Wu-Tang Clan

1990
Wu-Tang Clan assembled with RZA as the de facto leader and group’s producer.
1993
Wu –Tang Clan first became known following the release of their single “Protect Ya Neck.” Loud/RCA records agreed to sign the Wu Tang Clan, releasing their debut album Enter the Wu-Tang (36 Chambers) – which to date is regarded as one of the greatest hip hop/rap albums of all time. Ol’ Dirty Bastard, GZA, RZA, Raekwon, U-God, Method Man, and Ghostface Killah were then able to negotiate solo contracts, because of the group’s creative and influential force in 90’s hip hop.
1994
Method Man released Tical, becoming the first Wu-Tang member to release a solo project.
1997
Wu-Tang Clan reassembled to release the Grammy-nominated multiplatinum double album Wu-Tang Forever, which debuted at number one on the Billboard Charts. According to Nielsen SoundScan, the album has sold over 8.3 million copies to date worldwide.
1998
February: Ol’ Dirty Bastard interrupted Shawn Colin’s acceptance speech at the Grammy’s in order to protest Wu-Tang Clan not winning Best Rap Album.
March: After the release of Wu-Tang Forever, the empire shifted its focus to promoting emerging (affiliated) artists. The album Wu-Tang Killa Bees: The Swarm showcased Wu-affiliated artists, including new solo tracks from the original group members. Although commercially successful (The Swarm certified gold), the album was not as critically acclaimed as Wu-Tang Forever.
2000
The group released “The W”, which went double platinum. The album was recorded while Ol’ Dirty Bastard was incarcerated, and so his vocals recorded over the inmate telephones.
2001
Wu-Tang Clan released Iron Flag, of which made use of outside producers and guests, including Ron Isley, Flavor Flav, and Trackmasters. Method Man began his acting career along with close collaborator Redman.
2003
Ol’ Dirty Bastard was released from incarceration and immediately signed with Jay-Z’s Roc-A-Fella Records on the same day that he was released.
2004
U-God left the Wu-Tang Clan, with a DVD titled Rise of a Fallen Soldier detailing his frustrations with being in the group. (Following U-God’s attempt to form a group of young protégés and further conversations between RZA and U-God on live radio, the two have since reconciled and U-God returned to the group.)
The Wu-Tang Clan also unexpectedly returned to the live stage, going on a European tour before coming together as a full group to headline at the Rock the Bells festival in California. The concert was released on CD as Disciples of the 36 Chambers: Chapter 1, and the Clan also released a music-video greatest hits album: Legend of the Wu-Tang Clan.
Ol’ Dirty Bastard passes away. (The group paid homage to ODB several times: in 2006, one of his sons came out at a Wu-Tang concert and rapped “Brooklyn Zoo,” with his mother brought on stage for a sing-along to “Shimmy Shimmy Ya.”)
2005
RZA released his first book: The Wu-Tang Manual, and the release of U-God’s second album, Mr. Xcitement. GZA and producer DJ Muggs and Grandmasters also held a long-awaited collaboration.
The documentary, U-God: Rise of a Fallen Soldier, was released. It portrayed U-God’s side of the struggle between him and RZA.
2006
On March 28th Ghostface Killah released Fishscale to much critical acclaim and some commercial success. On June 25th Inspectah Deck released The Resident Patient, a prelude to his upcoming album The Rebellion – his final solo album. Masta Killa released his second studio album, Made in Brooklyn, and Method Man released 4:21…the Day After, of which debuted in the Billboard Top Ten.
2007
Ghostface Killah released his seventh full-length album – The Big Doe Rehab. Wu-Tang Clan released their fifth full-length group album, 8 Diagrams, on Steve Rifkind’s SRC Records, of which marked the inclusion of Cappadonna as an official member of the group. 8 Diagrams received mixed views, causing Raekwon and Ghostface Killah to propose recording a group album (Shaolin vs. Wu-Tang) without RZA production. The album would become Raekwon’s fifth solo album.
2008
RZA released Digi Snacks to primarily introduce group affiliates, such as Freemurder, Killa Sin, Black Knights. GZA released his Pro Tools album.
RZA announced that a deal with digital music company “The Orchard” was made to release the Wu-Tang Clan’s back catalogue worldwide digitally – for the first time. The catalogue includes 13 previous releases that have been previously unavailable digitally.
Gerald K. Barclay directed the Wu-Tang documentary, entitled: Wu: The Story of the Wu-Tang Clan, which later premiered on BET.
2009
U-God released his third solo album: Dopium, featuring several Wu-Tang members and affiliates. RZA produced Wu-Tang Chamber Music, a side project that featured five Wu-Tang members, along with NYC mainstays AZ, Kool G Rap, Cormega, Havoc, Sean Price, and M.O.P. Only Built 4 Cuban Linx…Pt. II was released and features guest appearances from several big name artists and Clan members, with production from RZA, Dr. Dre, Pete Rock, and J Dilla amongst others. The album debuted at number 4 on the Billboard 200 and number 2 on the Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums chart.
Ghostface released Ghostdini: Wizard of Poetry in Emerald City.
A documentary on Ol’ Dirty Bastard was released, entitled; Dirty: The Official ODB Biography. The documentary features interviews and stories from family members, Wu-Tang members, affiliates, and old interviews with Ol’ Dirty Bastard.
2010
Wu-Tang Saga, including Cappadonna and footage of the Clan dating back to the early nineties, was released.
2011
Wu-Tang Live AT The Palladium NYC was released through the group’s official Facebook page as a collector’s digital download. The page was limited to 100 downloads before the page was disabled.
2013
Wu-Tang announced via the group’s official Facebook page that they were working on a sixth album.
The title of the album was released as: A Better Tomorrow, and set to be released in July, 2013. The Wu-Tang Clan also performed at the 2013 Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival.
An unreleased Wu-Tang song, “Execution in Autumn,” was released for purchase through RZA’s record label Soul Temple Records, and the Clan performed at the 2013 HOT 97 Summer Jam.
The first promotional single “Family Reunion” featuring Masta Killah, Method Man, Ghostface Killah, and RZA was released on the Soul Temple Records website.
2014
A Better Tomorrow, courtesy of Warner Bros. Records, was released.
The Wu-Tang record The Wu-Once Upon A Time in Shaolin, was finished with affiliated producer Cilvaringz.