Trouble In Wu Paradise
As amped as Wu Tang fans must be to know that eight out of the nine original Wu members (R.I.P Ol' Dirty Bastard) recently came together to make a fifth group album, there seems to be trouble brewing within the Clan. After the Shaolin set settled on a Dec. 4 release date for their long-delayed "The 8 Diagrams" comeback, Ghostface Killah -- who coincidentally is set to release his solo project, "The Big Doe Rehab," on the same day -- publicly expressed how displeased he was with the overlapping dates.
Steve Rifkind, who originally signed Wu Tang to Loud Records and is releasing their upcoming effort, told Jaded Insider last week that he and the group decided to push the date to Dec. 11 out of respect for Ghost and to avoid conflict. "Ghost is family. He's been the most consistent Wu member – he's put out a record every year for the past three or four years. So, of course we decided to push our date," Rifkind told J.I.
But just as that incident was cleared, fellow Wu-member Raekwon continued to air the turmoil within the Clan on the MissInfo.TV blog last night (Nov. 7th), claiming producer and Wu member RZA is ignoring the other members' opinions in terms of artistic direction.
"RZA wants to create too much of this orchestra, piano … he's trying to do too much of this guitar sh--, and our whole sh-- is we don't want that and our fans don't know us for that. He's like a hip-hop hippie. I'm not cosigning. I'm not going to allow you to wash me out," says Raekwon.
"I got a lot of respect for RZA, but right now his ears aren't where the team wants them to be," continues Rae. "Bottom line, it's a lot of business that's f*cking up the creativity. When you're dealing with two beefs...money and art, that's serious. You can't work for something you can't trust."
Raekwon adds that he, like Ghostface, hasn't been paid for the Rock the Bells tour the group embarked on earlier this year and that if "8 Diagrams" doesn't get good reviews once released, which he is anticipating, he plans on re-teaming with the Clan -- minus RZA -- and producing a whole new set with a tentative title of "Shaolin V. Wu Tang."
J.I. spoke to RZA yesterday, and although he declined to address specific beefs, this is what he had to say:
"My idea with this album was to have an hour of your day be different -- you go into this other world of beats, hardcore lyrics and imagery of hip-hop," he said. "I wanted the listener to be stimulated by the music. I don't know if everybody agreed with it. Everybody has their own opinion. This is in my vision at the end of the day."
An anonymous source close to Wu Tang told J.I. that, regardless of what Raekwon is alleging, it is "all a publicity stunt. The f*cked up part is that RZA didn't eat off of '8 Diagrams.' He made sure everybody else ate and left himself out."