The Wu-Tang Clan ain't nothing to fuck with. A Hardcore Hip Hop
group from Staten Island, New York City
that has been active musically since 1992, Wu Tang stopped being something to fuck with around the time you heard'em for the first time, son. Their fame is largely derived from their Signature Style
of music, highly conceptual lyrics with frequent name-dropping of comic books
, an obsession with Hong Kong
martial arts films note
and their Crazy Awesomeness
.They ain't nuthin' ta fuck with
The group's lineup is:
- The RZA, AKA The Razor, Prince Rakeem, Rzarector, The Abbott, Chief Abbott, Bobby Steeles, the Scientist, Prince Delight, Prince Dynamite, Ruler Zig-Zag-Zig Allah (real Name: Robert Diggs Jr.)
- Wu-Tang Solo Debut: Bobby Digital in Stereo
- The GZA, AKA the Genius, Justice, Maximillion (real name: Gary Grice)
- Wu-Tang Solo Debut: Liquid Swords
- Method Man, AKA Meth, Methtical, Shakwon, MZA, Iron Lung, Hott Nikkels, Ticallion Stallion, Johnny Blaze; Real name: Clifford Smith
- Wu-Tang Solo Debut: Tical
- Ghostface Killah, AKA Ghost, Sun-God, Ironman, Tony Starks, Starky Love, Pretty Toney, P Tone, Ghost Deini, The Wallabee Kingpin (real name: Dennis Coles)
- Ol' Dirty Bastard, AKA ODB, Dirt McGirt, Dirt Dog, Big Baby Jesus, Sweet Baby Jesus, Mudbutt McMurder, Osirus, Osiris the Father, Joe Bananas, King Bong, Rob Dog, Ol' Dirt Schultz, Hasaan, Old Dirty Chinese Restaurant, Ill Irving the Murderer, The BZA, Ol' Daddy Skidmarkz, The Drunken Master Styles, Ason Jones, Ason Unique, Rain Man, Free Loadin' Rusty, The Man of All Rainbows, (real name: Russell Tyrone Jones) - deceased
- Wu-Tang Solo Debut: Return to the 36 Chambers: The Dirty Version
- Inspectah Deck, AKA Rebel INS, Fifth Brother, Rollie Fingers (real name: Jason Hunter)
- Wu-Tang Solo Debut: Uncontrolled Substance
- Masta Killa, AKA High Chief, Noodles (real name: Elgin Turner)
- Wu-Tang Solo Debut: No Said Date
- Raekwon, AKA Chef, Rae, Shallah Raekwon, Lex Diamond, Lou Diamonds (real name: Cory Woods)
- Wu-Tang Solo Debut: Only Built 4 Cuban Linx...
- U-God, AKA Baby-U, Golden Arms, 4-Bar Killer, Lucky Hands (real name: Lamont Hawkins)
- Wu-Tang Solo Debut: Golden Arms Redemption
"Tropes rule everything around me":
- Animated Music Video: The video for "Daytona 500". One of the earliest examples that cut anime footage in with the music, the anime here being Speed Racer.
- Badass: The group as a whole qualifies, but RZA in particular took lengths to try and become a real-life superhero. He studies kung fu and owns a bullet/blade-proof suit, Suburban and briefcase.
- Band of Relatives:
- RZA, GZA & ODB - Cousins
- Method Man & Raekwon - Cousins
- The familial connections expand for more cousins, children, siblings and adopted relatives with the second and third generation Wu members and affiliates.
- Batman Gambit: RZA claims the period between 36 Chambers and Wu-Tang Forever to be this, the goal being to take over the hip hop scene. Moment Of Awesome, if anything.
- Blood Lust: Ol' Dirty on Raw Hide.
"I wanna see blood, whether it's period blood / Or bustin your fuckin face, some blood!!"
- Boastful Rap: "Protect Ya Neck", for starters.
- Buffy Speak: One of the lines in the intro of "Wu-Tang: 7th Chamber": He was layin there with fuckin', all types of fuckin' blood comin' out of his fuckin'...
- Bunny-Ears Lawyer: ODB was completely insane, but he was a damn fine rapper.
- Catch Phrase: Too many to be counted.
- Chef of Iron: Raekwon.
- Chess Motifs: All over the place, but most noticeably on "Da Mystery Of Chessboxin'".
- Cloudcuckoolander: Ol' Dirty Bastard.
- Cluster F-Bomb: Did you expect something else?
- Cold-Blooded Torture: The beginning of "Method Man".
- Comics Rule Everything Around Me: Trope Namer
- Damn, It Feels Good to Be a Gangster : A lot of Wu stuff, but especially Raekwon and Ghost's work.
- Deadly Game: What the GZA claims drug dealing is like.
"Who selling cain, I'm giving out a deadly game / it's not the Russian it's the Wu-Tang crushing roulette / slip up and get fucked like Suzette / bring da fucking ruckus."
- Downer Ending: Ol' Dirty Bastard. He died following an overdose of cocaine and painkillers in 2004.
- Excited Show Title!: Method Man's Blackout! and Blackout! 2.
- The Faceless: Ghostface sometimes.◊
- Fun with Acronyms:
- We Usually Take All Niggas' Garments, according to 7th Chamber.
- Cash Rules Everything Around Me, C.R.E.A.M.!note
- Fatal Attraction: Tony Starks to the girl in GFK's 12 Reasons to Die.
- Friend to All Children: According to ODB.
- From Nobody to Nightmare: Masta Killa's monster verse on "Da Mystery Of Chessboxin'" was supposedly the first rap verse he ever wrote.
- Gangsta Rap: Type 1 plus a fair amount of Type 3.
- Raekwon's Only Built 4 Cuban Linx... is considered one of the trope makers for Type 4.
- I Have Many Names: And we mean MANY names.
- For what it's worth, a skit taken from an interview is hidden at the end of "Can It Be All So Simple" explains the meaning of nicknames.
- A particularly extreme example of this is the Ol' Dirty Bastard who has been called ODB, Dirt McGirt, Black Baby Jesus, BZA and several others.
- Insistent Terminology: Besides their adoption of the Supreme Alphabet and Supreme Mathematics and their deluge of references... well, there's their use of "Shaolin" as a synonym for "Staten Island".
- Kamehame Hadoken: Cappadonna does one at the beginning of his verse in "Triumph".
- Large Ham: Ghostface Killah. Expect him to really Chew the Scenery on the more dramatic songs in the group's catalogue.
- Most songs featuring him and Ol' Dirty Bastard usually become Ham-to-Ham Combat.
- Ol' Dirty Bastard is a legendary version of this trope.
- Most of the members have invoked this at some time or another, but special points to, as above, Ghostface, ODB and the RZA.
- Living Lie Detector: Inspectah Deck, apparently:
"Inspectah Deck, he's like that dude that'll sit back and watch you play yourself and all that right? And see you sit there and know you lyin; and he'll take you to court after that, cuz he the Inspectah."
- Loads and Loads of Characters
- Make an Example of Them: Ghostface to several members of the De Lucas family in 12 Reasons To Die.
- Money Song: "C.R.E.A.M."
- Names to Run Away From Really Fast: Masta Killa, Ghostface Killah, 4-Bar Killer, Ill Irving the Murderer, The Razor, 60 Second Assassin, etc.
- The Old Gods: "Older Gods" is a track on Wu-Tang Forever:
Ghostface Killer: Yo, the Older God put me on and had to rock this / Maintain Three-Sixty Lord live prosperous
- The Perfectionist: The RZA, by most indications.
- Plato Is a Moron: Inspectah Deck claims that even Socrates isn't capable of contemplating his style on the song "Triumph".
"Socrates' philosophies and hypotheses can't define how I be droppin' these mockeries."
- Rags to Riches: Went from having to literally steal canned food during the recording of 36 Chambers to being worth around $16 million a piece.
- "The Reason You Suck" Speech: The RZA trades these with a girl he's breaking up with on the song "Domestic Violence" off his debut album.
- Reference Overdosed: To put it mildly.
"Put a hanger on a fuckin' stove and let that shit sit there for like, a half hour..."
- Sampled Up: Enter the Wu-Tang will render you unable to listen to the Underdog theme without hearing "the Wu-Tang Clan ain't nu-thin' ta fuck wit!"
- Scary Black Man: For certain values of scary. The lyrical content certainly seems to deliberately invoke this.
- Screaming Warrior: A persona they adopt a lot, especially on 36 Chambers.
- Sealed Evil in a Can: In 12 Reasons To Die, the crime family that took out Starks sealed his remains into 12 vinyl records, but little did they know, Starks would rise again as The Ghostface Killah.
- Something Person: Method Man, most obviously, and frequent affiliate Redman.
- Spelling Song: "Method Man" starts with "M-E-T-H-O-D," itself a reference to Hall and Oates' "Method of Modern Love."
- Stealth Parody: A case could be made for The Wu being this to Gangsta Rap, with all its theatricality played as Gritty Realism. N.W.A. rap about casually popping caps in people's asses, and it comes across as Ripped from the Headlines and For the Evulz, when it's often just playing a part. Wu-Tang, however...rap about chopping people's heads off with axes.
- Take That: GZA's "Labels" is a huge bitchslap aimed at every single label that treated him poorly.
- Team Dad: Popa Wu, in addition to acting as a road manager, was an actual father figure for several members growing up.
- Title Only Chorus: A couple of songs of theirs, but most notably, "Wu-Tang Clan Ain't Nuthin' Ta Fuck Wit'"