1. Crouching tiger, hidden director One of the first, and best, examples of his directing potential: 1997’s Tragedy. RZA went to Hong Kong to make this authentic, awesome kung-fu mini-movie. The Shaw Brothers would be proud.
2. Fashion force The first hiphop crew with a complete clothing line (Wu-Wear, Wu-Tang Timbalands, Wu-Tang cologne), the Wu sparked the hiphop garment renaissance with everything from customized Wallabee Clarks to acrylic nails.
3. Enter the thespian RZA’s anomalous energy continues to infiltrate Tinseltown, from bugging out with Bill Murray in Coffee And Cigarettes to playing an undercover cop opposite Russell Crowe and Denzel Washington in American Gangster.
4. Sound of Shaolin His subtle, sharp soundscapes complement the sinister atmosphere of Jim Jarmusch’s Ghost Dog: The Way Of The Samurai, provide a rousing introduction to Kill Bill’s O-Ren Ishi-i and embellish Tony Jaa’s muay Thai mastery in The Protector.
5. Four-colour fighter In 1999, Image Comics released Nine Rings Of Wu-Tang, a fantasy series that transported the Shaolin soldiers to a world of women, war and wisdom.
6. Play maker The first crew to have a respectable (and unbelievably difficult!) video game, Playstation’s Wu-Tang: Shaolin Style. This vicious fighting game wasn’t perfect, but it was thrilling to play.
7. Techno wizard Citing functionality problems, RZA redesigned Roland’s MV-8800 sampler, and even created an ultra-rare limited-edition series that forms the cover of 8 Diagrams when connected together.
8. A hiphop Donald Trump Was it as simple as selling Protect Ya Neck 12-inches out of the trunk up and down the East Coast in 1992? Now a multi-million-dollar conglomerate with dozens of businesses, Wu-Tang Corp. is worldwide.