RZA issues 30-day ultimatum to decide fate of Wu-Tang Clan album

Rap group's leader says they have to resolve their dispute with Raekwon, who has condemned new material as 'mediocre'

Wu-Tang Clan's leader RZA has issued a 30-day ultimatum for the hip-hop group's comeback album, announcing that if the group doesn't "come to terms" with their disaffected rapper Raekwon, A Better Tomorrow will either go unreleased or appear without one of the group's stars.

Wu-Tang Clan have already started taking pre-orders for A Better Tomorrow – which should not be confused with their "single-sale collector's item" Once Upon a Time in Shaolin – and have released a new single, Keep Watch. But despite RZA's plans to unite the entire hip-hop crew for a summer release, Raekwon has refused to participate in the album or the song, calling Keep Watch "mediocre shit".

"The album is slated to come out in July," RZA warned in a new interview with Sports Illustrated. "If we don't come to terms, I think 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."

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"I don't want the fans not to have this incredible music we've been working on for the last year," he added. "So that's going to be a tough decision. But we got about 30 days, I think."

Raekwon has yet to respond to RZA's most recent comments, although the rapper declared last week that he is "on strike" from the group. "It ain't the fact that I don't want to be there, because of course I want to be there," he told Rolling Stone. "But if we're there, we gotta do the best everything … I love my fans [and] I would never give them something that I feel is not a hit or a win."

RZA, he claims, is out of touch with modern hip-hop. "[He's] not in the music world 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."

The Wu-Tang Clan's last album, 8 Diagrams, was released in 2007. "It could've been stronger," Raekwon said at the time.


Sean Michaels

The GuardianTramp

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