The Top 10 Songs from the Wu-Tang Clan

The New York City-born hip-hop collective Wu-Tang Clan defines the idea of a group.

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The collection of rappers includes many proverbial Hall of Famers, from RZA and Method Man to Ol’ Dirty Bastard, Ghostface Killah, and Raekwon. Others in the group include beloved GZA, Inspectah Deck, U-God, Masta Killa, and later, Cappadonna.

In a time when west coast rap was booming and a contingent of east coast rappers like The Notorious B.I.G. was involved in antagonistic battles with artists like Tupac Shakur, the Wu-Tang Clan were holding down hardcore NYC hip-hop, more involved with themselves and keeping up a standard of music than in any beef.

[RELATED: The Story Behind the Band Name: Wu-Tang Clan]

The group’s second LP, Wu-Tang Forever, which was released in 1997, debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard 200 and was nominated for a Grammy in 1998. In 2015, the sole copy of its seventh album, Once Upon a Time in Shaolin, was bought for $2 million by a former hedge fund manager (and, later, convicted felon), Martin Shkreli (aka Pharma bro). Today, the Wu-Tang Clan is respected to the supreme level amongst its peers.

Here, then, is the group’s Top 10 songs.

1. “C.R.E.A.M.”

If you’ve ever heard or said the following phrase, “Cash rules everything around me,” then you have this song to thank. It was also the second single from the group’s 1993 debut studio LP, Enter the Wu-Tang (36 Chambers).

2. “Triumph”

For those of us who grew up with Wu-Tang, the opening of this song is iconic, all the way to the lyric, Socrates’ philosophies, and hypotheses. The song is the lead single from the group’s 1997 album, Wu-Tang Forever. All nine members are on the track, including O.D.B. on the interlude.

3. “Protect Ya Neck”

The first single the group ever released, “Protect Ya Neck” hit the airwaves in late 1992. It also appears on Wu-Tang’s debut LP, Enter the Wu-Tang (36 Chambers).

4. “Wu-Tang Clan Ain’t Nuthing Ta F’ Wit”

Also from the group’s debut LP, Enter the Wu-Tang (36 Chambers), the song’s title has entered the modern lexicon as a boasting phrase of caution.

5. “Method Man”

“M-E-T-H-O-D Maaaaaaaan!” You can hear the deep, gravelly-voiced rapper spell out his own name. The star among stars in the group, Method Man arguably became the most well-known of the collective. He later had a successful solo career, as well as one with New Jersey rapper Redman. The song, though, was on the Wu debut, Enter the Wu-Tang (36 Chambers).

6. “Da Mystery Of Chessboxin'”

From their debut LP, Enter the Wu-Tang (36 Chambers), Ol’ Dirty Bastard earned a production credit for this track.

7. “Impossible”

A double album, Wu-Tang Forever‘s second disc kicked off with the inimitable song “Triumph,” highlighted above. But that song was followed by the somber, storytelling track, “Impossible.” As such, it was heard that much more, the beloved beneficiary. Though the song itself is quite good in its own right.

8. “It’s Yourz”

The second single from Wu-Tang Forever, the song includes a sample of the track “It’s Yours,” by T La Rock & Jazzy Jay.

9. “Bring Da Ruckus”

The opening song to the group’s first album, Enter the Wu-Tang (36 Chambers).

10. “Uzi (Pinky Ring)”

From the group’s fourth LP, Iron Flag. “Uzi (Pinky Ring)” was the first single from the LP and it was produced not by RZA, but by GZA. Though RZA produced the single’s music video.

Photo by Al Pereira/Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images

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