Considered the ninth member of the Wu-Tang Clan, Masta Killa (b. Elgin Turner; aliases: High Chief, Noodles) recorded his first rhymes at the end of "Da Mystery of Chessboxin'" from the Clan's 1993 seminal debut, Enter the Wu-Tang (36 Chambers). He had never seriously written rhymes, let alone rap before then. However, under the tutelage of the GZA, he developed a steadily paced flow that accentuated his intellectual lyrics — although equally distinctive were his smooth voice and understated demeanor. Because Killa was incarcerated at the time, his closing verse on "Da Mystery of Chessboxin'" was his sole contribution to the album, but he always remained in the fold on the set of Wu-Tang solo records that ensued in the mid-'90s, including GZA's Liquid Swords, Raekwon's Only Built 4 Cuban Linx, and Ghostface Killah's Ironman. There was no questioning his status in the Clan after the release of their 1997 album, Wu-Tang Forever, where Killa contributed to numerous tracks, particularly his standout lines on the lead single, "Triumph."
Nonetheless, similar to the plight of Wu-Tang member Inspectah Deck, Killa worked on his solo material for many years before it would actually come out. After two more Wu-Tang full-lengths and a second string of Wu splinter projects, his solo career finally began with No Said Date, released via underground rap label Nature Sounds in 2004. Staying in-house with producers the RZA, Mathematics, and True Master, the album was one of the few Wu-related releases post-Wu-Tang Forever that received critical praise, particularly by Wu-Tang's loyal fan base. Killa returned in 2006 with Made in Brooklyn, working with a more diverse array of underground producers, including MF Doom, Bronze Nazareth, and the legendary Pete Rock. His third album arrived in 2012. Selling My Soul featured guest spots from Kurupt and Ol' Dirty Bastard, as well as production by 9th Wonder, Mathematics, and PF Cuttin. Another long gap followed before Killa released his fourth studio LP, Loyalty Is Royalty, in 2017. Wu-Tang members Cappadonna, Method Man, RZA, GZA, and Inspectah Deck joined other guests like Redman, Sean Price, Prodigy, and KXNG CROOKED on the album. ~ Cyril Cordor