If there’s one hang-up in the Wu-Tang’s attempt to release a new album – either A Better Tomorrow or that one album (literally), it’s safe to say that would be Raekwon.
RZA’s gone on record on more than one occasion saying the Chef hadn’t “come to the table yet” to join the rest of the Wu to work on the project. Sage adviser Popa Wu spoke up saying it might be related to money.
Now, Raekwon’s given Rolling Stone a full blast of what he says is going on. And, as a charged, emotional dude, Rae didn’t hold back at all, characterizing the music as “mediocre,” asserting that RZA’s out of touch with the current state of music while declaring himself “on strike” from all Wu business.
On creative differences with RZA:
“My thing is, yeah, he’s right, we’re on different pages when it comes to being creative because RZA, you’re not in the field no more. I’m still paying attention to what’s going on and an amazing group that’s got so much potential to be bigger than what they are if they just focus and come out with great music. On “Keep Watch,” you put this new young kid [Nathaniel] on there who nobody knows who he is – and I’m not taking shots at the kid – but I don’t even know who he is. That song is something that the crew didn’t have knowledge of, from what I’m being told. Dudes ain’t feeling good about it.”
His thoughts on “Keep Watch,” specifically:
“I hate it. I hate it. I don’t hate shit, but I hate that fuckin’ record. It ain’t the gunpowder that my brothers are spitting; it’s the production. And I ain’t shitting 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.”
On the money aspect:
“In order for Chef to work, the Chef contract has to be correct. It has to be a situation where I can say, “You know what? This is the best situation for me and my family.” That’s who I work for. I work for my family…It’s the same as being an athlete. I don’t give a fuck if it’s Kobe Bryant or Kevin Durant. They will not touch the floor if their managers or lawyers are saying, “Listen, shit ain’t right.” So therefore, I’m in a limbo situation. So yeah, you’re right. I am on strike. It ain’t the fact that I don’t want to be there.”
RZA’s past accolades clouding his present vision:
“RZA’s the type of dude where, in the Nineties, he ruled. Now it’s a new day. You’re not attached no more. 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.”
Chances he’ll be on the album:
“We at a two right now. It’s like climbing up a fuckin’ mountain if you got on slippers.”
That’s just the abridged version. I’d suggest reading the piece in full at Rolling Stone.
The Wu brethren typically do butt heads and don’t mind speaking their true feelings publicly. Still, they all tend to come around at some point. Let’s just hope Raekwon, RZA and other Clansmen find a way to work things out so all the Chambers are complete.