Wu-Tang Clan's "Wu-Tang Forever": The Best Verses From Each Member

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Celebrating 20 years of the landmark album.

June 3rd marks the 20th anniversary for Wu-Tang’s highest selling album up to date; Wu-Tang Forever. With everyone having high expectations after their debut album 36 Chambers the clan made sure to come with everything they had with this double disc album. Needless to say, THEY DELIVERED. Since the release the album has now gone platinum 2 times. Wu-Tang Forever also earned a Grammy nomination for the Best Rap Album at the 40th Grammy Awards in 1998.

Accolades aside, this is by far one of the greatest hip-hop albums ever known to man. You hardly ever see in hip-hop this many MC’s come together and create such a prolific album. With RZA handling most of the album production, we’re given some of the same elements and sounds we came to love from 36 Chambers. Not to mention the Kung-Fu infused references that the Wu came to glorify throughout all their music. 

We’ve put together a list of the best verses from the album of each respective member.


Wu Tang

Wu-Tang Clan's "Wu-Tang Forever": The Best Verses From Each Member

RZA

Wu-Tang Clan's "Wu-Tang Forever": The Best Verses From Each Member

RZA —Impossible (First Verse)

The Zig Zag Zigler is know for his production but his rhymes is what makes him a true MC. Every time you hear a RZA verse you learn something new or it leaves you questioning the true meaning of life. 

His verse on the song Impossible is one of his most enlightening verses on the album. Filled with religious references and social issues it clearly points out that RZA isn't your average rapper and has a far deeper understanding of life than a lot of us do. 

 

“Fusion of the five elements, to search for the higher intelligence.” 

 

RZA starts off with a powerful line that sets the tone for the rest of the verse. 

 

"My occupation to stop the inauguration of Satan
Some claim that it was Reagan, so I come to slay men
Like Bartholomew, cause every particle is physical article
Was diabolical to the last visible molecule 

A spaceknight like Rom, consume planets like Unicron 

Blasting photon bombs from the arm like Galvatron”

When’s the last time you heard a verse with that much potency?

GZA

Wu-Tang Clan's "Wu-Tang Forever": The Best Verses From Each Member

GZA — Re-united (First Verse)

 

“Reunited, double LP, world excited”

 

Coming off multiple solo albums, the Wu starts off their second album with a verse from GZA. This is by far his best verse on the album as he sets the tone for the rest of the album. When you hear a Wu-tang album it’s never about one person outshining the other, it’s always about the team. GZA exhibits that Wu-Tang ain’t nothing to f*ck with

 

Scatting off soft-ass beats them niggas rap happily
Tragically, that style deteriorate rapidly

Uncompleted missions, throwing your best known compositions

You couldn't add it up if you mastered addition

 

The same energy is replicated from his solo debut album Liquid Swords here in his first verse. 

 

Rhyming while impaired, dart hit your garment

Pierced your internal streamlined compartments

Just consider the unparalleled advantage
Of a natural disaster that's impossible to manage

Wu-Tang Clan's "Wu-Tang Forever": The Best Verses From Each Member

Method Man —A Better Tomorrow (Fifth Verse)

 

As we dwell through this concrete hell, calling it home

Mama say, take your time young man and build your own

 

Meth has always been seen as the funny outgoing guy, but let’s not forget that his rapping is what allowed him to develop a prolonged career. Although his verse on A Better Tomorrow is very mellow he points out his perspective of all the chaos going on in the world, from his mom telling him to be patient and create his own, to never winding up like his dad still searching for his glory days. 

 

So many bad want to scheme for American dream, no more kings
The cash rule everything now, we going down

 

Many of the references in not just Meth’s verse but the whole album are still going on in today’s era. Maybe some things won’t ever change?

Wu-Tang Clan's "Wu-Tang Forever": The Best Verses From Each Member

Raekwon — Triumph (Ninth Verse)

"Triumph" is one of those songs that you can't ever get enough of. Each verse on this song could've made the top verses from the whole album for each artist. When you hear a Raekwon verse you want to hear his gritty-violent New York rap style and here he gives us just that.

Aiyo decimation, gun in your mouth talk, verbal foul hawk
Connect thoughts to make my man child walk

Giving us a Roman references (romans would often kill the tenth man of the defeated group to punish them as a whole, here Raekwon is the 10th verse if you include Ol’ Dirty’s intro). The deeper you look into Raekwon’s lyrics the more of a rabbit hole you fall into. Each verse is methodically put together which makes you think in order to find the true meaning of the lyrics.

Tear down the beat God, then delegate the God to see God

 

Read that again. 

 Yeah it’s deeper than our own understanding. If this isn't art then who knows what is. 

Ol' Dirty Bastard

Wu-Tang Clan's "Wu-Tang Forever": The Best Verses From Each Member

Ol’ Dirty Bastard — Re-united (Second Verse)

First off Rest In Peace Ol’ Dirty. We forget how essential ODB was to the group. Not only did he show the group’s range but he provides versatility within his own flow. One moment he can give us a very insightful verse and then completely flip the script and give you something like “I cum like a thousand doves”. ODB comes off as crazy (remember him going to cash his welfare check in a limo) but he knew what he was doing. 

 

Moonshine drunken monk, your head get shrunk

Your treasure sunk, I be fucking bitches by the chunk

 

Needless to say ODB’s style will forever be missed. 

 

The Indian that sold Manhattan to the white man

My grandfather, stepped up and get knocked right the fuck out

Inspectah Deck

Wu-Tang Clan's "Wu-Tang Forever": The Best Verses From Each Member

Inspectah Deck — Triumph (First Verse)

Another best verse on Triumph. Seems like everyone in the Clan came with their best bars for this song. Many different artists of the Wu-era (like Talib Kweli) consider Inspectah Deck’s verse to be amongst the best verses of all time. Although the Rebel INS never found much success as a solo artist, this verse will forever keep us in awe for the pure artistry.

 

I bomb atomically, Socrates' philosophies and hypotheses
Can't define how I be dropping these mockeries

Lyrically perform armed robbery

Flee with the lottery, possibly they spotted me

 

The rhyme scheme on this whole verse alone is insane. From philosophy, religious references, stunting on how the Wu is basically the best, this verse has it all.

 

Behold the bold soldier, control the globe slowly

Proceeds to blow, swinging swords like Shinobi

Stomp grounds and pound footprints in solid rock
Wu got it locked, performing live on your hottest block

 

Name one person who can do it better than this?

Masta Killa

Wu-Tang Clan's "Wu-Tang Forever": The Best Verses From Each Member

Masta Killa — Deadly Melody (First Verse)

Masta Killa has always been the artist in the background but his verses make you wonder why he was never in the spotlight. 

 

Stagnant they stood surrounded and astounded
By this total square mileage of violence that I brung
I've not yet begun to stung

 

GZA was Masta Killa’s mentor so throughout his flow we hear a little of his influences within his bars. The High Chief could've easily made it commercially with his ferocious bars. Although we didn't get much of him on 36 Chambers (was incarcerated during most of the album recording), here Masta Killa makes his presence known. 

Penetrates then infiltrates, breaking down your resistance
Leaving competition defenceless

U-God

Wu-Tang Clan's "Wu-Tang Forever": The Best Verses From Each Member

U-God —Triumph (Fourth Verse)

The kid with the golden arms lets us know why he’s a member of the Wu-Tang Clan with this verse. Again, another verse on Triumph but the way U-God melodically structures his verse deserves the top spot for his best verse on Wu-Tang Forever. 

 

Allow us to escape Hell globe spinning bomb

Pocket full of shells out the sky, Golden Arms

Tunes spit the shitty Mortal Kombat sound

The fake false step make the blood stain the ground

 

U-God was another member of the clan who wasn't really present in the making of 36 Chambers (was also incarcerated) but he let’s us know with this verse that he’s got bars. One thing that has always stood out about U-God is the depth of his voice and how he uses that to create his own sound. When you mix that with a vicious flow you get U-God.

 

My music Sicily, rich California smell

An axe kill adventure, paint a picture well

I sing a song from Sing-Sing, sipping on ginseng

Righteous wax chaperon, rotating ring kings

Wu-Tang Clan's "Wu-Tang Forever": The Best Verses From Each Member

Ghostface Killah — Impossible (Third Verse)

Imagery is important when it comes to the art of rap. In this verse Ghostface goes above and beyond by paining a vivid picture. To many people this verse is considered his best verse of all time. Even Ghost thinks so himself. 

Call an ambulance, Jamie been shot, word to Kimmy
Don't go son, nigga you my motherfucking heart
Stay still son, don't move, just think about Keeba
She'll be three in January, your young God needs ya

Here Ghost is painting a picture of his friend Jimmy being shot. Although the song incites about the increased crime rate in New York, here Ghost vividly tells a story of his friend dying in front of his eyes.

 

Plus the blue coats, Officer Lough, took it as a joke
Weeks ago he strip-searched the God and gave him back his coke
Bitches yellin, Beenie Man swung on Helen
In the back of a cop car, Dirty Tasha are tellin

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