The house that Wu built is quickly crumbling. Today (April 17th), Raekwon explains his rift with RZA, says he’s on a strike from Wu-Tang Clan and more in a recent interview with Rolling Stone.
Yesterday (April 16th), RZA told VladTV that one of the holdups with Wu Tang Clan’s 20th anniversary album A Better Tomorrow is Raekwon’s unavailability. According to RZA he has not had a chance to talk to The Chef, a claim that Raekwon calls a “bold-faced lie”:
I don’t know why he said he didn’t speak to me, because he did speak to me. We spoke about two weeks ago. It was me, him, his brother and business partner Devine and we talked about why I’m not there right now. They know where I’m at and at the end of the day, him saying he didn’t speak to me is a bold-faced lie.
Throughout the interview, Raekwon stated that one of the biggest reasons for his unavailability is his displeasure in the music that is being made for the album. After Rae alleges that other members of Wu Tang Clan feel the same way, he specifically discusses his displeasure with the latest single from A Better Tomorrow, “Keep Watch”:
I hate it. I hate it. I don’t hate shit, but I hate that f*ckin’ record. It ain’t the gunpowder that my brother is spitting; it’s the production. And I ain’t sh*tting on the producer because he’s one of our soldiers. But if it ain’t where it need to be… It’s 20 years later. We talkin ’bout a whole new generation is sitting here representin’ and making fiery shit and you telling me that we comin out with some mediocre shit? That ain’t part of our plan.
An additional, and possibly primary, reason for Raekwon’s lack of involvement in the new project is because he feels his contract is not satisfactory. While not intentionally attempting to holdup the project, Raekwon states that until his contract his renegotiated, he’s “on strike”:
It’s the same as being an athlete. I don’t give a f*ck if it’s Kobe Bryant or Kevin Durant. They will not touch the floor if their managers or lawyers are saying, “Listen, sh*t ain’t right.” So therefore, I’m in a limbo situation. So yeah, you’re right. I am on strike.
An surprisingly revelatory aspect of the interview is Rae’s allusion that A Better Tomorrow being Wu Tang’s final album was RZA’s idea and not a general consensus amongst the group members:
RZA’s saying this is Wu-Tang’s last album? OK. Cool. That’s what it is? You the Abbot? It’s the Abbot show? Aiight, then it’s the last fuckin’ album. I’m cool with that. But at the same time, you’re not going to have me be attached to something that’s broke. Because if it’s already broke, why fix it?
Raekwon later stated that RZA is “not the top producer no more” and should be open to inviting more producers into the project’s production.
Check out the full interview here.