Artist News

RZA gives Raekwon 30 days to end Wu-Tang recording strike

By | Published on Friday 25 April 2014

Wu-Tang Clan

Wu-Tang leader RZA has given the group’s Raekwon 30 days to fall into line and record his parts for the group’s new album, ‘A Better Tomorrow’. Failure to do so, says the producer, may result in the entire project being scrapped.

As previously reported, as well as releasing a single copy album that will tour art galleries before being sold off to the highest bidder, Wu-Tang Clan are also set to release the long-awaited ‘A Better Tomorrow’ through more traditional means this year.

However, completion on the album has been delayed due to Raekwon going “on strike” over issues with his contract and a dislike for the musical direction RZA has taken with the new record.

“I’m in a limbo situation”, he told Rolling Stone recently. “I am on strike. It ain’t the fact that I don’t want to be there. Because of course I want to be there. But if we’re there, we gotta do the best everything. We gotta work ten times harder, because that’s what I’m signing in for. I’m not about listening to somebody that’s not an artist telling me what the fuck they think is hot”.

The person who’s “not an artist”, just to clarify, is RZA. Raekwon explained his current opinion of the producer thus: “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 niggas that is playing the game. I’m always out in the field and finding out what’s going on with the new. Period”.

Responding earlier this week, RZA said that he was still working on getting Raekwon involved with the record, telling Rolling Stone: “We did speak six, seven days ago and he gave me his demands, which we presented to the company. If they can be reached, they can be reached. If they can’t, they can’t. And if they can’t, then we have to re-evaluate what we’re going to do. But there was no lying there”.

However, subsequent to those interviews things have taken a new turn, as RZA has issued Raekwon with an ultimatum to end his strike within 30 days. If he does, the producer said, that could mean that the album release is cancelled entirely.

“The album is slated to come out in July”, RZA told Sports Illustrated. “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. I would never want to put out a Wu-Tang album without every member available. At the same time, I don’t want the fans to not have this incredible music we’ve been working on for the last year. So that’s going to be a tough decision, but we have about 30 days to make that decision and come to that conclusion”.

Let’s hope Raekwon comes around, because this sounds like the perfect environment in which to make great art.