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In the late 1980s, cousins Robert Diggs, Gary Grice, and Russell Jones formed a group named Force of the Imperial Master, also known as the All in Together Now Crew. Wu Tang Clan Friends TV show shirt Each member recorded under an alias: Grice as The Genius, Diggs as Prince Rakeem or The Scientist, and Jones as The Specialist. The group never signed to a major label, but caught the attention of the New York City rap scene and was recognized by rapper Biz Markie. By 1991, The Genius and Prince Rakeem were signed to separate record labels. The Genius released Words from the Genius (1991) on Cold Chillin’ Records and Prince Rakeem released Ooh I Love You Rakeem (1991) on Tommy Boy Records. Both were soon dropped by their labels. Embittered but unbowed, they refocused their efforts and on new monikers.
Wu Tang Clan Friends TV show shirt
The Genius became GZA (pronounced “jizza”), while Prince Rakeem became RZA (pronounced “rizza”). RZA began collaborating with Dennis Coles, later known as Ghostface Killah, another rapper from the Stapleton Projects apartment complex in Staten Island. The duo decided to create a hip hop group whose ethos would be a blend of “Eastern philosophy picked up from kung fu movies, Five Percent Nation teachings picked up on the New York streets, and comic books.” Wu-Tang Clan assembled in late 1992 with RZA as the de facto leader and the group’s producer. RZA and Ol’ Dirty Bastard adopted the name for the group after the film Shaolin and Wu Tang. Their debut album loosely adopted a Shaolin vs. Wu-Tang theme, dividing the album into Shaolin and Wu-Tang sections.