Why the New Wu-Tang Clan Album Should Not Happen

Photo by Katya Horner
Wu-Tang Clan at House of Blues in 2012
As of late, Wu-Tang Clan leader RZA has been acting with a single-minded purpose: making a new Wu-Tang album happen, against all odds. He's already titled it A Better Tomorrow and dropped a couple of singles to promote the album; even as projected release dates have come and gone, he's admitted that he's struggled to get the other eight members in a room together.

Nominally, this would be get me excited. Even though Wu-Tang's last few collaborative efforts have been mixed affairs, the individual members involved have been firing on all cylinders for several years now. However, there are some really good reasons this album should not happen at all.

Photo by Marco Torres
Raekwon's Comments
Raekwon is one of the most talented members of Wu-Tang, so his opinion carries some serious weight when it comes to recording an album. Both he and Ghostface Killah have expressed reluctance to record a new record piloted by RZA, as well as stating their personal dissatisfaction with his recent production work, especially on Wu-Tang's last album 8 Diagrams.

While Ghost seems to have softened his stance, the Chef remains unmoved. In a recent interview, he put his foot down and said flat out that he wouldn't do an album with RZA completely shaping the direction of the product.

RZA is unbending on his role as the leader of Wu-Tang and the architect of the Wu's sound. It seems unlikely he would bend to Rae's will on this, which means it's unlikely we'd hear much of the Chef on a new record. Ghost's contributions to A Better Tomorrow have also been described as very minimal.

Without Ghostface or Raekwon completely on board, what's the point? I would never want to hear a Wu-Tang album without the two of them.

Photo by Jeremy Martin
GZA's Comments
While GZA apparently has no issues contributing, it's obvious his heart is not in it. His contributions to the recent Wu-Tang singles were weak and unmotivated. His focus has been on his own Dark Matter project for years now, and he even copped to not being able to write given the rowdy environment of the recording sessions for A Better Tomorrow.

Wu-Tang should not do an album if their hearts aren't 100 percent in it. That was the issue with early-'00s releases like Iron Flag. Given GZA's importance to the project, why go through with the record if he cannot commit fully?

Story continues on the next page.

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I wanted to be mad before reading this, but... You have a point. Both 2010's Wu Massacre and Ghostface Killah's recent concept album both fell exceptionally short of expectations. And don't get me started on U God. These days, I find that listening to cats like Jay Electronica, MF Doom, Ill Bill, and Action Bronson have filled a void in my hip hop regiment that the Wu used to occupy. I think GZA's Dark Matter is the only foreseeable Wu project on my radar, in the future. I will always hold the Wu Tang Clan in high regard, but you either die the hero, or you become Cypress Hill and the Kottonmouth Kings...

BobbyFreshpants topcommenter

I thought Wu-Tang were for the children? The children are getting hungry!

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