Wu-Tang Clan is responsible for some of the best names in all of rap. From classic monikers like Raekwon the Chef and Tony Starks to the online name generator that you can check out here, the group has had no shortage of killer aliases. That said, this branding tool has led many to wonder what their real names are. Read on to learn each members’ age and their real name.
RZA, the producer and de facto leader of the group, was born Robert Fitzgerald Diggs on July 5, 1969. He’s 49. He chose the name RZA based on a nickname he was given by his fans, “Rza Rza Rakeem,” and it’s a backronym for “Ruler, Zig-Zag-Zig, Allah” in the Supreme Alphabet. His aliases include Prince Rakeem, the Abbott and Bobby Digital.
There Were 9 Original Members of the Wu-Tang Clan In 1992
GZA was born Gary E. Grice on August 22, 1966. He’s the group’s oldest member at 52, and is RZA’s cousin. He originally rapped under the name The Genius, and then GZA The Genius, but he’s since shortened it. GZA is also related to Ol’ Dirty Bastard, the group’s third co-founder and only posthumous member.
Ol’ Dirty Bastard was born Russell Tyrone Jones on November 15, 1968. He died of a drug overdose on November 13, 2004, two days before his 36th birthday. His rap name was derived from the 1980 karate film Ol’ Dirty and the Bastard. Some of his aliases include Osiris, Dirt McGirt, Big Baby Jesus and the Dirt Dog.
Many of the Artists Take Their Name from 1970s Martial Arts Films
Method Man was born Clifford M. Smith on March 2, 1971. He’s 48. He was the first breakout star of the group, and his rap name was the focus of a track on their debut album, “M-E-T-H-O-D Man.” Like Ol’ Dirty Bastard, his name was taken from a martial arts film. His aliases include Tical and Johnny Blaze.
Raekwon was born Corey Woods on January 12, 1970. He’s 49. He initially performed under the name Raekwon the Chef, but he eventually shortened it. His aliases include Shallah Raekwon, Shallah Diamond and Lex Diamond. Raekwon collaborated with Ghostface Killah on his debut album, who may have the most colorful nicknames in the entire group.
Ghostface’s Aliases Include a Nod to the Marvel Superhero Iron Man
Ghostface Killah was born Dennis Coles on May 9, 1970. He’s also 49. Some of his most popular aliases over the years include Ghostdini, Starky Love, Pretty Toney, and simply Ghostface. He’s also a huge admirer of the Marvel character Iron Man, and has taken on the hero’s moniker in many forms; like Tony Starks and Starks.
Inspectah Deck was born Jason Hunter on July 6, 1970. He’s 48. Some of his aliases include Rollie Fingers, Fifth Brother and Rebel INS. Then there’s Masta Killa, the last of the original lineup to release a solo album. Masta Killa was born Elgin Turner on August 18, 1969. He’s 49. He gets his name from the 1978 martial arts film Shaolin Master Killer. His aliases include Noodles and Jamel Irief.
U-God was born Lamont Jody Hawkins on November 10, 1970. He’s 48. His original name was Golden Arms, which was taken from the 1978 martial arts film Kid with the Golden Arm, but he changed it once the Wu-Tang Clan was formed. U-God started out as a beatboxer for Cappadonna, a longtime affiliate was sworn in as an official member in 2007. Cappadonna was born Darryl Hill on September 18, 1969, and is 49. His alias is a slight variation on his rap name, Cappachino.