The original line-up of Wu-Tang Clan members include: RZA, GZA, Ol’ Dirty Bastard, Method Man, Raekwon, Ghostface Killah, Inspectah Deck, U-God, and Masta Killa. But it could have easily been Killah Priest replacing Masta Killa for that last slot.
According to an interview Killah Priest did with XXL, RZA was putting the final touches on the classic “Da Mystery of Chessboxin'” and he threw the last verse up for grabs between Masta Killa and Priest.
Both rappers competed with each other in a marathon studio session to see who could pen the deadliest verse for the track. Ultimately, Killah Priest fell asleep and Masta Killa came through in the end.
“I fell asleep, man,” he remembers. “It was me and Masta Killa writing and he jumped on it and he killed it. I was asleep. Me and him used to joke about it all the time.”
RZA had the beat on and everybody else was already on it. [RZA] was like, “[This last verse] is up in the air for whoever wants to lace this.” We were like, “We gotta make this. We gotta make this.” I don’t know if it was the last song or whatever but we said we gotta make it. So [Masta Killa] and I are writing, friendly competition, and we are just listening, vibing out, a lot of weed is being passed around. I didn’t smoke at the time but we were just chillin’. Time is going on and going on and it was getting late. Everybody had practically already left but we were still in there and I just dozed off. I was still up a little bit and I just heard [Masta Killa] go on the mic and just kill it. “Homicide is legal…” I’m thinking that, “This ain’t nothing.” I’ll just catch it on another end or catch something else. It just happened that he sparked it off. He just spit it and afterwards, he bounced it and then we listened to it and we were like, “Yo! That shit is hard!” and that was the end of it. I think RZA didn’t want anybody else on that joint.Killah Priest Doesn’t Regret Missing Out On Final Wu-Tang Clan Spot – XXL Mag
Despite not making it on the track’s final cut, Killah Priest would go to become one of the most heralded Wu affiliates; appearing on Gravediggaz’s “Diary of a Madman” and “Graveyard Chamber,” Ol’ Dirty Bastard’s “Don’t U Know,” “Snakes” and “Proteck Ya Neck II The Zoo” as well as “4th Chamber” and “B.I.B.L.E. (Basic Instructions Before Leaving Earth).”