What? When nine Staten Island, NY, rebels united in the name of hip-hop and brotherhood in 1992, a new musical dynasty descended on the music world. From Enter the Wu-Tang (36 Chambers) to the death of the ever-eccentric group's linchpin Ol' Dirty Bastard, the collective has weathered ups and downs, and unity and division too many times to count. The quality of their art, though, has rarely wavered and includes classic albums from both the group and its solo members, including Method Man's Tical, Raekwon's Only Built 4 Cuban Linx..., and GZA's Liquid Swords.
Now the authorized documentary Wu: The Story of the Wu-Tang Clan tells their story in never before seen interviews, exclusive archival footage, and performances of Clan classics like "C.R.E.A.M.," "Protect Ya Neck," and "Shimmy Shimmy Ya."
Who? The Wu-Tang Clan -- Ghostface Killah, Raekwon, Method Man, GZA, RZA, U-God, Inspectah Deck, Masta Killa, and the late Ol' Dirty Bastard -- blossomed under the watchful eye of groundbreaking producer and unofficial leader RZA. Their sound -- a street-wise, genre-shaping, urban assault -- propelled the group into the limelight, ruling both the charts and MTV in the early- to mid-'90s.
Wu-Tang's eternal quality has been its ability to diversify. Members have starred in movies and TV shows, composed film scores, written screenplays, and licensed everything from clothes to comic books and video games. Ubiquitous both in the hip-hop community and beyond, Wu-Tang Clan are truly a trailblazing set, whether you're talking about spitting verses or pushing product. To date, they've sold over 20 million records.
Fun Fact: Before the birth of Wu-Tang, cousins RZA, GZA, and Ol' Dirty Bastard formed the group Force of the Imperial Master. The crew released one single, "All In Together Now," which became a mix-tape hit in the New York area and even caught the ear of Biz Markie.
Watch: An excerpt from Wu: The Story of the Wu-Tang Clan