The Wu-Tang Clan is an American hip hop group from New York City, originally composed of East Coast rappers RZA, GZA, Method Man, Raekwon, Ghostface Killah, Inspectah Deck, U-God, Masta Killa, and the late Ol’ Dirty Bastard. The group was formed in and is associated with the New York City borough of Staten Island (referred to by members as “Shaolin”). They are frequently joined by fellow rapper and childhood friend Cappadonna, a quasi-member of the group.
Wu-Tang Clan have introduced and launched the careers of a number of affiliated artists and groups, often collectively known as the Wu-Tang Killa Bees, and in 2008, About.com ranked them the No. 1 greatest hip hop group of all time” Kris Ex of Rolling Stone called Wu-Tang Clan “the best rap group ever.” In 2004, NME hailed them as one of the most influential groups of the last ten years.
The Wu-Tang Clan was assembled in the early 1990s with RZA as the de facto leader and the group’s producer. RZA and Ol’ Dirty Bastard adopted the name for the group after the film Shaolin and Wu Tang. The group’s debut album loosely adopted a Shaolin vs. Wu-Tang theme, dividing the album into Shaolin and Wu-Tang sections.
The group developed backronyms for the name (as hip hop pioneers such as KRS-One and Big Daddy Kane did with their names), including “We Usually Take All Niggas’ Garments”, “Witty Unpredictable Talent And Natural Game”, and “Wisdom of the Universe, and the Truth of Allah for the Nation of the Gods”.