Hulu’s “Wu-Tang: An American Saga” takes viewers back to the ’90s to tell the origin story of the influential rap group.
The series centers around Bobby Diggs — better known as founding Wu-Tang member RZA — and his struggles with violence and drugs growing up on Staten Island, which heavily influenced his music. But it wouldn’t be Wu-Tang without the rest of his clan.
Focused on the formation of the East Coast rap group behind four gold and platinum studio albums, the series brings viewers through the relationships Bobby forms with many of the original members: GZA, Ol’ Dirty Bastard, Method Man, Raekwon, Ghostface Killah, Inspectah Deck, U-God and Masta Killa. Several of them, including Method Man, RZA and Ghostface Killah, served as executive producers and consultants on the series.
"Wu-Tang" picks up with action, bringing you into the middle of a family drug war between crews in the Staten Island neighborhoods of Stapleton and Park Hill. If you’re in need of a cheat sheet to follow along, here’s a guide to who’s who in the main cast.
Ashton Sanders as Bobby Diggs (RZA)
Sanders, who starred in 2016’s "Moonlight," appears in the leading role as Bobby Diggs. Diggs, aka RZA, is one of the founding members of the Wu-Tang Clan. He spends much of his early scenes mixing tracks at home and sitting behind the chess table. "Hip-hop is a battle game," RZA told The New York Times in 2007. "Chess is a battle."
T.J. Atoms as Ol’ Dirty Bastard (ODB)
The newcomer previously appeared in guest roles in "Orange Is the New Black," "Blue Bloods" and "You," but makes his major-role debut in the series as ODB. Atoms, a rapper, plays the late Wu-Tang Clan member known for his erratic behavior, from run-ins with the law to grabbing the mic at the 1998 Grammys. ODB died at age 35 in Manhattan, in 2004.
Joey Bada$$ as Inspectah Deck
Continuing Hulu’s trend of casting rappers to play, well, rappers, Brooklyn-born Joey Bada$$ ("Devastated," "Paper Trail$") portrays Inspectah Deck.
Dave East as Method Man
Method Man (the youngest member of the Wu-Tang Clan) is portrayed by actor/rapper Dave East, of East Harlem. Method Man, also an actor, can be seen in HBO’s "The Deuce" (2017-2018), "The Last O.G.," and the upcoming drama "Once Upon a Time in Staten Island."
Johnell Young as Gary E. Grice (GZA)
You may recognize Young from the 2017 Tupac flick "All Eyez On Me." The actor steps into the role of GZA (also known as The Genius), who is a founding member of Wu-Tang. GZA is known as one of the group’s sharpest lyricists. Turn to "Clan in da Front" for proof.
Shameik Moore as Raekwon
Moore, known for his role in the Baz Luhrmann series "The Get Down," appears as Raekwon. The rapper released a solo album ("Only Built 4 Cuban Linx …") in 1995, shortly after the formation of Wu-Tang.
Siddiq Saunderson as Ghostface Killah
Saunderson previously appeared in BET’s "Boomerang." He plays Ghostface Killah (born Dennis Coles), who has released 12 solo albums since making his debut in the rap scene as a Wu-Tang Clan member.
ON TV: New episodes of "Wu-Tang: An American Saga" are released every "Wu-Wednesday" on Hulu.