Wu Tang Clan

Information about Wu Tang Clan

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Raekwon's debut studio album, Only Built 4 Cuban Linx. . . , was released in August 1995. Cuban Linx was a diverse, theatrical epic that saw RZA move away from the raw, stripped-down beats of the early albums and towards a richer, cinematic sound more reliant on strings and classic soul samples. The album is noted for reviving the mafioso rap subgenre. Cuban Linx featured all but one Wu member, and featured the debut from Cappadonna. The album also featured rapper Nas, who was the first non-Wu-Tang-affiliated rapper to appear on a Wu-Tang Clan album. GZA's debut album, Liquid Swords, was released in November 1995. It had a similar focus on inner-city crime akin to Only Built 4 Cuban Linx, but it was far darker, both in GZA's grim lyrics and in the ominous, foreboding production that saw RZA experimenting more with keyboards than ever before. Liquid Swords features guest appearances from every Wu-Tang Clan member, and is linked together by excerpts from the 1980 movie Shogun Assassin. Almost a year after the release of Liquid Swords, Ghostface Killah released his first solo album, Ironman, in October 1996. The album struck a balance between the sinister keyboard-laden textures of Liquid Swords and the sentimental soul samples of Cuban Linx, while Ghostface himself explored new territory as a lyricist. Ironman was critically acclaimed and is still widely considered to be one of the best of Wu-Tang solo albums. Although the 1994–1996 albums were released as solo, RZA's presence behind the production, and the large number of guest appearances from other Wu-Tang Clan members has rendered them to be mostly all-round group efforts.