I often get into discussions, debates, or arguments over sports or music whether it’s in the comforts of home, social outing, or online social media. We all have our biases, our favorites, or our dislikes for various reasons. I will also be the first to tell anyone when we get into debates about sports or music, that I don’t believe in the “greatest of all-time”, also known as “the goat”, designations. In every age, there are advances in science, and technology that helps advance the endeavors of the athlete or artist. It should be obvious in any discussion that the athletes and artists of today stand on the shoulders of those before them who have paved the way. These are the pioneers, the innovators, the trend setters, and those who dared to be bold, and push the limits of their craft. But as the title of this article suggests, I am going to violate my own rule, and declare the Wu-Tang Clan as the Greatest Hip-Hop Group of All-Time. Here’s why.
Like I said before, I don't usually agree on a "Greatest of All-Time" for most things, but there has to be a reasonable criteria to why I chose to select who is the Greatest of the Hip-Hop world. To be the greatest, you to ask yourself a few questions. Did they make some type of impact in the profession or genre? What did they accomplish other than being one of the millions that come and go. Many hip-hop groups come and go, some are totally forgotten. Another question is did they pioneer anything? did they change the game or set a trend for years to come. Did they have original style or flavor? Were they creatively superior or tops among their peers? Did they have "lyrical intelligence"? Did they have production to back up the skills? For many groups, there's a simple yes. But some were not included in the conversation of group if the group consisted only of an MC and a DJ.
Who are the Wu-Tang Clan?
The Wu-Tang Clan is comprised of several members from the Staten Island, and Brooklyn Boroughs of New York City. The group's original members consists of the RZA (Robert Diggs), GZA (Gary Grice), Ol’ Dirty Bastard (Russell Jones), Inspectah Deck (Jason Hunter), Raekwon the Chef (Corey Woods), U-God (Lamont Hawkins), Ghostface Killah (Dennis Coles), Method Man (Clifford Smith), Masta Killa (Elgin Turner), and joining later, Cappadonna (Darryl Hill).
The Argument for the Greatest of All-Time.
So what makes the Wu-Tang Clan the greatest hip-hop group of all-time? Let's take a look. In 1993, the Wu-Tang Clan dropped their debut album, "Enter the Wu-Tang (36 Chambers)", which is in my opinion, one of the greatest hip-hop albums of all-time, group or solo act. It sold over 2.4 million copies. Any G.O.A.T. must have at least one classic album. The Wu-Tang Clan has at least two. They followed their classic debut album with another classic, "Wu-Tang Forever". Their sophomore album, "Wu-Tang Forever", went quadruple platinum, selling over 2.1 million copies. Collectively, the Wu-Tang Clan has sold more than 40 million albums and counting. This feat is quite an accomplishment, but that alone doesn't make give them the title.
The Wu-Tang Clan have been trendsetters in the hip-hop world, and with great mass appeal. They are recognized worldwide. Each member of the group has their own unique style, and lyrical prowess, along with expert delivery. Each member is quite adept at holding their own, as you probably can tell from the success of their own individual solo projects. The formula used to elevate this group above all is quite simple, bring a collection of great, gritty, hardcore hip-hop artists together where they can lend their best verses together on a single track, with production nothing less than masterful. It's sheer genius. The Wu-Tang Clan immediately connected with generations of people who remember Saturday, or Sunday afternoon Kung Fu Theater. Some may even reminisce of going to the movies to watch their favorite Kung Fu Flick. Never had a hip-hop group, or solo act incorporate classic movie samples, classic soul samples, along with superb hip-hop beats. This was game changing to say the least. Add nine unique MCs, all with great delivery and lyrical prowess, and you have the recipe for a hip-hop classic machine.
The Wu-Tang clan can boast over 16 hit solo albums and compilations, and numerous solo, and collective hit singles. Too many to count. The members have also appeared on various chart topping hip-hop, and R&B singles.
Wu-Tang Clan Are Regarded As One Of The Most Influential Hip-Hop Groups Of All Time. Here are some Honorable Mentions based on the criteria we used: Grand Master Flash and the Furious Five, Brand Nubian, Bone Thugs & Harmony, The Fugees, and NWA.
What do you think? Tell us who you feel should be in the conversation for Greatest Hip-Hop Group of All-Time. Let us know in the comments.
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