Remember when the Wu Tang Clan dropped their debut album back in late-1993? They took the world by storm and it was heralded as one of the greatest hip hop albums of all-time. They finally released their follow-up almost 4 years later with Wu Tang Forever. Just like 2Pac and the Notorious B.I.G, Wu Tang Forever was a double disc as it featured all the members of the Clan. RZA is one of the best producers ever in music period and he brought his A-game to this project. The highlight of the album must be Triumph, which is the second track on Disc 2 as Inspectak Deck straight murdered the opening verse. Despite a 3-and-a-half-year gap between projects, the Wu released several classic projects during that time. Let’s look at some of the projects released by members of the Wu Tang Clan.
Method Man- Tical
Method Man was the first to release his solo album about a year after they dropped their debut album. Method Man stood out more from anyone else because of his personality as he just seemed like a cool ass dude. Honestly, he was my favorite member of the Wu Tang Clan and I remember knowing this Tical album from the beginning to end when I was a teenager. While many people didn’t feel the album, I was and still am a huge fan of the album. The biggest hit from the album was the remix to All I Need, which featured Mary J. Blige. The track is an all-time classic hip hop record and one of my favorite songs ever. The debut single is another classic, which was Bring the Pain. Tical went on to sell over a million copies and help solidify the Wu Tang Clan as stars.
Ol’ Dirty Bastard- Return of the 36 Chambers: The Dirty Version
If Method Man stood out because of his personality, ODB raised the bar with his antics. First off, rest in peace to Ol’ Dirty Bastard as he passed away back in 2004 from two days before his 36th birthday from a drug overdose. ODB had a crazy style of rhyming and this dude was liable to do any and everything. The first single of the album was Brooklyn Zoo, which was a hit as it showed his crazy style of rapping. For me, his second single solidified him as a star as Shimmy Shimmy Ya blew up. The album went on to go gold and it continued the success of the Wu Tang Clan.
Raekwon- Only Built for Cuban Linx
In August of 1995, Raekwon the Chef dropped one of the best hip hop albums of all-time. For those who don’t remember cassette tapes, this album was also called the Purple Tape because the tape was purple…duh!! The album featured Ghostface Killah and this is my favorite solo album from any member of the Wu Tang Clan. Raekwon gave us a taste of what direction he may be headed in when he released Heaven or Hell almost a year before his album dropped. Ice Cream was the mega-smash that featured Ghostface Killah, Method Man and Cappadonna. The album went on to sell over a million copies and it’s on damn near all the lists for best hip hop albums.
GZA- Liquid Swords
If the Raekwon album is my favorite solo Wu Tang joint, then Liquid Swords by the GZA is a very close second. Everything from the skits and tracks, this album is flawless. GZA aka The Genius has always been the lowkey member of the group, but his lyrics are on point. My favorite tracks from the album was Cold World, B.I.B.L.E and Shadowboxin’ to name a few. Liquid Swords went on to be certified platinum as it sold over a million copies. I’ve bought this album three times and like the other Wu albums, this one need to be in your collection.
Ghostface Killah- Ironman
The final solo release before the Wu Tang Forever album was the Ironman album from Ghostface Killah. This was another classic under the Wu Tang umbrella, plus this album featured Raekwon and Cappadonna. Once again, the Wu relied on Mary J. Blige to add flavor and create a classic track. The track is All That I Got Is You and throughout this album Ghostface showed how great of a storyteller he is. Another great storytelling track from the album is Motherless Child, which also was featured on the Sunset Park Soundtrack. The album went on to sell over a million records and anticipation for the second Wu Tang album was at an all-time high.
As you see up above, the Wu Tang Clan enjoyed a great 4-year run since their debut album. With the release of Wu Tang Forever, it kept things going in the right direction as this album put them on another level. What’s your favorite track off the Wu Tang Forever album? What’s your favorite solo project from the members of the Wu Tang Clan? Head to the comments section below and give me some feedback.