Candy Shop” can offer. It is full of meaningful lyrics, rhythmic word choice, and tons of quotable quotes.
Our rating: is 10/10.