If you're compiling a list of influential hip-hop artists that managed to break mainstream conventions, it'd be pretty hard to not mention the Wu-Tang Clan.
The 10 members of the group gained massive exposure and praise with their 1993 album, "Enter the Wu-Tang (36 Chambers)." They went on to release collective albums and solo projects throughout the years, developing distinct personalities and "brands" along the way.
But have you ever wondered what the members' real names are? Keep reading for all the details on the members' monikers on and off the stage.
What are the real names of the Wu-Tang Clan's members?
The hip-hop group understood the art of pageantry and theater very well from the outset, steeping their first album in references to Shaolin principles. The influence of old-school martial arts movies was readily apparent in their music, and those types of theatrics became a trademark of the public personas of the members of the Wu-Tang Clan.
Each member's stage name became synonymous with their distinct musical styles. While some members of the group went on to have varying levels of success in their own careers, they've stuck with the monikers they crafted under the Wu-Tang Clan.
Without further ado, here are the real names of the members of the Wu-Tang Clan.
Ol' Dirty Bastard – Russell Tyrone Jones
Russell Tyrone Jones, famously known by his stage name Ol' Dirty Bastard, was a founding member of the Wu-Tang Clan. He passed away on Nov. 13, 2004, due to a drug overdose.
RZA – Robert Fitzgerald Diggs
Robert Fitzgerald Diggs, or RZA as he's better known, is a founding member of the Wu-Tang Clan. He is commonly referred to as the group's de-facto leader given that he has contributed the most on the production side of things.
Ghostface Killah – Dennis Coles
Dennis Coles, aka Ghostface Killah, is another member of the Wu-Tang Clan. He is famous for his loud, fast-paced flow as well as his emotional lyric delivery.
Raekwon The Chef – Corey Woods
Corey Woods, better known by his stage name Raekwon The Chef (or just Raekwon), is another founding member of the Wu-Tang Clan. His first solo album, titled "Only Built 4 Cuban Linx...," is widely considered to be one of the greatest rap albums of all time.
Method Man – Clifford Smith, Jr.
Clifford Smith, Jr., aka Method Man, is a member of the Wu-Tang Clan famous for both his rapping and acting abilities. He is also one-half of the duo Method Man & Redman.
GZA – Gary Eldridge Grice
Gary Eldridge Grice, better known as GZA or The Genius, is a member of the Wu-Tang Clan. He was the first member of the group to get a record deal and is their oldest member.
Inspectah Deck – Jason Richard Hunter
Jason Richard Hunter, aka Inspectah Deck, is a rapper and member of the Wu-Tang Clan as well as Czarface. His intricate lyricism has made him one of the most revered wordsmiths in rap history.
Cappadonna – Darryl Hill
Darryl Hill, better known as Cappadonna, is a member of the Wu-Tang Clan. He is also known for founding the rap group Theodore Unit alongside Ghostface Killah.
Masta Killa – Jamel Irief
Jamel Irief, aka Masta Killa, is one of the lesser-known group members. He has been an instrumental part of some of the Wu-Tang Clan's biggest hits since he joined the group in the mid-1990s.
U-God – Lamont Jody Hawkins
Lamont Jody Hawkins, or as he's better known, U-God, is a founding member of the Wu-Tang Clan. He is famous for his deep voice and rhythmic raps.