From the moment they popped out in the music industry with their debut album, Enter the Wu-Tang (36 Chambers), Wu-Tang Clan have lived up to one of their most popular song titles: they ain't nothing to f**k with.
With their kaleidoscopic roster of styles and members—one originally comprised of RZA, GZA, Method Man, Raekwon, Ol' Dirty Bastard, Ghostface Killah, Inspectah Deck, Masta Killa and U-God— raw rhymes and production from the one and only RZA, the group delivered songs that added color and a sense of organized chaos to the East Coast rap continuum.
Their first album wasn't the most commercially successful, but it established the aesthetic and the personalities of all the major members, including Method Man, Ol' Dirty Bastard, RZA, Rawekwon and Ghostface Killah. All five would drop acclaimed solo albums throughout the 1990s, but Enter the Wu-Tang (36 Chambers), which arrived on Nov. 9, 1993, set the foundation.
Riding the success of both their debut album and subsequent solo LPs from group members, the crew followed up with Wu-Tang Forever in 1997. This album also has timeless classics, but unlike the Wu's LP album, it managed to earn significant commercial success after it sold 612,000 copies in its first week.
Between 2001 and 2014, the crew continued intermittently delivering new albums, with each of them including memorable tracks. Throughout the course of their career, Wu-Tang has dropped plenty of music as a group, so which songs stand out as the best? Their group catalog is deep and varied, but most people already have a good idea of the top 10. "C.R.E.A.M." has to be in there somewhere, and so do songs like "Triumph" and "Protect Ya Neck." After the top 10, the choices can also depend on personal preference.
Today, XXL takes a look at the 25 of the most essential Wu-Tang Clan songs the clique released as a group and ranks them all. Check out the list below.