The Wu-Tang Clan was assembled as a loose congregation of nine MCs, according to its Facebook page. The New York-based group went on to become one of the most revolutionary rap groups of the mid-1990s.
According to its page, the Clan was designed to “overtake the record industry in as profitable a fashion as possible.” The members aimed to establish the Wu-Tang as a force with their debut album and then use the success to create as many side projects as possible. In theory, the members would be widely recognized as a group as well as individuals.
RZA was born Robert Fitzgerald Diggs on July 5, 1969, in Brownsville, Brooklyn, New York, according to IMDb. He was reportedly named after JFK and Robert Kennedy, who his mother admired. The 50-year-old rapper, producer, actor, and businessman is now a husband to Talani Diggs and a father of seven children.
With Alex Tse, RZA created “Wu-Tang: An American Saga,” which will premiere on Hulu on September 4, 2019. The miniseries is set in 1990s New York City during the height of the crack cocaine epidemic and portrays a fictionalized account of the formation of the Wu-Tang Clan.
Diggs reportedly chose the name RZA based on a nickname he was given by his fans, “Rza Rza Rakeem.” Apparently, it is a backronym for “Ruler, Zig-Zag-Zig, Allah” in the Supreme Alphabet. His aliases include Prince Rakeem, the Abbott and Bobby Digital.
GZA, RZA’s cousin, was born Gary E. Grice on August 22, 1966. GZA is also related to another Wu-Tang member, Ol’ Dirty Bastard, who passed away in 2004. He originally rapped under the name The Genius, and then GZA The Genius, but he’s since shortened it.
According to his Instagram page, GZA is still touring, having recently played venues in Nashville, Boston, and several cities in Florida. He has recently worked with 36-year-old three-time Grammy-nominated rapper Rapsody on the song “Ibtihaj” for her latest album Eve.
“People keep asking about when I’m going to do 2019 songs, and I’m here to say that I’ll gladly do any 2019 song that bumps like this!” GZA said of his song with Rapsody. “Tracks like this make me hopeful for the future of hip-hop, let’s get it trending back into the right direction.”
Ol’ Dirty Bastard
Ol’ Dirty Bastard was born Russell Tyrone Jones on November 15, 1968. His rap name was derived from the 1980 karate film “Ol’ Dirty and the Bastard.” Some of his aliases included Osiris, Dirt McGirt, Big Baby Jesus and the Dirt Dog.
Jones reportedly completed a two-year prison sentence for drug-possession in 2003. After his release, he signed to Roc-A-Fella and had been working on a fourth solo album, according to Rolling Stone. ODB died of a drug overdose at a New York recording studio on November 13, 2004, two days before his 36th birthday.
Jones reportedly fathered a total of 13 children during his 36 years, beginning during his teenage years. His oldest son, 30-year-old Bar-Sun Unique Jones, raps under the name Young Dirty Bastard.
“I’d rather be sober and continue his legacy,” Young Dirty Bastard told Vice. “I do the opposite of everything he did. I don’t smoke, don’t drink, and I’m learning how to have less babies.”
Method Man was born Clifford M. Smith on March 2, 1971. He was reportedly 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.” His aliases include Tical and Johnny Blaze.
According to his Instagram page, Method Man has been working hard on his nutrition and fitness. He often shares photos of meal preparation and vegan protein shakes, as well as videos from the gym where he deadlifts 405 pounds.
Method Man has been doing a lot more than working on his health and fitness. He collaborated with uglychristmassweater.com on sweater and socks set in December 2018. Shortly thereafter he released the album Meth Lab Season 2: The Lithium. He then appeared on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert in January 2019.
Ghostface Killah was born Dennis Coles on May 9, 1970. Some of his aliases include Ghostdini, Starky Love, Pretty Toney, and simply Ghostface. A huge admirer of the Marvel character Iron Man, Coles has taken on the hero’s moniker in many forms like Tony Starks and Starks.
According to his Instagram page, Ghostface Killah still books for shows, beats, and features. In addition, he is still touring, most recently with fellow Wu-Tang member Raekwon. Not only is he busy touring, he is getting ready to drop an album titled “Ghostface Killahs” on September 6, 2019.
Masta Killa was born Elgin Turner on August 18, 1969. While he is a lesser-known member of the Wu-Tang Clan, he has been busy promoting the group on his social media. He has spent a lot of time posting about the group’s 36 Chambers 25th Anniversary Celebration Tour, Showtime’s “Wu-Tang Clan: Of Mics & Men,” and Hulu’s “Wu-Tang: An American Saga.”
Raekwon was born Corey Woods on January 12, 1970. He initially performed under the name Raekwon the Chef but eventually shortened it. His aliases include Shallah Raekwon, Shallah Diamond and Lex Diamond.
Raekwon has been playing solo shows as well as performances with fellow Wu-Tang member Ghostface Killah, according to his Instagram page. In addition to music, Raekwon is also focused on fatherhood, gushing frequently about his children.
“The GREATEST FEELING that life offer is when your kids ( if you have ) know you love them more than anything and everything !!!! Dad day y’all. It’s everyday when you know you doit for them and they future ! Facto …”
U-God was born Lamont Jody Hawkins on November 10, 1970. His original name was Golden Arms, which was inspired by the 1978 martial arts film “Kid with the Golden Arm,” but he changed it after the Wu-Tang Clan was formed. U-God reportedly started out as a beatboxer for Cappadonna.
According to U-God’s website, his book is an unforgettable first-person account of his journey from the streets of Brooklyn to some of the biggest stages around the world. Now hip-hop royalty, U-God says his book will be the first time a Wu-Tang founding member has told their story.
Inspectah Deck was born Jason Hunter on July 6, 1970. Some of his aliases include Rollie Fingers, Fifth Brother and Rebel INS.
According to his Instagram page, Inspectah Deck recently released his latest album “Chamber No. 9,” offering exclusive merchandise, CD’s, vinyl, digital downloads, and more. In addition to music, Inspectah Deck has also created branded skate decks aptly called Inspectah Decks.
Cappadonna was born Darryl Hill on September 18, 1969. He was a former Wu-Tang affiliate before becoming an official member of the group in 2007. In addition, he is also a member of the rap group Theodore Unit together with fellow Wu-Tang member Ghostface Killah. According to his Instagram page, Cappadonna is still performing, or as he would call it, “still blowin’ up.”