Today, July 6, is the birthday of Inspectah Deck, a member of the legendary Wu-Tang Clan. The Brooklyn-born, Staten Island, N.Y.-raised MC is now 48 years of age.

Although he sometimes get lost in the shuffle when it comes to Wu-Tang lore, this nimble rhymer was never one to be triffled with on the mic. Since bursting onto the scene on the Staten Island crew's breakout Enter the Wu-Tang (36 Chambers) single, "Protect Ya Neck," Deck has been a memorable mic presence.

"I smoke on the mic like 'Smoking Joe' Frazier/The hell-raiser, raisin' hell with the flavor/Terrorize the jam like troops in Pakistan/Swinging through your town like your neighborhood Spider-Man," he raps on the first verse on "Protect Ya Neck," which is literally the first Wu-Tang rap verse heard by the world at large.

After years of recording LPs with Wu-Tang and appearing on group member solo releases like (Method Man's Tical (1994), Ghostface Killah's Ironman (1996), etc.), Inspectah Deck dropped off his debut album in 1997. Titled Uncontrolled Substance, the 17-track effort featured just about all of the top-notch lyricism fans had come to expect from the veteran rhymer. It was the first of three solo LPs he would release in his career, including 2003's The Movement and 2010's Manifesto.

Continuing to try new things, Deck joined forces with boston-based rap duo,  7L & Esoteric, in 2013 to form a new hip-hop super group by the name of Czarface in 2013. The clique dropped their eponymous debut LP in February of that year, have released four projects since.

Keeping his pen game strong, Deck appeared on Wu-Tang Clan's Mathematics-produced album, The Saga Continues in 2017, rapping on  "Lesson Learn'd." More than 25 years in the game, and Inspectah Deck shows no signs of slowing down. Salute.

Happy Birthday, Inspectah Deck!

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