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From the Vault: RZA Breaks Down the History of Wu-Tang Clan’s Best MC


Words by Daniel Isenberg (@StanIpcus)

Early last year, I got invited down to a Brooklyn studio to do a story on the making of Ghostface Killah and Adrian Younge’s Twelve Reasons to Die album. Unfortunately, Ghostface never showed up, so the story never ran due to his lack of involvement (I ended up interviewing Ghost a couple months later for this though). But I did have the chance to sit down and speak with the RZA that night about his role working on the project, and our conversation veered into a discussion about which Wu members were considered the nicest in the Clan internally at different points in the group’s history. It wasn’t a full, comprehensive breakdown, but it’s a quote I always found very interesting, and with their new album A Better Tomorrow on the horizon, I thought now would be a good time to share it. Read below.

RZA: “Ghost is one of the best rappers in the world. At one point, he was the best rapper in the world. It’s waves. It’s like a boxing belt. Like Pacquiao, he WAS the best in the world. [Laughs.] But nah, [Ghost] will never go out like that. But it’s waves. At one point, GZA was the best. If you ask Ghost, he’ll say, ‘GZA is the best in the world.’ At one point, Killah Priest was the best. Right around that time period after Liquid Swords, Priest just went on it. He went retarded.

“I had to come back lyrically, not vocally or performance-wise, but lyric content on Wu-Tang Forever, and The Pick, the Sickle and the Shovel. I wrote my lyrics for those two at the same time. And when I would kick my lyrics, they’d be like, ‘He’s the best.’ Look at ‘Sunshower,’ ‘Impossible,’ ‘Twelve Jewelz,’ ‘The Night the Earth Cried,’ ‘What’s Goin’ On?’ That particular time it was like, ‘RZA’s the man.’ Now I had the scepter. It goes like that.

“But then when Ghost came back with [his ‘Impossible’ verse about Jamie], then it was a toss-up. Because GZA is the one who let us know. He’s the head of it. All of our lyrics started from his inspiration. He’s the one who inspired the most out of any other hip-hop artist that ever lived.”

It’s pretty ill how RZA said Wu affiliate Killah Priest at one point was the belt-holder amongst Clan members, and I gotta agree that during the era of Wu-Tang Forever and the second Gravediggaz album, RZA was on some shit. When it’s all said and done, Ghostface and Raekwon are probably my favorite Wu MCs of all-time. But what do you think? Do you have a favorite Wu-Tang Clan member, past and/or present? Who’s the nicest in the Clan right now? Let us know your thoughts in the comments section or hit us on Twitter @NahRight.

Photo via UpNorthTrips.

Previously: Wu-Tang Clan – Ruckus In B Minor | The Lone Swordsman: RZA’s Best Solo Songs

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7 Responses to “From the Vault: RZA Breaks Down the History of Wu-Tang Clan’s Best MC”

  1. Rahsaan(Ras Gargon) Says:

    That is hard since everyone in the clan has had strong verses. But Ghostface has probably been the most consistent. So really all of Wu and their affiliates go in at different times.

  2. jewiii Says:

    Wasn’t feeling Rae…hahah

  3. junMaf*ckn Says:

    Mef Got The Illest Lines and Changes Up His Flow More Than Any Other Wu Member.

    U God Beasted On Wu Forever Too.

  4. HiphopSAVIOR Says:


  5. Kelloggs Says:

    born in 1990. so the wu tang clan was before my time, but Ghostface killah was my favorite rapper for the longest. i remember keeping the supreme clientele on repeat in my high school days. and trying to force people to listen to fishscale back in 2006.

  6. Master Baiter Says:

    Co sign Killah Priest

  7. spirit equality Says:

    I’ve always repped hard for Meth. There was a twelve month window when he could have been King of NY, if he wanted, from when “Method Man” dropped to just before “Tical” came out. I don’t think he wanted the crown. But he’s been spitting fire verses (and hooks) consistently for 20 plus years.

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