Masta Killa

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Masta Killa
Masta Killa in Paris 2013.jpg
Masta Killa performing in Paris.
Background information
Birth name Elgin Turner
Also known as Jamel Irief, Noodles
Born (1969-08-18) August 18, 1969 (age 46)[1]
Origin East New York, Brooklyn, New York City
Genres Hip hop
Occupation(s) Rapper
Years active 1992–present
Labels Nature Sounds
Associated acts Wu-Tang Clan, Julez Dirt

Jamel Irief (born Elgin Turner; August 18, 1969), better known by his stage name Masta Killa, is an American rapper and member of the Wu-Tang Clan.[2] Though one of the lesser-known members of the group (he was featured on only one track on their 1993 debut album Enter the Wu-Tang (36 Chambers)), he has been prolific on Clan group albums and solo projects since the mid-1990s. He released his debut album No Said Date in 2004 to positive reviews, and has since released two additional albums.


Masta Killa at Budapest Park

Born in Brooklyn, New York, Masta Killa was the last member to join the Wu-Tang Clan; consequently he did not appear on the group's debut single "Protect Ya Neck". He was also the only member who was not a rapper at the time of the group's formation. He was extensively mentored by the GZA during his early days with the group, evident in the similar flow they both employ. He derived his rap name from the 1978 kung fu film Shaolin Master Killer, (Shao Lin san shi liu fang). Masta only appeared on one track on the Wu-Tang Clan's first album, in the closing verse to "Da Mystery of Chessboxin". Masta only narrowly made the track, and was almost left off in favor of Killah Priest. In fact, on the No Said Date DVD, Killah Priest claims that he and Masta Killa were in competition for the spot on "Da Mystery of Chessboxin'", and while Killah Priest fell asleep, Masta Killa stayed up all night writing and Killah Priest woke up the next morning to Masta Killa's verse. Since he was a developing rapper at the time Enter the Wu-Tang (36 Chambers) was being written, his verse in "Da Mystery of Chessboxin" was the only one that could hold up with the other, more experienced Wu-Tang members.[4]

During the first round of solo projects, he made several appearances on tracks now considered Wu-Tang classics, such as "Winter Warz", "Duel of the Iron Mic", and "Glaciers of Ice". His flow at the time attracted attention for being very slow and laid-back, in contrast to the more manic, forceful styles of members like Inspectah Deck and Ghostface Killah. Masta Killa is also the Clansman fondest of Chinese martial arts imagery. In 1997, the Wu-Tang Clan's second album Wu-Tang Forever saw Masta become a mainstay in the group's line-up with regular appearances throughout the double album.

Masta Killa was the last member to release a solo project, after it was delayed for several years and finally released in June 2004 with the title No Said Date; critically acclaimed, it became independent label Nature Sounds' best-selling album, notable for featuring every core member of the Wu-Tang Clan on the album after a period in the group's history that lacked unity. His second album, Made in Brooklyn, was released on August 8, 2006, and includes production from Pete Rock and MF Doom. "Ringing Bells", the Bronze Nazareth-produced lead single from the album, was released in March 2006. Also in 2006, Masta Killa became the latest in a succession of hip hop artists to endorse PETA, and participated in an advertisement for the organization to promote a vegetarian lifestyle.[5]

In December 2012 he released his third album titled Selling My Soul, an LP with heavy soul grooves and guests including Kurupt and the late Ol' Dirty Bastard. The album was intended as a precursor to his long-awaited album Loyalty is Royalty, first announced in 2010 and unreleased as of 2015.[6][7]

Personal life[edit]

Masta Killa is known for being the most quiet and mysterious member of the Wu-Tang Clan, and little is still known about him. He does not give many independent interviews. On the Wu-Tang Corp. website, Masta Killa stated, "I know I seem serious and quiet to a lot of the fans. That's because I take my work seriously. It's not a game. The Clan and I work hard to give you the best."[8]

In his personal downtime he listens to Gladys Knight, Patti LaBelle, Barry White, Parliament-Funkadelic, and Ohio Players.[9]

Masta Killa is a vegetarian, as is RZA and GZA of the Wu-Tang Clan.[10]

Moniker and aliases[edit]

Masta Killa gets his name from the 1978 kung fu movie Shaolin Master Killer, also known as the 36th Chamber of Shaolin. He is often referred to as Jamel Ari.[11]


Studio albums[edit]

List of studio albums, with selected chart positions
Title Album details Peak chart positions
No Said Date 136 31
Made in Brooklyn 176 42 23
Selling My Soul
"—" denotes a title that did not chart, or was not released in that territory.

Live albums[edit]

List of live albums, with selected chart positions
Title Album details Peak chart positions
Masta Killa Live
"—" denotes a title that did not chart, or was not released in that territory.


List of singles, with selected chart positions and certifications, showing year released and album name
Title Year Peak chart positions Album
US Rap
"No Said Date" 2003 No Said Date
"Digi Warfare"
(featuring U-God and RZA)
(featuring Raekwon and Ghostface Killah)
(featuring Allah Real)
"Ringing Bells" 2006 Made in Brooklyn
"It's What It Is"
(featuring Raekwon and Ghostface Killah)
"Brooklyn King"
"Iron God Chamber"
(featuring U-God, RZA and Method Man)
"Street Corner"
(featuring Inspectah Deck and GZA)
"Things Just Ain't The Same" 2010 Selling My Soul
"—" denotes a recording that did not chart or was not released in that territory.

Guest appearances[edit]

List of non-single guest appearances, with other performing artists, showing year released and album name
Title Year Other artist(s) Album
"Da Mystery of Chessboxin" 1993 Wu-Tang Clan Enter the Wu-Tang (36 Chambers)
"Snakes" 1995 Ol' Dirty Bastard, Killah Priest, RZA, Buddha Monk Return to the 36 Chambers: The Dirty Version
"Glaciers of Ice" Raekwon, Ghostface Killah, Blue Raspberry, 60 Second Assassin Only Built 4 Cuban Linx…
"Wu-Gambinos" Raekwon, Ghostface Killah, Method Man, RZA
"Duel of the Iron Mic" GZA, Ol' Dirty Bastard, Inspectah Deck Liquid Swords
"Assassination Day" Ghostface Killah, Inspectah Deck, RZA Ironman
"Winter Warz" Ghostface Killah, Raekwon, Cappadonna, U-God
"Execute Them" 1997 Wu-Tang Clan, Streetlife Wu-Tang Killa Bees: The Swarm
"5 Stars" Killarmy Silent Weapons for Quiet Wars
"Illusions" Sunz of Man The Last Shall Be First
"Spazzola" 1998 Method Man, Inspectah Deck, Killa Sin, Raekwon, Streetlife Tical 2000: Judgement Day
"Element Of Surprise" La the Darkman, U-God Heist of the Century
"Resurrection" Public Enemy He Got Game
"Mantis" 1999 RZA, Tekitha Bobby Digital in Stereo
"Friction" Inspectah Deck Uncontrolled Substance
"The Table" Raekwon Immobilarity
"High Price, Small Reward" GZA Beneath the Surface
"1112" GZA, Killah Priest, Njeri Earth
"Fast Shadow" Wu-Tang Clan Ghost Dog: The Way of the Samurai
"The Man" Superb
"Wu Banga 101" 2000 Ghostface Killah, GZA, Raekwon, Cappadonna Supreme Clientele
"Mortal Kombat" 2001 Afu-Ra Body of the Life Force
"Eyes A Bleed (RZA Remix)" Bounty Killer Wu-Chronicles, Chapter 2
"Glocko Pop" RZA, Method Man, Streetlife Digital Bullet
"Brooklyn Babies" RZA, The Force M.D.s
"Fam (Members Only)" 2002 GZA, RZA Legend of the Liquid Sword
"Grits" 2003 RZA, Allah Real Birth of a Prince
"The Whistle" RZA, Prodigal Sunn
"Koto Chotan" RZA, Tash Mahogany
"Always NY" Mathematics, U-God, Inspectah Deck, Buddah Bless, Icarus Da Don Love, Hell & Right
"Musketeers of Pig Alley" Raekwon, Inspectah Deck The Lex Diamond Story
"Chains" 2004 R.A. The Rugged Man, Killah Priest Die, Rugged Man, Die
"Black Mamba" Wu-Tang Clan Kill Bill Vol. 2
"Just The Thought" 2005 Prefuse 73, GZA Surrounded By Silence
"USA" Mathematics, Ghostface Killah, Todd, Panama P.I., Eyeslow, Hot Flamez The Problem
"Break That" Mathematics, Ol' Dirty Bastard, U-God
"Living Like Dat" Afu-Ra State of the Arts
"Unstoppable Threats" GZA, DJ Muggs, Prodigal Sunn Grandmasters
"9 Milli Bros." 2006 Ghostface Killah, Wu-Tang Clan Fishscale
"Sound Of The Slums" Inspectah Deck The Resident Patient
"Ringing Bells" Nature Sounds Natural Selection
"King Toast Queen" 2007 Mathematics, U-God, Buddha Bless, Solomon Childs Mathematics Presents Wu-Tang Clan & Friends Unreleased
"Wu Banga" (Remix) Mathematics, GZA, Ghostface Killah, Raekwon, Cappadonna
"In The Name Of Allah" Cilvaringz, Killah Priest, RZA, Shabazz The Disciple I
"Killa Lipstick" Ghostface Killah, Method Man The Big Doe Rehab
"The PJ's" 2008 Pete Rock, Raekwon NY's Finest
"Change The Game" The BossFather's, Cappadonna, AB Money Future Legends
"Eat Ya Food" Brooklyn Zu, Killah Priest Chamber #9, Verse 32
"Pencil" GZA, RZA Pro Tools
"Fire" 2009 Cappadonna Slang Prostitution
"We Will Rob You" Raekwon, GZA, Slick Rick Only Built 4 Cuban Linx... Pt. II
"Kiss The Ring" Raekwon, Inspectah Deck
"Remarkable Timing" 2010 60 Second Assassin, M Eighty, Popa Wu Remarkable Timing
"The Road" 2011 Bronze Nazareth, Inspectah Deck School For The Blindman
"Loyalty" 9th Wonder, Halo The Wonder Years
"Drivin Round" 2012 Ghostface Killah, Sheek Louch, GZA, Erykah Badu Wu Block
"I Declare War" 2013 Ghostface Killah Twelve Reasons to Die
"Revenge Is Sweet" Ghostface Killah, Killa Sin
"Murder Spree" Ghostface Killah, U-God, Inspectah Deck, Killa Sin
"Pussy Whistle" Kurupt Money, Bitches, Power
"King's Indian Attack" Bronze Nazareth, Cappadonna & DJ Switch Terminal Illness Part 2
"Shorty" Mathematics, Cappadonna & JNY The Answer


  1. ^ Cyril Cordor. "Masta Killa Biography". AllMusic. Retrieved June 24, 2015. 
  2. ^ "Masta Killa on MSN Music". MSN Music. Archived from the original on December 7, 2013. Retrieved August 19, 2010. 
  3. ^ Noah Fowle (August 2006). "MVRemix Urban Interviews - Masta Killa". Retrieved August 19, 2010. 
  4. ^ Adam Bernard (October 3, 2006). "RapReview Feature for October 3, 2006 - Masta Killa Interview". Retrieved April 4, 2014. 
  5. ^ "Masta Killa: Vegetarian Testimonial". Retrieved June 24, 2015. 
  6. ^ Steven Horowitz (October 22, 2012). "Masta Killa Announces New Album "Selling My Soul," Due December 11th". HipHopDX. Retrieved June 25, 2015. 
  7. ^ Paul Arnold (March 21, 2010). "Masta Killa Preps "Live," "Loyalty Is Royalty" & "Soul & Substance"". HipHopDX. Retrieved June 25, 2015. 
  8. ^ "Masta Killa Biography at Wu-Tang Corp. - The Official Site of the Wu-Tang Clan". Wu-Tang Corp. Retrieved April 24, 2014. 
  9. ^ Michael Ivey. "Masta Killa - Lion Heart Pt.2 - Interview". Nobody Smiling. Archived from the original on April 24, 2008. Retrieved June 24, 2015. 
  10. ^ Reskin, Lauren (June 16, 2010). "Meatless in Miami: Vegetarians in Popular Song". Miami New Times. Retrieved August 19, 2010. 
  11. ^ Michael Ivey. "Masta Killa - Lion Heart Pt.1 - Interview". Nobody Smiling. Archived from the original on August 13, 2006. Retrieved June 24, 2015. 
  12. ^ Mason, Stewart (2004-06-01). "No Said Date - Masta Killa : Songs, Reviews, Credits, Awards". AllMusic. Retrieved 2013-07-12. 
  13. ^ Rovi (2006-08-08). "Made in Brooklyn - Masta Killa : Songs, Reviews, Credits, Awards". AllMusic. Retrieved 2013-07-12. 
  14. ^ Jeffries, David (2012-12-11). "Selling My Soul - Masta Killa : Songs, Reviews, Credits, Awards". AllMusic. Retrieved 2013-07-12. 
  15. ^ "iTunes - Music - Masta Killa: Live by Masta Killa". 2010-04-13. Retrieved 2013-07-12. 

External links[edit]