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Ten Reasons Why The Wu Tang Clan Are The Greatest Rap Group Of All Time

Ten Reasons Why The Wu Tang Clan Are The Greatest Rap Group Of All Time

By Phillip

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.


9. Wu-Tang Is (Also) For The Ladies
Let us for a moment gloss over moments like Ghostface’s “Wildflower,” with its bitter venom about “remember when I long-dicked you and broke your ovary” and the time he “fucked you while you was bleeding,” and that song where RZA boasts about how he “used to fuck her when she menstruate/But it made her hyperventilate.” In hip-hop’s grand discography, there are approximately seven sincerely tender songs about women. The Wu, somehow, can lay claim to two of those, namely Ghost’s emotionally wrought tribute to his mom, “All That I Got Is You,” and Method Man’s ode to his soul mate, “You’re All I Need.”

8. All In Together Now
As soon as the Wu dropped their debut, rumors arose suggesting their impending breakup. They’ve never stopped since. Appropriately for a group that coined the C.R.E.A.M. mentality, these rumors usually center on a disgruntled member — often cited as Raekwon or Ghostface or Method Man — allegedly complaining about a less-than-fair apportionment of funds filtering their way down from head honcho RZA’s pockets. (Damn that troublesome Wu-Tang Productions contract!) But to date, the Wu’s only official reduction in numbers has been Ol’ Dirty Bastard’s tragic death. It’s a feat of solidarity that few other rap group greats have managed to sustain: Public Enemy kicked Professor Griff out rather publicly after he was accused of making anti-Semitic comments, E.P.M.D. had to break up to make up, N.W.A. unraveled in a brilliantly entertaining mess of diss records, and Tribe sensibly called it a day after realizing the magic between its members had long disappeared around the time J Dilla showed up on Q-Tip’s doorstep. Maybe it’s testament to their familial core — RZA, GZA and ODB are cousins — but in 2011, it’s still Wu-Tang forever.


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