1997 was a major year in hip-hop. The Notorious B.I.G. dominated the charts following the release of his posthumous second album, while in many ways achieving the pinnacle of what it means to be a solo MC. 1997 also saw the Wu-Tang Clan—often hailed as the greatest hip-hop collective—release their second album. The Clan titled this release Wu-Tang Forever.
It’s been 20 years and our love affair with B.I.G. proves Life After Death was an appropriate album title. So how is the Wu-Tang Clan’s claim to immortality holding up? Their music still sounds fresh and has proved as influential as any of their peers. For example, Kanye West credits Wu-Tang as an influence in his early production, Childish Gambino got his moniker from the online Wu-Tang Name Generator, and Drake went so far as naming a song “Wu-Tang Forever.” In honor of Wu-Tang Forever’s anniversary, we reflect on the legendary group’s history and spotlight 20 Wu bangers that should endure as long as hip-hop is played.