Since the Wu-Tang Clan burst onto the scene in 1993, they have gone on to shape the hip-hop world. Originating in Staten Island, New York, the group was unique for its time in having such a large core membership. The original clan featured nine artists: founding members GZA and Ol' Dirty Bastard, along with RZA, Method Man, Raekwon, Ghostface Killah, U-God, Inspectah Deck and Masta Killa. They welcomed other MCs into their fold, giving flexibility to the collective that allowed spin-off groups to be formed as well as numerous solo-projects. Seemingly on a mission to create something that was commercial yet innovative and relevant to the day, Wu-Tang has become more than music, morphing into an all-encompassing life-force for the urban youth. Alongside the sound, there is a clothing line, computer game and a host of other Clan-endorsed products and projects. However, this should not draw away attention from the fact that the group's hip-hop started off as blazingly original, an uncompromisingly direct force retaining a dose of humour that succeeded in snaring in a global listenership. The collective's album sales went through the roof, and their music is continuously ranked by a range of critics in their best album polls. The Wu's inventive wordplay, crafted beats, samples and production led MTV to label them as the fifth greatest hip-hop group of all time.