Who is the greatest member of the WU-Tang Clan?
Picking a favourite Wu-Tang member isn’t a particularly easy process; in any discussion, any choice other than The RZA is kind of wrong. The Wu aesthetic never exists without RZA, and any fan would admit the reason they initially got into the Clan was for RZA’s unique, grimy sound he pioneered in the early 1990s. But I still can’t call him my favourite Wu-Tang member. Here, I have to vote with my heart, not my brain.
Method Man’s solo output is one of the most inconsistent of the Clan members who are generally considered stellar rappers (also in this group are Ghostface, GZA, Raekwon, and if you’ve been drinking, Ol’ Dirty Bastard). He has no really good solo record, and even the best album he did only has about six really good songs on it. But I just get so excited every time I know that “kid with the bucktooth flow” is about to start a verse. The sound of his voice is unique, and ohmagawd that FLOW. RZA has said that Method Man’s flow sounds like dancing, and that’s entirely fucking true. Meth doesn’t so much flow as he bounces around on the different parts of the beat. All you have to do is listen to his self-titled solo showcase on Enter the Wu-Tang; he switches his flow up on damn near every line in that song.
While his solo output has been inconsistent, Meth will always be valuable. There is something he offers in hip-hop that nobody else does: his flow is like a more relaxed, smoother version of Busta Rhymes. He may not be consistent, but you always get excited to hear him, because you know there’s always a chance the next verse will be golden. And he still has it: his verse on House of Flying Daggers bounces around almost as much as his older verses, and his recent Tim Westwood freestyle was so enjoyable I wanted to put my head through a wall. There’s a reason Meth was the first Wu-Tang member to release a solo album: everybody fucking loves that guy, myself included. Wu-Tang might form like Voltron with RZA as the head, but I’m more interested in the guy that delivered that metaphor to us. Meth might not be the intelligent choice, but it’s the one that just sort of feels right.
No disrespect to you, or Meth, that boy is Patron smooth and his hooks make a woman wanna suck cock like it’s 1988 and you have a fully erect sheenus. (Coke covered dick, made popular by Charlie Sheen) But we all know that the best Wu-Tang Member is the boy from the deepest of the 36 Chambers, the Iron Man, Mr. Tony Starks, the fuckin Mayor... Ghostface Killah.
First off, it doesn’t matter how much of a visionary the RZA is, the man who starts the album has one of the sharpest intros on that whole compilation is Ghostface. “Ghostface catch the blast of my hype-verse, my glock burst, leave ya in hearse I did worse...” He coined the phrase PLO style, has like 40 solo albums under multiple aliases, has two or three different rap crews, the man is potenet in his execution and has a crisp voice which punctuates his absolutely brilliant lyrics. “Shakey dog,” “Apollo Kids,” “Run,” “Purified Thoughts,” “Walk, Around,” Yapp City,” “The HIlton,” and “9 Milli Bros,” are just a few to scratch the surface. Hell, I have a ‘Ghost Classics’ playlist, the other members combined don’t have enough material to even make their own classics list.
Now we can argue that being a good artist isn’t about selling albums, or how much money you make. Hell, Soldja Boi taught me that, its about soul. Ghost takes his lyrics as lightly or as seriously as needed. His dedication to fabrications of stories based off of his life and the life lead by many twenty-somethings at the bottom barrel of the ghettos, rings true through the tone of his voice and the passion of his execution and the experimentation in his style.
Meth, though wicked gorgeous flow, is a one trick pony and that’s why he doesn’t break the Ghost status. He, like many other members of Wu-Tang, was pigeon-holed into doing only one kind of hip-hop style and never really recovered. Members like the RZA and GZA who tried to reform their style under separate alises never broke free of the chains formed by 36 Chambers. You can see it in the GZA's live performance when he starts the set with “Gold” and finishes with “Clan in Da Front”, which hilariously, is the track where Ghost is introduced.
No doubt the RZA is a spectacular producer, and I love when he hits up a track or two with Kanye, and “Gone” was one of the most wildly left field tracks coming out of the RZA in a decade, but he’s no Ghost.
And when Wu-Tang forms with the GZA as the head (Enter the Wu-Tang: 36 Chambers: ‘Can It Be All So Simple’ 5:57) Ghost is on that ‘now you see me, now you don’t’ absolute formelessness, shit. He’s the voice that screams original Wu-Tang and the evolution of that style. While the rest desperately grasp at the past in hope to please fans, Ghost pushed the envelope so much further than the other members could possibly go.
Tony Starks for mayor, GFK is the best member of the Wu-Tang Clan.