Emerging from Staten Island, New York, the Wu-Tang Clan revolutionized Hip Hop with a unique blend of raw, gritty lyrics and innovative beats that pulled from classic martial arts movies. Comprising of nine original members -- RZA, GZA, Ol' Dirty Bastard (or ODB), Method Man, Raekwon, Ghostface Killah, Inspectah Deck, U-God, and Masta Killa -- the collective steadily expanded to a family of subgroups and affiliates over time. One of the later inclusions, Cappadonna, would officially become part of the core group following ODB's unfortunate passing.

Wu-Tang's music often reflected the harsh realities of life in urban America, with many songs surrounding poverty, violence, and social injustice. Their lyrics are dense with slang, metaphors, and references to Five Percent Nation teachings, as well as intricate wordplay and storytelling abilities that quickly set them apart from their contemporaries.

Beyond the music, the Wu-Tang Clan built a vast cultural legacy that extended into fashion, with their distinctive W logo becoming a symbol of authenticity in the streetwear world. They also pioneered a unique business model where individual members pursued successful solo careers while contributing to the group's collective identity. Albums like Method Man's Tical, Raekwon's Only Built 4 Cuban Linx..., and GZA's Liquid Swords are classics that further cemented the group's rap dominance.

REVOLT decided to compile a ranking of official Wu-Tang albums, from the iconic debut, Enter the Wu-Tang (36 Chambers), to more recent efforts like Once Upon a Time in Shaolin, a near-mythical body of work that received international attention because of how it was created and released. Check it all out below.

8. The Saga Continues

The Saga Continues was a compilation album that featured all living members except U-God, which led to the group's name on project being titled as the simpler Wu-Tang. Produced by Mathematics, the album revisited the group's classic sound while incorporating more modern elements. Tracks like "People Say" and "Lesson Learn'd" – both of which featured frequent collaborator Redman – showcased Wu-Tang's ability to stay relevant in the ever-evolving Hip Hop landscape.

7. Once Upon a Time in Shaolin

Once Upon a Time in Shaolin is perhaps the most controversial and unique entry in the Wu-Tang Clan's discography. Released as a single copy, the album was recorded in secret over a six-year period and sold to the highest bidder as a valuable piece of art. Since the recipient -- later revealed to be Martin Shkreli -- was sidelined with legal issues, a lucky selection of fans and critics have been able to hear varying degrees of the album thanks to its current owner, PleaserDAO. Ultimately, Once Upon a Time in Shaolin was a striking challenge to industry norms, and its existence and the story behind it have contributed to the Wu-Tang mythos.

6. A Better Tomorrow

As the title made clear, A Better Tomorrow reflected Wu-Tang Clan's enduring legacy and their vision for the future. This album featured a mix of socially conscious lyrics and the group's signature style, with arguable standouts like "Ruckus in B Minor" and "Keep Watch" with Nathaniel. Although it received mixed reviews, A Better Tomorrow demonstrated the group's continued relevance and their ability to address contemporary issues through their music.

5. Iron Flag

Iron Flag saw the Wu-Tang Clan becoming increasingly experimental with new sounds and collaborations -- a continuation of what was found on its predecessor, The W. As a result, the album wasn't without its critiques, with some complaining about the inclusion of artists like Flavor Flav. Some speculated that the Public Enemy hype man served as a gap fill for ODB, who was completely missing from Iron Flag due to various legal issues. Cappadonna, who'd become a consistent contributor and then-unofficial member by that point, was also virtually nonexistent because of an apparent falling out with RZA. Nonetheless, tracks like "Uzi (Pinky Ring)," "Rules," and "Babies" became strong standouts from the project.

4. 8 Diagrams

Following a lengthy hiatus and ODB's death, the Wu-Tang Clan returned with 8 Diagrams, an album that divided fans, critics, and even the group's members. The project featured a more unconventional sound than what longtime fans were used to, with RZA incorporating live instrumentation and a diverse range of new influences. Tracks like "The Heart Gently Weeps," a genre-bending collaboration with Erykah Badu, Dhani Harrison, and John Frusciante, and the closing cut "Life Changes" highlighted a perceived willingness to evolve and explore new musical territories. While 8 Diagrams may not be universally beloved, it certainly showcased a fearless approach to music and the Wu-Tang's desire to innovate within Hip Hop.

3. The W

The W was a testament to the Wu-Tang Clan's resilience and adaptability. Despite internal conflicts and the pressure of following up on their previous successes, the group delivered an album that resonated with fans and critics alike. The album's singles, "Protect Ya Neck (The Jump Off)," "Gravel Pit," "I Can't Go To Sleep," and "Careful (Click, Click)" showcased their ability to innovate while staying true to their roots. The album had a darker, more somber tone, which perhaps reflected the group's experiences and growth.

2. Wu-Tang Forever

This was the album that solidified the Wu-Tang Clan as a permanent fixture within the culture. A lot was riding on the success of a sophomore release thanks to the impact of Enter the Wu-Tang (36 Chambers), and the idea of a double album is often considered a risky one. Upon its release, Wu-Tang Forever took every concern and obliterated them all, with standouts like “Reunited” and the groundbreaking "Triumph" highlighting the collective's lyrical prowess and intricate wordplay over unique production. While it was ambitious in scope, Wu-Tang Forever maintained the raw energy of their debut while expanding the collective’s overall landscape.

1. Enter the Wu-Tang (36 Chambers)

Wu-Tang Clan's debut album, Enter the Wu-Tang (36 Chambers), is not only a cornerstone of their discography, but also a monumental work in Hip Hop history. This album introduced the world to the gritty, raw sound of the Staten Island group, characterized by its minimalist beats, kung-fu samples, and the unique lyrical styles of its nine members. Tracks like "C.R.E.A.M." (from which its title spawned a universally accepted slang term for money), “Method Man,” “Can It All Be So Simple,” and "Protect Ya Neck" became bona fide anthems. The impact of Enter the Wu-Tang (36 Chambers) on the culture is immeasurable, which made it an indisputable classic that tops any ranking of the Wu-Tang's works.