"You want to have an image of Wu-Tang Clan? Than cheсk out any modern rap album. It will be their legacy", - said Kanye West once. This legendary New York-based band is known as one of the most critically and commercially successful rap groups of all time. They became famous through their uncompromising brand of hardcore rap music. They are also known for becoming a standard for many rap artists, such as Nas, Mobb Deep, Notorious B.I.G., Jay-Z. Wu-Tang Clan appeared in 1991, when only single rapers were successfull. The group was formed by RZA, GZA and Ol' Dirty Bastard, who acted in group Force of the Imperial Master before. Than another six members joined them. RZA promised the members that if he had total control of the Wu-Tang Clan, it would conquer the hip-hop world, after which he would relinquish his total control. The name Wu-Tang Clan came from the Kung fu film Shaolin And Wu Tang, which features a school of warriors trained in Wu-Tang style.
Wu-Tang Clan realesed the independent single Protect Ya Neck in 1993, which immediately gave the group a sizeable underground popularity. Though the work was going slow cause each member was also busy with his own career, first album Enter the Wu-Tang (36 Chambers) was finished in the late 1993. The surreal aggression and minimalist production of 36 Chambers had a huge impact on the genre, and immideatly made Wu-Tang Clan popular. But, in the same time, for the Wu-Tang Clan members it was only an urge for their solo careers. After 1993, each of them concentrated on their side projects. RZA, for example, formed Gravediggaz with Prince Paul and Frukwan and Poetic, working in the hip hop's small sub-genre of horrorcore.
With their solo careers firmly established, the Wu-Tang Clan reassembled to release the highly-anticipated Grammy-nominated multiplatinum double album Wu-Tang Forever in June 1997. It was sold 600 000 in its first week – without a mainstream sound or commercial appeal. RZA moved away from the raw, stripped-down beats of the first album and towards a richer, cinematic sound more reliant on strings and classic soul samples. He also, as it was promised, gave up his "rule" and delegated much of his existing role to other members. Than, a second round of solo careers began. Wu-Tang Clan reconvened once again in 2000 to make The W, though without Ol' Dirty Bastard, who was at the time incarcerated in California for violating the terms of his probation (though he managed to make it onto the track Conditioner which also featured Snoop Dogg). Album Iron Flag was realesed next-year. Then musicians returned to their own projects. All this time, branded production has been selling, ranging from compilation albums such as Legend Of The Wu-Tang Clan Greatest Hits to special Wu-Tang videogames. In 2007 musicians gathered again to record 8 Diagrams (without Ol' Dirty Bastard, who died on November 13, 2004). In 2009 the new record Chamber Music was released. The same year the discography of the band was enlarged by the compilation album Playlist: The Very Best Of Wu-Tang Clan, which included such compositions as The Projects, Triumph and In The Hood.