SHARPEST SWORDS FROM THE WU TANG CLAN

It’s easy to say that the Wu Tang Clan is one of the greatest hip-hop groups, but, which members make up the best parts of the G.O.A.T.? In the ‘what have you done for me LATELY?’ culture that we live in, your favorite from fifteen years ago may not be the same going into 2018. So, with that in mind, let’s rank the most productive, still relevant, all around greatest members of the Wu Tang Clan:

U-God is like that favorite uncle that never shows up to family functions. He makes a very limited appearance on Wu Tang’s debut album  Enter the Wu-Tang (36 Chambers)  and he is absent on their latest album  The Saga Continues . Golden Arms is dope, but if the saga can truly continue without a founding member, how important is he?

11. U-God

U-God is like that favorite uncle that never shows up to family functions. He makes a very limited appearance on Wu Tang’s debut album Enter the Wu-Tang (36 Chambers) and he is absent on their latest album The Saga Continues. Golden Arms is dope, but if the saga can truly continue without a founding member, how important is he?


masta killa.jpg

10. Masta Killah

Masta Killah can hardly remember his time with the Clan in interviews. His membership was gained mainly because of association by his own admission, and his simplistic flow was crafted during the recording of their first album. He’s just not on the level of his more skilled brethren. Without a memorable single or solo album, his best quality is that he appears on the majority of the Clan's group efforts.


4 Gold solo albums, 1 Platinum album, 2 Gold singles

4 Gold solo albums, 1 Platinum album, 2 Gold singles

9. Redman

Reggie Noble is an honorary member of the Clan, and if it wasn’t for his late membership he would be much higher on this list. Redman’s success as a solo artist, along with his hit duo with Method Man has carried him into the 21st Century where the Funk Doc still rocks the spot.


cap.jpg

8. Cappadonna

Cappadonna was labeled as the tenth member of the original Wu Tang clan. His appearance on the hit single ICE CREAM is his claim to fame, but he does lend a memorable verse to the Clan’s 2017 single ONLY ONE.


deck.jpg

7. Inspektah Deck

The rebel I-N-S is one of the premiere lyricist of the Wu Tang Clan. If only bad luck didn’t hamper his solo efforts! His mesmerizing lyrics on songs like TRIUMPH and LESSON LEARN’D are enough to elevate him to the #7 spot.


1 Platinum album, 1 Gold album

1 Platinum album, 1 Gold album

6. GZA

Everyone on up has had a certified gold solo album, and are original members of the group. GZA tops that with a platinum plaque. The eldest member of the Clan always delivers lyrically, and his solo album LIQUID SWORDS is a classic. The title track, along with less appreciated songs like 4TH CHAMBER, I GOTCHA BACK, SHADOWBOXIN, and COLD WORLD are some of the best tracks in the Wu Tang legacy. Unfortunately, the Genius has been relatively silent in the 21st century. 


2 Gold Albums

2 Gold Albums

5. O.D.B.

Big Baby Jesus, Osiris, Dirt McGirt. If you didn’t get to see the antics of Ol’ Dirty Bastard in his prime then you missed entertainment gold. From taking his family to collect food stamps on MTV, to Kanye-ing the 1998 Grammy stage before Kanye existed; ODB is a hip-hop icon. When he bum-rushed the Grammy stage to proclaim that Wu Tang was for the kids and Puffy was just alright we all nodded in agreement. Luckily, his music lives on, and SHIMMY SHIMMY YA and BROOKLYN ZOO are still some of the illest songs EVER. R.I.P. ODB!


2 Gold Albums

2 Gold Albums

4. Raekwon

ONLY BUILT FOR CUBAN LINX might have changed the music landscape back in 1995. The unique purple tape, the inclusion of his Wu Tang partner Ghostface Killah featured heavily on the album, the Mafioso lingo and wordplay. Everyone was bumping Raekwon’s purple tape! The Chef's recent efforts have been solid, with a sequel to CUBAN LINKS back in 2009, and dope albums like F.I.L.A (Fly International Luxurious Art) and THE WILD released in recent years.


2 Gold albums

2 Gold albums

3. RZA

Bobby Digital is the architect of the Wu Tang sound, and can never be discounted. His influence on hip-hop production; skeletal drum beats with samples ranging from soul music to speeches from Kung-Fu flicks is forever etched in the genre’s lexicon. What keeps him relevant is his foray into Hollywood. Scoring films such as GHOST DOG: THE WAY OF THE SAMURAI, and the hit anime AFRO SAMURAI, along with acting and producing in the hit films AMERICAN GANGSTER and G.I. JOE: RETALLIATION have made the RZA-rector one of the most successful artists in the realm of hip-hop.


3 Platinum albums, 1 Gold, multiple hit singles

3 Platinum albums, 1 Gold, multiple hit singles

2. Method Man

The M-E-T-H-O-D Man is another hip-hop icon birthed by the Clan. His self-titled single from the Wu Tang Clan's debut album alerted the world to something special, but his duet with Mary J. Blige, ALL I NEED would make Meth a household name. His commercial success was huge, and he was able to capitalize with movies, television shows, and a popular duo with Redman. All of these forays continue to this day, with roles on LUKE CAGE,THE MORTICIAN, and KEANU.  Johnny Blaze couldn't always live up to the hype, though, and successful yet mediocre solo albums (Judgement Day, anyone?) keeps him from the #1 spot. 


1 Platinum album, 1 Gold album

1 Platinum album, 1 Gold album

1. Ghostface Killah

GFK is the most consistent musically among the original Wu Tang Clan members. Not only did he debut strong with IRONMAN, but he avoided the sophomore slump with the critically acclaimed SUPREME CLIENTELE. Starks has released ten albums in the 21st century, and it's hard to downplay any of them. When it comes to the foundation of the Wu, none of the original members can touch Ghost's music output. He even takes the time to check 'little fat f*cks' that don't want to admit that they sound like him!

JAY-Z SCREWS THE MIDWEST...AGAIN

Who’s excited to see hip-hop icon Jay-Z grace the stage at the Pinnacle Bank Arena in Lincoln, NE today? Nobody? Don't tell me Hov flaked on his Midwest fans, again…

This time, at least he cancelled the concert before a disaster happened. Jay-Z’s anticipated 4:44 Tour has ground to a screeching halt due to technical difficulties; apparently, the huge display screens that were supposed to hang from the ceiling of the auditorium couldn’t be assembled in time for the show. A similar fiasco caused him to cancel his Fresno, CA concert in early November, but Hov didn’t give a reason for that cancellation. Maybe he decided to speak up now because his short history at the Pinnacle Bank Arena in Lincoln isn’t very good.

Back in 2013 I ventured from Omaha to Lincoln to see Jay-z in concert. My mother thought it wasn’t worth it; the tickets were overpriced, and the concert venue was an hour drive away. She could see that kind of effort put towards a show by Prince or Michael Jackson, but not Jay-Z.

IT WENT FROM LIT...

IT WENT FROM LIT...

Her criticism fell on deaf ears. Jay-Z is one of my favorite rappers of all time…a $100 ticket was nothing compared to the experience of seeing The Black Album performed in person. With my sister in tow, we listened to a mix of Hov’s greatest hits all the way to the capital city in anticipation of a great show.

That night I was dressed in all black everything, just like Jay-Z in the video for Run This Town. Once we arrived at the arena I was impressed by the elaborate set before us; humongous speakers hung from the ceilings, while two huge screens hovered above the scene. On stage, translucent crates were stacked in a formation that encompassed a drum set and a DJ booth. The clear crates were emblazoned with white light, but when the music started to play the crates began to pulsate with different colors along with the beat.

Hov and his special-guest Timbaland came out to a spectacular stage-show…after an hour-late start. Though the wait was long, I must admit that Jay-Z came out prepared for an epic set. With Timbaland on the ones-and-twos he performed hit after hit; rocking the arena with songs like NI@@AS IN PARIS and U DON’T KNOW. JIGGA MY NI@@A took full advantage of the gigantic speakers hanging overhead, and I stood on my feet for infectious hits like DIRT OFF MY SHOULDERS and ROC BOYS.

The building was rocking, and the crowd was bouncing so hard that when the smell of burnt fuses filled the air and the lights went out, the entire arena let out a unified sigh of relief at the reprieve!

...TO UNLIT.

...TO UNLIT.

Those sighs would turn into frustrated huffs after more than thirty minutes of waiting. Apparently, the high-tech set was too much for the Pinnacle Bank Arena’s circuit board. Suddenly, cold-air rushed into the stadium as workers hustled backstage to get the show back up and running. The wait was agonizing, but I was still confident that Hov would make up for this setback.

I was sure that he would give us, his loyal fans what we deserved. At the very least, I was sure that he would extend the concert to pad the nearly two hours we had wasted sitting in the arena. Heck, one of my favorite songs is ENCORE, and I was sure he’d give us an encore performance….

Nope. Despite the setbacks, Jay-Z performed the last song on his set-list and promptly ended the show after maybe ninety minutes of performance time. I imagine that he sped off towards the nearest airport in a souped-up Bentley, smoking a cigar and never thinking twice about the lackluster experience he had just provided.

I haven’t lost all of my love for Hov since that disappointing experience, but I am hesitant to attend one of his concerts. Heck, 4:44 isn't even that great of an album. I may be jaded, but I am now confident that Jay-Z doesn't put forth the effort needed for a great show outside of a major city.

To even think of my levels of anger and disappointment had I been the victim of two disappointing outings by one of my favorite rap artists is scary. I may have jumped back on board with 2Pac and Nas and screamed F*CK JAY-Z!