What Is The Wu-Tang Clan’s Net Worth?
The Wu-Tang Clan is an American hip hop group that has a combined net worth of $100 million. The group formed in 1992 and started with the rappers RZA, GZA, Raekwon, Method Man, Ghostface Killah, U-God, Inspectah Deck, Masta Killa, and Ol’ Dirty Bastard.
Wu-Tang Clan has released the studio albums “Enter the Wu-Tang (36 Chambers)” (1993), “Wu-Tang Forever”(1997), “The W” (2000), “Iron Flag” (2001), “8 Diagrams” (2007), “A Better Tomorrow” (2014), and “Once Upon a Time in Shaolin” (2015), and four of those albums were certified Platinum or higher. Their singles “C.R.E.A.M.,” “Triumph,” and “Protect Ya Neck (The Jump Off)” were top 10 hits on the “Billboard” Hot Rap Songs chart.
The group has earned notoriety for only recording a single copy of their album “Once Upon a Time in Shaolin” and selling it to the highest bidder, Turing Pharmaceuticals CEO Martin Shkreli, for $2 million. After Shkreli was convicted of securities fraud in 2018, his assets were seized by a federal court, and “Once Upon a Time in Shaolin” was sold to NFT collectors PleasrDAO by the US Department of Justice for $4 million in 2021. Wu-Tang and its members have been associated with The Orchard, a digital music company, and they were featured in the 1999 video game “Wu-Tang: Shaolin Style.” Wu Wear stores were opened in the ’90s, and the line was sold at Macy’s, d.e.m.o., and Rich’s. Nike released a Wu-Tang Clan themed sneaker in 1999.
In the late ’80s, cousins Gary Grice, Robert Diggs, and Russell Jones formed the group Force of the Imperial Master (aka the All in Together Now Crew) and began recording under the aliases The Genius, Prince Rakeem/The Scientist, and The Specialist, respectively. The group became popular within the New York City rap scene and gained the attention of rapper Biz Markie. By 1991, Prince Rakeem and The Genius had signed with different record labels, with Prince Rakeem releasing the album “Ooh I Love You Rakeem” through Tommy Boy Records and The Genius releasing “Words from the Genius” through Cold Chillin’ Records. After they were dropped from their labels, Prince Rakeem began going by the moniker RZA and The Genius adopted the name GZA. The Specialist started using the stage name Ol’ Dirty Bastard. RZA teamed up with a rapper named Dennis Coles (later known as Ghostface Killah) to create a new hip hop group based on “Eastern philosophy picked up from kung fu movies, Five-Percent Nation teachings picked up on the New York streets, and comic books.” RZA and Ol’ Dirty Bastard decided on the name Wu-Tang Clan, naming the group after the 1983 martial arts film “Shaolin and Wu Tang.”
In 1993, Wu-Tang Clan gained a substantial underground following after independently releasing the single “Protect Ya Neck.” Loud/RCA agreed to sign the group while allowing the individual members to record solo projects with other labels. “Enter the Wu-Tang (36 Chambers)” was released on November 9, 1993, and it reached #41 on the “Billboard” 200 chart and #8 on the “Billboard” Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums chart. The album was certified 3× Platinum in the U.S., Platinum in Australia and the U.K., and Gold in Denmark, and the single “C.R.E.A.M.” reached #8 on the “Billboard” Hot Rap Songs chart and went Gold in the U.S. and U.K. The group’s second album, 1997’s “Wu-Tang Forever,” reached #1 on the “Billboard” 200 chart, Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums chart, Canadian Albums chart, New Zealand Albums chart, and UK Albums chart. The album was certified 4× Platinum in the U.S., 2× Platinum in Canada, and Gold in the U.K. The single “Triumph” peaked at #6 on the Hot Rap Songs chart and was certified Platinum in the U.S.
Next, the group released the 2000 album “The W,” which reached #5 on the “Billboard” 200 chart and #1 on the Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums chart and went Platinum in the U.S. and Gold in Canada, Germany, and the U.K. The single “Protect Ya Neck (The Jump Off)” reached #6 on the UK Singles chart and #9 on the Hot Rap Songs chart, and “Gravel Pit” was a top 10 hit on the Australian Urban chart, the Belgian Ultratop 50 Flanders chart, Official German Chart, Holland’s Eurochart Hot 100 Singles chart, Iceland’s Dagblaðið Vísir Top 20 chart, the Netherlands’ Dutch Top 40 and Single Top 100 charts, Scottish Singles Chart, Switzerland’s Schweizer Hitparade chart, the UK Singles chart, and UK Hip Hop/R&B chart. Their fourth album, 2001’s “Iron Flag,” reached #6 on the Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums chart and was certified Platinum in the U.S. The single “Uzi (Pinky Ring)” reached #16 on the Hot Rap Songs chart. Wu-Tang Clan lost Ol’ Dirty Bastard in November 2004 after he collapsed at their studio and passed away later that night at the age of 35, reportedly from an accidental drug overdose.
Three years after Ol’ Dirty Bastard’s death, Wu-Tang Clan released the album “8 Diagrams,” which reached #9 on the Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums chart. The single “The Heart Gently Weeps” was ranked #50 on “Rolling Stone” magazine’s list of “The 100 Best Songs of 2007.” The group wouldn’t release another album until 2014, and “A Better Tomorrow” reached #3 on the Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums chart. The seventh Wu-Tang Clan album, “Once Upon a Time in Shaolin,” was released in 2015, and the only copy was sold to Martin Shkreli for $2 million. In 2019, the group released the EP “Wu-Tang: Of Mics and Men.”
In 1998, Wu-Tang Clan earned a Grammy nomination for Best Rap Album for “Wu-Tang Forever.” They have received two American Music Award nominations, Favorite Rap/Hip-Hop Artist (1998) and Favorite Rap/Hip-Hop Band/Duo/Group (2008).