On this date in 1970, the Wu-Tang Clan’s Jamel Irief was born in Brooklyn, New York and as fate would have it, morphed into being the most inconspicuous member of the legendary Wu-Tang Clan.

Many emcees, DJs, and entertainers, in general, have an almost miraculous story of how they got on, but Masta Killa was ushered into the game on one of the most highly anticipated albums of 1993 and he didn’t even try.

“I never performed until we launched Wu Tang. That was my first time as an MC. I have history since elementary school doing talent shows. Breaking and shit like that. I was that kind of dude. I loved to pop. That was me. Always doing shit around music. As far as with a mic in my hand, Wu-Tang was the first time. There never was next level for me. It was Wu-Tang and that was it. I never tried to get on. Never looked for any of this, because it was never my vision. I’m kinda like hanging out with GZA, and just stumbled across some shit. “Oh word?” And I was like, “Maybe I can do this.” When I was young going to clubs, I was just hanging out. I never went in there like I was trying to be an MC. I never tried to get a record deal, or pass out tapes. It’s just been Wu-Tang and I’m here.”

The East New York-bred emcee has dropped four solo projects, including his critically acclaimed debut album No Said Date.

Happy degree day to the God Jamel Irief on his physical nativity date! Peace!