Wu-Tang Clan: Where Are They Now?

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NEW YORK, NEW YORK--APRIL 1: Rap Group The Wu-Tang Clan pose for a portrait on April 1, 1994 in New York City, New York. (l to r: Raekwon; U-God; GZA; Ol' Dirty Bastard; Method Man; Inspectah Deck; Masta Killa (aka Jamel Irief; Elgin Turner) )(Photo by Al Pereira/Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images.)
The Clan’s still going strong, three decades later.

Wu-Tang Clan, the iconic Hip Hop collective, was formed in Staten Island, New York in the early 1990s. Known for their unique blend of gritty lyrics, martial arts imagery, and diverse personalities, the Clan introduced a distinctive sound that resonated with fans worldwide. They have since remained one of the most influential and revered groups in the history of Hip Hop. However, as the years have passed, members of the Wu-Tang Clan have pursued various solo endeavors. Moreover, they’ve faced both challenges and triumphs along the way. Nonetheless, they remain as close as ever, and are getting ready to embark on their highly anticipated 2024 Las Vegas residency. Let’s delve into where the individual members are now and assess the collective's status.

Wu-Tang Clan: Making History

The Wu-Tang Clan has evolved since their groundbreaking debut album Enter the Wu-Tang (36 Chambers), released in 1993. The group initially included RZA, GZA, Method Man, Raekwon, Ghostface Killah, Inspectah Deck, U-God, Masta Killa, and the late Ol’ Dirty Bastard. The Clan became known for their innovative approach to rap and collaborative spirit. After the massive success of their first album, the Clan reunited in 1997 to release their second album Wu-Tang Forever. The album was another major success and the group went on to release the albums The W and Iron Flag.

In 2004, the group went on a short European tour before they headlined the Rock the Bells Festival in California. Despite occasional disputes and solo pursuits, the members have consistently reconvened for various group projects and tours. In 2007, the Clan officially welcomed Cappadonna into the group. Furthermore, in 2007 and 2015, the Clan released three albums. These are: 8 Diagrams, A Better Tomorrow, and Once Upon A Time In Shaolin. However, while the group shone bright, the members’ individual careers have also been exceptional.

RZA

Robert Fitzgerald Diggs, also known as RZA, expanded his influence beyond music and into acting, film production, and martial arts. He is best known as the de facto leader and chief producer of the Clan. Overall, RZA played a pivotal role in shaping the distinctive sound of the Wu-Tang Clan. His production work on the group's debut album is widely regarded as groundbreaking in the Hip Hop space.

In addition to his work with Wu-Tang Clan, RZA has pursued a successful solo career as a rapper and producer. He has released several solo albums, including Bobby Digital In Stereo, Birth Of A Prince, and Digi Snacks. RZA also extended his influence into the realms of acting and film production. He has acted in various films and television shows, including notable roles in movies such as Ghost Dog and American Gangster. Moreover, RZA has directed and co-written films, including The Man With the Iron Fists, which he also scored and produced the soundtrack for. Altogether, RZA's versatility reflects his evolution as an artist, and he’s still going strong.

GZA

Gary Grice, popularly known as GZA and The Genius, is a rapper known for his sharp and intellectually charged lyrical style. Outside of the Clan, he maintained his reputation as a lyrical heavyweight. He made his solo debut in 1991 with the album Words From The Genius, predating the formation of the Wu-Tang Clan. His second album Liquid Swords solidified his reputation as a master lyricist.

GZA continued to release solo projects, including albums like Beneath the Surface, Legend Of The Liquid Sword, and Pro Tools. In 2020, he ventured into voice acting when he lent his voice to the character of Bad Billions in Netflix’s Kipo And The Age Of Wonderbeasts. His talents and contributions to Hip Hop culture have cemented his place as one of the genre's most respected and enduring figures.

Method Man

Born Clifford Smith, Method Man is a rapper and actor known for his contributions to the Wu-Tang Clan, as well as his prolific acting career. He made his solo debut with the album Tical in 1994. The album was not only well-received, but established him as a prominent figure in the 90s Hip Hop scene. He went on to release several other albums including 4:21… The Day After and The Meth Lab. He also collaborated with Redman, his frequent partner and lifelong friend, to release other projects like Blackout and How High

Method Man also successfully transitioned into acting, with notable roles in films and television series. Some of his acting roles include appearances in movies like How High, Hood of Horror, and This is the Night and TV shows like The Wire, and Oz. Today, he’s turning heads and hearts as Davis MacLean in the Power series. Overall, Method Man has maintained a multifaceted career, balancing his roles as a rapper and actor.

Raekwon

Raekwon, whose real name is Corey Woods, is often referred to as “The Chef.” This is due to his frequent use of culinary references in his lyrics. Raekwon's solo career took off with the release of his lauded debut solo album, Only Built 4 Cuban Linx... in 1995. He continued to release solo projects and collaborate with other artists, including his Wu-Tang Clan brothers, maintaining his status as one of the influential figures in the rap scene.

Unlike his first album, the reception for his subsequent two albums, Immobilarity, and The Lex Diamond Story had mixed reviews. Nonetheless, he returned to great acclaim with his subsequent releases. In 2012, he launched Ice H20 Records, under which he released Fly International Luxurious Art and The Wild. Raekwon maintains a strong presence in the Hip Hop scene. His most recent album is 2017’s The Wild, which garnered exceptional praise. 

Ghostface Killah

Dennis Coles, professionally known as Ghostface Killah, has sustained a prolific solo career outside of Wu-Tang Clan, producing numerous albums that showcase his unique storytelling style. He made his debut in 1996 with the album, Ironman. Some of his other well-known albums include Fishscale, Apollo Kids, 36 Seasons, and Ghostface Killahs. Like many of his crew mates, Ghostface also ventured into acting. His screen credits include projects such as Big Wigs, Up and Above, Human Giant, and Luke Cage. However, his discography is often considered unmatched and comprises 13 studio albums, and five collaborative albums.

Inspectah Deck

Jason Hunter, known by the moniker Inspectah Deck, contributed verses to many of the Clan's classic tracks. His solo career kicked off in 1998. What followed were the albums, Uncontrolled Substance, The Movement, The Resident Patient, Manifesto, and Chamber No. 9. In 2013, he became a member of the supergroup Czarface, alongside Hip Hop duo 7L & Esoteric. The group has since then released over 10 albums, including projects like Double Dose of Danger, Super What?, and Czartificial Intelligence. While Inspectah Deck may not be as commercially prominent as some other Wu-Tang Clan members, he is highly respected within the Hip Hop community for his lyrical skill and production credits.

Ol' Dirty Bastard

Russell Tyrone Jones, popularly known as Ol’ Dirty Bastard, was one of the founding members of the Wu-Tang Clan. He gained fame for his unique and eccentric style, both in his music and personality. He released his debut solo album, Return To The 36 Chambers: The Dirty Version in 1995, which included hits like "Shimmy Shimmy Ya" and "Brooklyn Zoo." Throughout his career, he faced legal troubles and had several stints in prison. Some of his cases included second-degree assault, failure to pay child support, and shoplifting. In 2003, he was diagnosed with schizophrenia. Unfortunately, Ol' Dirty Bastard passed away in November 2004. He is reported to have died of a drug overdose. Nonetheless, his legacy lives on through his contributions to the Wu-Tang Clan and his impact on the overall genre of rap. In summary, ODB remains an icon.

U-God

U-God, whose real name is Lamont Jody Hawkins, is a rapper known for his distinctive voice and lyrical style. He pursued a solo career and has released albums like Golden Arms Redemption, Dopium, The Keynote Speaker, and Venom. In 2018, he released his autobiography titled Raw: My Journey Into the Wu-Tang. U-God's contributions to the Wu-Tang Clan and his solo career have awarded him icon status in the story of Hip Hop. Overall, U-God is one of the more low-key members of the group, opting to stay out of the spotlight. 

Masta Killa

Jamel Irief, known by the moniker Masta Killa, is popular for his laid-back flow. He was the last member to make a solo debut. He embarked on his solo career in 2004, with the album, No Said Date. Since then, he has continued to be an active soloist and member of the Wu-Tang Clan, participating in various group endeavors and collaborations. He has also released other projects, such as: Selling My Soul and Loyalty is Royalty.  

Cappadonna

Cappadonna, whose real name is Darryl Hill, was a Wu-Tang Clan affiliate in the 90s, but became an official member in 2007. He is known for his unique style, and streetwise lyrics. His first solo venture was in 1998 with the album, The Pillage. Overall, Cappadonna remains an integral part of the Wu-Tang Clan's legacy and continues to contribute his talents to the group. With over 15 solo albums, and 10 collaborative albums to his name, Cappadonna breathes rap music, and is a solidified heavyweight in the game. His most recent project, African Killa Beez, was released in 2023.

About The Author
Demilade Phillips has been a Features Writer for HotNewHipHop since 2023. The self-proclaimed music fanatic deals with most things Hip Hop and RnB, while also covering film, television, and the entertainment industry at large. When he’s not working, the International Relations graduate is either binging anime, immersing himself in the underground EDM scene, or crafting up original pieces.