The Wu-Tang Clan has long been celebrated for its branding. As a result, some artists have understandably turned to the legendary group for inspiration to land on their own stage names.
As many hip-hop fans can attest, it's difficult not to respect the Wu-Tang Clan from all angles. From their melodies to their marketing, there are plenty of lessons neatly tucked into their storied history and celebrated discography. Throughout the past two decades and change, much ink has been spilled over their influence in hip-hop and popular culture at large.
During such conversations, the Wu's branding is often touched upon, inviting the opportunity to dive deep into how their logo has become arguably one of the most iconic and easily recognizable symbols of all time (just count the tattoos). It wasn't by accident that the group's individual monikers and collective name have helped propel them to the legendary status they are happily poised on today. With that, of course, comes the tempting nature to borrow from their rule book and apply it to one's own artistry. Not everyone, save for GZA, can be granted their rap name by the likes of RZA himself, after all.
In fact, the influence behind Wu-Tang Clan's name was so undeniable, it essentially begged the Internet to create a name generator, one that, naturally, went viral roughly five years ago. Whether you're an inspiring rapper or just a die-hard fan, throwing your name in the machine and letting the Internet decide your fate is a sage decision that none other than Donald Glover made when playing with ideas for his own artist moniker.
While the artist now fondly known as Childish Gambino took a curiously straightforward approach to land on his music name, others, such as SZA, have chosen to pay a more direct homage to members RZA and GZA in tribute, despite admitting her fans clowned her for years for such a decision. Luckily, in SZA's case, such a choice has since proven to work in her favor, with her talents just as able to garner the prominent Wu leader's attention and more importantly his respect, with RZA himself announcing the release date of her debut record, CTRL, earlier this year.
While we trust the future of hip-hop will give birth to more artists looking to the Wu-Tang Clan to catch inspiration for their monikers, check out the story behind some of those respectfully nodding to the group.