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The 25 Best A&Rs in Hip-Hop History

9. RZA

Title(s): Founder of Wu-Tang Productions
Artists They Worked With: Wu-Tang Clan

The Wu-Tang Clan—founded by The RZA—was largely composed of his friends and family. But that shouldn’t be cause for an asterisk on his ranking as one of hip-hop greatest ears for talent. After all, producers more successful than the RZA failed by picking those closest to them (witness Run-DMC’s efforts on behalf of The Famlee, or The Afros, or Hollis Crew, or SeriousLeeFine).

With the Wu-Tang Clan, The RZA resurrected his own career and that of his cousin, Gary Grice, aka The Genius, aka The GZA. He loosed Ol’ Dirty Bastard on the world. He corralled Method Man, Raekwon, and Ghostface Killa. The lackluster solo career of Inspeckta Deck was a true shame, because for the Wu he was often first in the batting order.

After the initial five year run of the Wu, RZA’s best efforts were in the world of film scoring. But RZA’s roster of talent continues to be relevant, even today.

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