Ten Reasons Why The Wu Tang Clan Are The Greatest Rap Group Of All Time
10. Grown-Man Rap
Hip-hop thrives on the energy of youth. All media eyes are on L.A.’s expansive Odd Future collective these days, but beyond the group’s surface schtick about raping and pillaging small villages, its movement is propelled by the same fresh-faced-and-rebellious attitude that, say, a 16-year-old LL Cool J was bringing to rap back in the days before even Tyler’s parents were pubescent. The flip side of this is that rap artists rarely grow old gracefully — even the high priest of the industry himself, Jay-Z, sought to knock nigh on a decade off his birth certificate during his thirtysomething-rap phase. In hip-hop, experience is rarely a selling point, let alone something to be proud of. But of late, the Wu’s grown-man rappers look like they’ve managed to find a way to come to terms with their mature years. GZA is reportedly filming a sitcom about a rapper going through a mid-life existential crisis, while Ghostface has settled into being a balding, grumpy middle-aged man who likes to interrupt shows with monologues about the virtues of the olden days; his last album’s highlight, “In Tha Park,” was based around him and the Roots’ Black Thought reminiscing about previous hip-hop eras. The Wu may be the first group to comfortably embrace the idea of being the finicky old men of rap.