The ugly side of the music industry, Wu-Tang Clan How the Music Business tore apart the greatest rap group ever, shows that business will always be a controlling factor in the dynamics of a group of artists. Creative differences, profit split issues, management concerns, egos, and superstars outshining other members will always be prevalent within a group of entertainers. Unfortunately, these factors played a key role in the history of the greatest rap group ever.
Wu Tang Clan: How the Music Business tore apart the greatest rap group ever-video
Wu-Tang Clan is a hip hop group formed in Staten Island, New York City in 1992. Its original members include RZA, GZA, Ol’ Dirty Bastard, Method Man, Raekwon, Ghostface Killah, Inspectah Deck, U-God, and Masta Killa. Close affiliate Cappadonna later became an official member. Wu-Tang Clan are regarded as a highly influential group in hip hop, helping to popularize and develop the East Coast hip hop and hardcore hip hop styles.
After signing to Steve Rifkind‘s label Loud Records in 1992, Wu-Tang Clan released their debut album, Enter the Wu-Tang (36 Chambers), in 1993; it received widespread critical acclaim and has since been consistently rated as one of the greatest hip hop albums of all time.
Members of the group released solo albums between 1994 and 1996. In 1997, the group released their second album, Wu-Tang Forever. It debuted atop the Billboard 200 and was nominated for Best Rap Album at the 1998 Grammy Awards. The group later released the albums The W (2000), Iron Flag (2001), 8 Diagrams (2007) and A Better Tomorrow (2014), to less popularity.
The only copy of their seventh album, Once Upon a Time in Shaolin (2015), was bought for $2 million by hedge fund manager Martin Shkreli. The group’s eighth album, The Saga Continues, was released in 2017.
Wu-Tang Clan has introduced and launched the careers of a number of affiliated artists and groups, collectively known as the Wu-Tang Killa Bees. In 2008, About ranked Wu-Tang Clan “the No. 1 greatest hip hop group of all time”. Kris Ex of Rolling Stone called Wu-Tang Clan “the best rap group ever”
Founding of the Wu-Tang Clan
In the late 1980s, cousins Robert Diggs, Gary Grice, and Russell Jones formed a group named Force of the Imperial Master, also known as the All in Together Now Crew. Each member recorded under an alias: Grice as The Genius, Diggs as Prince Rakeem or The Scientist, and Jones as The Specialist. The group never signed to a major label, but caught the attention of the New York City rap scene and was recognized by rapper Biz Markie.
By 1991, The Genius and Prince Rakeem were signed to separate record labels. The Genius released Words from the Genius (1991) on Cold Chillin’ Records and Prince Rakeem released Ooh I Love You Rakeem (1991) on Tommy Boy Records. Both were soon dropped by their labels. They then adopted new monikers; The Genius became GZA (pronounced “jizza”), and Prince Rakeem became RZA (pronounced “rizza”).
RZA began collaborating with Dennis Coles, later known as Ghostface Killah, another rapper from the Stapleton Houses in Staten Island. The duo decided to create a hip hop group whose ethos would be a blend of “Eastern philosophy picked up from kung fu movies, Five Percent Nation teachings picked up on the New York streets, and comic books”. Wu-Tang Clan assembled in late 1992, with RZA as the de facto leader and the group’s producer.
RZA and Ol’ Dirty Bastard adopted the name for the group after the film Shaolin and Wu Tang. The group developed backronyms for the name (as hip hop pioneers such as KRS-One and Big Daddy Kane did with their names), including “We Usually Take All Niggas’ Garments”, “Witty Unpredictable Talent And Natural Game”, and “Wisdom of the Universe, and the Truth of Allah for the Nation of the Gods“.
Wu-Tang Clan became known in 1993 following the release of the independent single “Protect Ya Neck“, which helped gain the group a sizable underground following.
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