The group is one of the most lauded collectives in hip hop, and has two new albums on the way — A Better Tomorrow and The Wu-Once Upon a Time in Shaolin(the latter of which will be sold as a single-copy collectors item) — yet internal struggles between Raekwon and RZA are dimming what should be a celebratory time for the Staten Island group.
In a new Rolling Stone interview, Rae responded to RZA's claims that the two haven't spoken (they had a meeting recently, according to Rae), and got to the root of his issue with the Wu leader. "We are at creative differences because at the end of the day, I want to win," Rae said. "I’m used to being a winner. Being that I feel the team is being compromised by his so-called 'logic' of making music, I have a problem with that because I love my fans. I would never want to give my fans anything other than the best. So when we’re sitting there discussing the creative process of making a great album for the fans, I’m not going to never settle for less. I’m not the only one [in the group] that feels this way too."
Getting even more candid on the discrepancy, the Chef said that RZA is simply out of touch with what Wu fans really want when it comes to A Better Tomorrow.
Needless to say, he's not very satisfied with the project. "This s--- is not right. It’s not making us give the fans the best that we can give them," he continued. "So of course we have a problem with that. It’s like coming out with some music that you’re not feeling. Therefore, it’s being compromised by RZA and his brother, Devine, Mitchell Diggs. 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."
Rae expounded upon his hatred for one track in particular, "Keep Watch." According to the New York MC, the production is hindering the record, and it's lyrically uninspired. "We talkin 'bout a whole new generation is sitting here representin' and making fiery s--- and you telling me that we comin' out with some mediocre s---? That ain’t part of our plan," he asserted.
As of now, Rae is on strike from Wu Tang until they can come to a compromise. He still has "love" and "respect" for RZA, and his Wu brothers though, but the A Better Tomorrow album is a different story. On a scale of 1 to 10, he rated the likelihood of him appearing on the LP at a two. "It’s sad. It hurts. It’s all about the fans," he explained. "It’s all about them saying, 'This is my favorite f---n' hip hop group in the world.'
"I have a job to do for them," Rae said. "And I would never let my fans down and make something I feel is mediocre just to say I made it. That’s not Raekwon."
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(Photo: Larry Busacca/Getty Images for the 2014 Tribeca Film Festival)