Robert Fitzgerald Diggs, better known by his stage name RZA or The RZA (pronounced /ˈrɪzə/; born July 5, 1969), is an American Grammy-winning music producer, multi-instrumentalist, author, rapper, and occasional actor, director, and screenwriter. A prominent figure in hip hop music, he is the de facto leader of the Wu-Tang Clan. He has produced almost all of Wu-Tang Clan's albums as well as many Wu-Tang solo and affiliate projects. He is widely considered one of the most influential and landmark hip-hop producers of all time. He subsequently gained attention for his work scoring and acting in films.
He has also released solo albums under the alter-ego Bobby Digital. In addition to the Wu-Tang Clan and his solo releases, RZA was also a founding member of the horrorcore rap group Gravediggaz where he used the name The Rzarector.
He has also acted in several movies including Coffee and Cigarettes, American Gangster, Gospel Hill, Life Is Hot in Cracktown, Ghost Dog, Funny People, Derailed, Due Date and Repo Men.
In 2008, RZA was ranked number four on About.com's best hip hop producers of all time list
Clifford Smith (born April 1, 1971 in Staten Island, New York), better known by his stage name Method Man or Meth is an American hip hop artist, record producer, actor and member of the hip hop collective Wu-Tang Clan. He took his stage name from the 1979 film The Fearless Young Boxer, also known as Method Man. He is one half of the rap duo Method Man & Redman along with fellow rapper Redman. He won a Grammy for Best Rap Performance by a Duo or Group for "I'll Be There for You/You're All I Need to Get By" with Mary J. Blige.
He appeared in the motion pictures Belly, How High, Garden State as well as a minor role in The Wackness. On television, he and hip-hop collaborator Redman co-starred on the short-lived Fox sitcom Method & Red, and he had a recurring role as Calvin "Cheese" Wagstaff on the acclaimed HBO drama series The Wire.
Russell Tyrone Jones (November 15, 1968 – November 13, 2004) was an American rapper and occasional producer, who went by the stage name Ol' Dirty Bastard or simply ODB. He was one of the founding members of the Wu-Tang Clan, a Hip-Hop group from Staten Island, New York that rose to mainstream prominence with their 1993 debut album Enter the Wu-Tang (36 Chambers).
After establishing the Wu-Tang Clan, Ol' Dirty Bastard went on to pursue a successful solo career. However, his professional success was hampered by erratic personal behavior and frequent legal troubles, including incarceration. He died in late 2004 of an accidental drug overdose, two days before his 36th birthday.
Jones was often noted for his trademark microphone techniques and his "outrageously profane, free-associative rhymes delivered in a distinctive half-rapped, half-sung style". His stage name was derived from the 1980 martial arts film Ol' Dirty and the Bastard, the relevance of which was articulated by Method Man's assertion that there was "no father" to Jones' style.
Corey Woods (born January 12, 1970), better known by the stage name Raekwon (sometimes "Raekwon the Chef"), is an American rapper and a member of the Wu-Tang Clan. He released his solo debut, Only Built 4 Cuban Linx..., in 1995, and has continued recording solo and with the Wu-Tang Clan since then. In 2009, Raekwon released the sequel to his critically acclaimed debut with the similarly praised Only Built 4 Cuban Linx... Pt. II.
Dennis Coles (born May 9, 1970), better known by his stage name Ghostface Killah, is an American rapper and prominent member of the Wu-Tang Clan. After the group achieved breakthrough success in the aftermath of Enter the Wu-Tang (36 Chambers), the members went on to pursue solo careers to varying levels of success. Ghostface Killah debuted his solo-career with Ironman in 1996, which was well received by music critics. He has continued his success over the following years with critically acclaimed albums such as Supreme Clientele (2000) and Fishscale (2006). His stage name was taken from one of the characters in the 1979 kung fu film Mystery of Chessboxing.
Gary Grice (born August 22, 1966 in Brooklyn, New York) is best known by his stage name GZA (pronounced /ˈdʒɪzə/). Called by many of his fans The Genius, he is an American hip hop artist and is a founding member of the seminal hip hop group the Wu-Tang Clan. GZA has continued to appear on his fellow clan members' solo projects, and has continued to maintain a successful solo career.
Jason Hunter, (born July 6, 1970) better known by his stage name Inspectah Deck, is an American rapper, producer, and member of the Wu-Tang Clan. Although he has not gained the same level of mainstream success in his solo career as some of his Wu-Tang counterparts (such as Ghostface Killah or Method Man), he has acquired critical praise for his intricate lyricism, and for his verses on many of the group's most revered songs
Lamont Hawkins (born November 10, 1970), better known as U-God (short for Universal God), is an American rapper and member of the hip hop collective, Wu-Tang Clan. He has been with the group since its inception, and is known for having a deep, rhythmic flow that can alternate between being gruff or smooth. He is the group's lowest-pitched member.
Jamel Arief (born Elgin Turner; August 18, 1969), better known as Masta Killa, is an American rapper and member of the Wu-Tang Clan. Though one of the lesser-known members of the group (he was featured on only one track on their 1993 debut album Enter the Wu-Tang (36 Chambers)), He has been prolific on Clan group albums and solo projects since the mid-1990s, and released his debut album No Said Date in 2004 to positive reviews.