GZA, cousin of RZA and the spirit behind the exalted Wu Tang Clan, has of course left an impact on rap music that only a choice few have matched. Born Gary Grice, the 50 year-old had two passions in his childhood: nursery rhymes and science. He took off with the nursery rhymes and developed his love for them into some not-quite Mother Goose-appropriate rap skills. He joined on as a founding member of Wu Tang Clan, where he helped craft and guide the group, and went on to have an illustrious solo career.
As a side project, he began giving lectures at Harvard, MIT, Oxford, and more. He also launched Science Genius B.A.T.T.L.E.S. (Bringing Attention to Transforming, Teaching, and Learning Science), which helps New York public high school students learn science through hip-hop and rap. He’s led an interesting life, and he hasn’t forsaken his music career. His latest album,Dark Matter, will drop this year and is slated to be just as awesome as the rest of his catalog.