The public discussion between Wu’s mastermind and the Shaolin Masters’ emcee Raekwon keeps developing while everyone waits for the new production to surface and see light – hopefully.
Two decades after the release of Wu-Tang’s debut Enter the Wu-Tang (36 Chambers) the clan decided to honor its history and release a 2014 album titled A Better Tomorrow as a 20th year-anniversary treat to music listeners all over. From this record two songs have been released, one last summer titled Family Reunion and Keep Watch about a month ago.
Things weren’t going so well inside Wu’s internal machinery; last November this was obvious when producer RZA made public his concerns about Raekwon’s dedication to the clan, admitting that the emcee skipped several recording sessions, to which he (Raekwon) responded by questioning this claims and commenting about some business issues that needed to be solved. No surprise here as by summer last year RZA said he was optimistic about the released single Family Reunion while Raekwon said that the rest of the clan “knew that was no single” (via Consequence of Sound).
Even before the reunion was on their plans – since their last record 8 Diagrams – RZA has been in a dispute with Ghostface Killah and Raekwon who disapproved of the “adult, progressive approach” and live instrumentation used by the producer on the 2007 LP. To this, Wu Tang’s mastermind responded
I felt really personally hurt after 8 Diagrams, that was my brothers and they was shitting on it. I remember, it was all of us in a room, and I said, ‘I will never again step up and do business with you.’ Then the 20th anniversary came up. I said, ‘I gotta try it again. I’m pushing. I’m pushing.
The personal views of both members regarding the direction of the new record don’t seem to be meeting anyway for now; on a passionate interview with Rolling Stone Raekwon commented about how he felt about the new record and the direction it was taking.
The bottom line: I’m not happy with that. I’m not happy with the direction of the music and I’m not happy with how dudes is treating dudes’ business. What are we giving the fans? What are we giving the people that help us be here? If it don’t feel right, I can’t be fake. And I’m not the only one who feels like that. Fans want the best and I have to sit here and work that hard to give them the best. Period.
On this interview he also claimed to be “on strike” as RZA was too off music now days and the music world and that legal and contract issues needed to be settled before he went back to the recording studio. “As far as the RZA, I respect him, I love him – the love ain’t gonna go anywhere – but you’re not in the music world no more, so to me, you need to take a backseat and respect the n—as that is playing the game.” Raekwon added, “It’s like being a coach and you won rings back in the day, but now your team is in ninth place. It’s time for a new fucking game plan.”
The public discussion doesn’t end here as recently RZA responded to the last claims of the emcee on an interview with Hot 97 (via Rolling Stone) where he clearly showed intentions of reaching an agreement for the record to see light. However, he also said he gave Raekwon a 30-day grace period to decide whether he wants to be on A Better Tomorrow or not and that things need to be solved face-to-face: “We can call it arguing or we can call it building,” RZA continued
The album is slated to come out in July, if we don’t come to terms within the next 30 days, then this will have to be an album without Raekwon or an album that never sees the light of day. That’s a very strong potential.
This is how Wu Tang’s inner-verbal sparring has been developing for now. Stay tuned for more as things continue to develop.