A Complete Guide To 90’s HIP-HOP Group: Wu-Tang Clan
Wu-Tang Clan is a hip hop group originally from Staten Island, New York, USA. (In their songs they refer to Staten Island as Shaolin).
The group consists of ten MCs (after the death of Ol ‘Dirty Bastard in 2004). All its members have released solo albums, and the group has produced different groups and solo artists. This was the plan from the beginning of the group: to create an empire and take the hip-hop community with the saturation of good artists.
The group’s style has evolved over time and the solo projects of the members have differed in sound and content, but the group is generally known for violence, surrealist beats and aggressive lyrics loaded with metaphors, references to life in the Bronx, the (StreetLife) of New York City and insinuations to Chinese folklore and martial arts films.
Wu-Tang Clan is one of those groups that have already secured a very high position on the international rap podium. When they jumped into the arena on the 93rd, from the suburbs of Staten Island, this mega-combo of ten artists inaugurated an original way of confronting the genre with its rude and phantasmagoric sound, influenced by the martial arts and with constant references to the pop culture. Discs like Enter the Wu-Tang have become classics and even the death of one of its most prominent members, Ol ‘Dirty Bastard, in 2004, could not slow down its trajectory (although it did not prevent them from releasing some albums).
Their career has been captured in a documentary, Wu: The Story of the Wu-Tang Clan, directed by Gerald K. Barkley. A film has received the prize for the best documentary in the last edition of the Hip Hop Odyssey Film Festival.
RZA (Robert Diggs, 1966) – The de facto leader of the group. He produced the entire Enter the Wu-Tang and most of the songs from the following albums. He has also been responsible for producing many of the works of the members of the group alone, especially in his early years.
GZA a.k.a. The Genius (Gary Grice, 1966) – He is the oldest member of the group as well as the most experienced, beginning to rap in 1976 when rap was still a local phenomenon in New York. He recorded an album in 1990 before Wu-Tang was formed, under Cold Chillin ‘/ Reprise, entitled Words from the Genius, although it was not very successful.
Ol ‘Dirty Bastard (Russell Jones, 1968 – 2004) – The unique member of the group due to his savage behavior, which drew attention to both the media and the police. Along with Method Man, he was one of the most popular members of Wu-Tang Clan. He died on November 13, 2004, because of a lethal mixture of painkillers and cocaine in the studio while recording his album.
Method Man (Clifford Smith, 1971) – The first to record a solo album, his career became the most prominent of the group with platinum sales and a Grammy for “I’ll be There For You / You’re All I Need “with Mary J. Blige.
Raekwon (Corey Woods, 1970) – Known as “The Chef” for having ‘lyrical flavor’, his use of jargon is the most extensive. His solo debut album Only Built 4 Cuban Linx is credited as the pioneer of the Mafia-rap phenomenon of the mid-90s.
Ghostface Killah (Dennis Coles, 1970) – At first he never appeared in public without a mask, which he later took off and secured a place in rap history by appearing in most of the songs of Only Built 4 Cuban Linx by Raekwon , your great friend. His solo debut, an Ironman, is considered one of the best albums of Wu-Tang.
Inspectah Deck (Jason Hunter, 1970) – He was one of the star members of the group, gaining recognition collaborating in songs of other artists.
U-God (Lamont Hawkins, 1970) – One of the less popular members of Wu-Tang, he has not had a very successful solo career. Later he blamed it on RZA, with which he had several disputes, although later they reconciled.
Masta Killa (Elgin Turner, 1969) – He is the only member who at the time of group formation was not experienced in terms of rap. GZA was his mentor in his first days in Wu-Tang Clan. He was the last to release a solo album.
Cappadonna – Cappadonna is the most peripheral member of Wu-Tang Clan. Known for his colorful wardrobe, the 45-year-old frequently refers to fashion designers and his extensive collection of high-end clothing in his raps.
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