Über Wu-Tang Clan
One of the most popular and influential groups in the history of hip-hop, Staten Island's Wu-Tang Clan have dramatically changed the landscape of rap music. The nine-man dream team took the world by storm with their 1993 debut LP, Enter The Wu-Tang: 36 Chambers. The album was unlike any other: it showcased dirty beats, dark, cinematic loops, and cut-up excerpts from kung fu movies. Each ultratalented emcee squared off on topics as diverse as his delivery, flexing styles that led to a slew of successful solo efforts. Their blend of eastern mysticism, five percent wisdom, and violent ghetto realities won them legions of fans and imitators. Bona fide superstars, the Clan still managed to deliver rugged tracks on Wu-Tang Forever (1997) and The W (2000). Despite accusations of having "fell off," they came back hard in late 2001 with Iron Flag, arguably their best work since their debut. After a six-year hiatus, they released their fifth album, 8 Diagrams, in 2007. The Wu are responsible for many trends in hip-hop, including the prominence of large rap cliques, group-run clothing lines, slang terms, martial arts sampling, and the importance of multiple aliases. Like Dre's The Chronic, 36 Chambers changed the sound and business of hip-hop, and will forever be heralded as a classic.