Where are they now? Wu-Tang edition
Miko Malabute | Thursday, August 27, 2015
With Wu-Tang Clan legend Method Man releasing his latest album, “The Meth Lab,” about a week ago, it raises one of the most important questions thus far of 2015: where are the Wu-Tang members now? We break down for you the original members of the Clan that dominated the ’90s, and explore what the members are doing when they’re not living in the glory of yesteryear.
The “sharpest [expletive] of the entire clan,” RZA has stayed busy between the lull and ultimate end of Wu-Tang material during the 2000s. RZA has stuck to the craft he knows best, producing some of his fellow Wu members’ solo albums and other hip-hop artists’ projects. He has also ventured outside of hip-hop to collaborate with other big names in neighboring music genres. He has collaborated with Red Hot Chili Peppers’ guitarist John Frusciante, whom RZA attributes as his inspiration behind not charging for his music. He is also working with System of a Down’s bassist Shavo Odadjian to form the project “Achozen,” which recently released an eight-track boombox digital collection last July.
Obviously, Method Man has stayed busy by continuing to put out good music, like his new album, and keeping the insatiable Wu-Tang faithful at least somewhat satisfied. He has also stayed working on his previously announced album, “Crystal Meth,” which was announced previous to “The Meth Lab” but has yet to be released. However, to those who were waiting on “Crystal Meth,” good news: he shouted it out in the outro of “The Meth Lab,” keeping the hopes alive.
Outside of music, Method Man has stayed busy in his second job as an actor. Earning his acting chops from the movie “How High,” starring alongside Redman, he was a recurring character, Drops, on “CSI: Crime Scene Investigation,” and just recently he starred alongside Adam Sandler in Sandler’s latest movie, “The Cobbler” (as a quick side note, Sandler’s latest movie was not that bad).
Raekwon has stayed true to his roots in hip-hop, following up his classic solo album “Only Built 4 Cuban Linx …” with “Only Built 4 Cuban Linx … Pt. II” in 2009, which received a score of 8.8 on Pitchfork. However, he followed up those with several underwhelming projects, highlighted (or lowlighted) by “Wu-Massacre,” a project that featured him along with arguably the two other biggest members of the Clan (in terms of mainstream appeal) in the aforementioned Method Man and Ghostface Killah. “The Chef,” as Raekwon is known, is still by all means a good artist in the hip-hop community, but the force that he once was has largely died down.
Speaking of Ghostface, or “Tony Starks” (or “Iron Man,” which Ghostface also goes by), Ghostface has also had quite the post-Wu-Tang life. With his constant references and allusions to Ironman, he was featured in the 2008 Marvel film (albeit in a deleted scene), and his song “Slept On Tony With Dirt” made an appearance in the film. He also appeared in last year’s season of “Couple’s Theory” on VH1, and when he was not dealing with that drama he also found time to fit in a beef with rapper Action Bronson, taking exception to Bronson questioning his present-day rapping prowess. However, there is also a softer side to the rapping “Iron Man,” as earlier this year he went to Amarillo, Texas to perform at a tattoo convention held inside a high school gym. Because, after all, “Wu-Tang is for the children.”
GZA has been interesting, to say the least, since the end of Wu-Tang. He took to lecturing at MIT and spoke to the students about how space and art mesh together and are intertwined. This transitions into his upcoming concept album, “Dark Matter,” which takes listeners on an Interstellar-esque journey that cuts through the limitations of time and space. He has also denounced profanity in hip-hop (a bit ironic considering one of Wu-Tang’s most iconic singles drops a nice, big F-bomb in the title) as needless “filler,” hinting at a family-friendly rap album (or, at least one “without a Parental Advisory sticker”).
Inspectah Deck hasn’t had the greatest post-Wu-Tang life, with his rapping career (in my personal opinion) nearing life support. He has stated that he will only retire from rap if fans don’t show support for upcoming albums “The Manifesto” and “The Rebellion,” the former of which peaked on Billboard’s “Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums” chart at 69. He is still rapping, however, working with 7L & Estoric for “Every Hero Needs a Villain,” which was released back in June.
Masta Killa hasn’t released an album since 2012, when “Selling My Soul” dropped. It did not chart on any of Billboard’s top charts.
U-God last released his album “The Keynote Speaker” on RZA’s record label, Soul Temple Records, back in 2013. It did decently well given the circumstances surrounding the Wu-Tang Clan and their brand power at this time, peaking on Billboard’s Top Rap Albums” chart at 40.