RZA Defends Multimillion-Dollar Wu-Tang Clan Album

posted Friday April 04 ,2014 at 11:35AM CDT | 77 comments

RZA Defends Multimillion-Dollar Wu-Tang Clan Album

Exclusive: The "Brick Mansions" star also details the direction of the Wu-Tang Clan's controversial sixth studio album, "A Better Tomorrow."

RZA explains why his recently announced Wu-Tang Clan album, Wu – Once Upon A time In Shaolin deserves to command a multimillion-dollar price.

In an exclusive conversation with HipHopDX during the press junket for his upcoming film, Brick Mansions (April 3), RZA says that the secretive project produced largely by Morocco-based producer Tarik “Cilvaringz” Azzougarh is as “rare as the Mona Lisa.”



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“I kept it a secret because I want it to be what I want it to be which was, ‘Yo, this is a piece of art,’” he says. “It belongs in an art setting, venue, a museum, or a gallery. It’s as rare as any Picasso, any Van Gogh. It’s as rare—as I said in my article—as finding an Egyptian scepter. It’s as rare as the Mona Lisa. It’s rare, yo. It’s only one. We commissioned a great artist to design the box around it. It looks like a holy book might be in that box. [Laughs] That’s the idea, yo. This is art. It should be toured and looked upon as that. That’s the first and primary thing.

“As far as the value of it, the value could go from wherever,” RZA continues. “It may be worth $20 million. It may be worth $100 million. Who knows? That’s the value that a person puts upon it. That’s what art is about. When you see a piece of art, somebody goes, ‘What is that? It’s just a painting of a woman.’ Yeah, but that painting of that woman is worth $100 million based on the person that appreciates it to his heart like that and based on how the world is gonna view it. That’s important to me.”

RZA Details Direction Of A Better Tomorrow

RZA also clarifies the timing of his decision to release one copy of an unheard Wu-Tang album. While news around two Wu-Tang Clan albums overlap, he affirms that Wu – Once Upon A Time In Shaolin is in no way connected to the group’s stalled sixth studio album, A Better Tomorrow.

“This idea to release [Wu – Once Upon A Time In Shaolin] was since September [2013], he says. “And then we rediscussed it in December. I made the decision January 20. I made the decision on how I was going to deal with this particular piece of art. Then I made the announcement a few months later. It has nothing to do with A Better Tomorrow. I let everybody know in the office that works on A Better Tomorrow—the staff and everybody—that I’m gonna do something different. I wouldn’t tell nobody what it was.

A Better Tomorrow—I’ll say it briefly—is healthy,” RZA continues. “That’s for the fans more than anything because that’s what we need. If you’re having a good day today, you need a better tomorrow. If you’re having a bad day today, you definitely need a better tomorrow. When I first came up with that concept, it was my idea looking at the world, looking at my crew, and looking at myself. Looking at myself, I’m like, ‘Wow, everything is working for me. But everything ain’t working for everybody on my team. Everybody ain’t working for everybody in my family. I got my cousin, he just got laid off at the airport. My brother, he thought that [President Obama] would come and give people all these jobs. He had to go to Ohio to look for a job and then come back. He needs a better tomorrow. I was trying to write songs of inspiration and hope, which is the theme of this album. I’m having a hard time keeping it together because of creative differences we always have in Wu. Maybe brothers would rather see me walk around like [my character in Brick Mansions] Tremaine Alexander. ‘Strap up, Brick Mansion gangsters!’ That’s the energy, but that won’t make a better tomorrow.”

Brick Mansions stars RZA, Paul Walker, and Parkour creator, David Belle and is in theaters April 25.

RELATED: Wu-Tang Clan Making & Selling One Copy Of Wu – Once Upon A Time In Shaolin Album

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Comments 77 Posts

  • NinjaB
    am I the only one who thinks RZA's brother shouldn't have to go to another state just to look for work?? you say everything is working for you, then help out the fam at least with a job...
  • Anonymous
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  • Anonymous
    Pony up 5 with a lot zeros tacked on and its a no issue.
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    $97/hr pavivdv by Google, I am making a good salary from home $5500-$7000/week , which is amazing, under a year ago I was jobless in a horrible economy. I thank God every day I was blessed with these instructions and now it's my duty to pay it forward and share it with Everyone, Here is I started,,, ==================================== WWW.ZEEJOB.COM ==================================== GO TO THE SITE FOR MORE INFO AND HELP...........
  • Hezakya
    UNLESS YOU HAVE $5 MILLION DOLLARS..THIS IS THE CLOSEST YOU'RE GONNA GET TO HEARING THE ALBUM!! "ONCE UPON A TIME IN SHAOLIN" ALBUM SNIPPITS!! PRODUCED BY CILVARINGZ..RZA & 4TH DISCIPLE...VERSES BY U-GOD..REDMAN..METH..GHOSTFACE KILLAH..RZA..INSPECTAH DECK...CAPPADONNA..RAEKWON..GZA..KILLARMY..GRYM REAPER(R.I.P) SHABAZZ..SUNZ OF MAN..KILLAH PRIEST..KILLAH SIN.. AND MORE! PLUS RAW BEAT SAMPLER FROM THE ALBUM! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p9q83iGmHmg
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    $97/hr pavivdv by Google, I am making a good salary from home $5500-$7000/week , which is amazing, under a year ago I was jobless in a horrible economy. I thank God every day I was blessed with these instructions and now it's my duty to pay it forward and share it with Everyone, Here is I started,,, ==================================== WWW.WORKS12.COM ==================================== GO TO THE SITE FOR MORE INFO AND HELP
  • True
    I'm still waiting on RZA's "The Cure" album..
    • Anonymous
      Thats meant to be his last album and he does'nt plan on making it until he reaches full clarity I believe he talks about it in in the montreallity interview last year
  • Rich
    I heard snippets of the secret Wu album on YouTube, from Cilvaringz' channel. And it is THE album that the fans want, rugged creative beats, over raw energy and dope verses. Basically a fan service album, but instead, the fans aren't gonna get to hear it, lol. It's basically a fuck you to fans, I've been a Wu head since the mid to late 90s, and have been waiting for another great Wu collective album since 2000 (thankfully for Supreme Clientele, I would've totally lost hope). The W was weak, Iron Flag was better but still weak, 8 Diagrams weak as fuck, and most of solos were nothing special, besides a few (No Said Date, Bulletproof Wallets, Cuban Linx II etc.). A Better Tomorrow is gonna be even worse than Diagrams it sounds like, another generic rehash, and this is what we get, and what we deserve at this point, instead of the best quality album since Wu-Tang Forever? Lool. Okay makes alot of sense, anyway, fuck RZA, fuck that sand nigga Cilvaringz, I will never support another album these clowns again.
    • I WANT PROOF
      ya i tried looking for those snippets so if you can provide a link ill wont think your full of shit some wu fan you are
    • WuCepticon
      http://m.youtube.com/watch?v=4SpwX9GhDTY Few snippets here, click his page and hear more shit that he has on there, the 24 minute beat session is sick. Sound quality isn't great of course.
  • prick mansions
    art comparisons is ruining hip hop
    • titooo
      co-sign
    • Anonymous
      patent
  • Robbin Tanks 4 Ammo
    Funny how people dont understand the rules to art. This is some OG shit, fucking great move
  • Anonymous
    First of all, I'm sure the music will be available for fans to listen to on the internet a while after its purchased. But RZA is right, the original will be a piece of art. How can one say he doesn't care about the fans or is selling out? This man deserves everything he has worked towards. The truth is within the music, interviews, books, and movies that feature his wisdom. Instead of focusing on money we should appreciate the jewel that is The RZA. There is a lot to be learned if you are willing to look past what really are just illusions. Most people in the comment section think with their ego but the real fans and people with knowledge of self know appreciation.
    • Anonymous
      Hi, RZA. What's up?
    • Mr. Tibbs
      He deserves? Get off RZA dick if you ain't RZA. And of you are kill yourself. Lol
    • Anonymous
      Typical reply comments I was expecting. Mr. Tibbs do you always think of a man on another mans dick? Your a homo man >> LOL.. I don't worship RZA but I was simply paying homage. My opinion is that him and Wu deserve it! Live and let live. Some people can't take a comment that is outside of the box.. that being said stop catching feelings. The money they make off the album doesn't affect us.
    • Anonymous
      "I don't worship RZA but I was simply paying homage." Which basically means worshipping and dickriding. If you luh this nicca, just listen to his songs, stop writing essays about him.
    • Anonymous
      Definition of homage = "1. respect or reverence paid or rendered: In his speech he paid homage to Washington and Jefferson".. Worshiping is something different. Also a paragraph is not an essay and this is the first thing I can think of that I've ever written about RZA
  • g.d.stubbs
    Y'all want the "old" Wu shit / buy the old album(s). Wu never needs to put out another record as far as I'm concerned because what made them dope has everything to do with WHEN they came out and where I was in my life when they did. I will never be that kid again, so why should they be the same artists? Now, that doesn't mean that RZA shits diamonds, does it?
  • 50 Cent
    RZA is the one actually holdin the Wu back, not paying nikkas and shit, not hiring popping producers given the fact that his beats ain't generating enough interest from the general audience and not catering to the changing demographics of the country. Think about it, these niccas been together since forever and they only have like 5 albums out when they could've easily found their own label and actually have 10 more albums with quality material out that would generate enough interest from the actual audience. RZA should be held accountable for that shit. Even tho he's actually in a financially stable place, most of the members of the actual group are not. Just so you can actually see how ungrateful these industry nikas can actually be sometimes.
    • Anonymous
      lmfaoooo I think 50 really wrote dat ^^^
    • g.d.stubbs
      right. in other words, the wu is supposed to constantly appeal to the current crop of 18 year olds that download music? THAT's the only "changing demographic" that counts if you're talking about making money and not culture. i know fitty up there isn't talking about a "changing demographic" that has *matured* or come to expect more than sex and violence from their emcees. or maybe he's talking about the kind of rap that recent immigrants want to hear? i dunno. In any case, Chef, Deck, Ghost, Deck et.al are lining up to get a beat from "skrillex" and "mike will made it" and "will.i.am" and "smack bitch beatz," right? the reality is that the Wu cats are akin to the Founding Fathers of the US: from a (historical) distance it looks like they all on the same page and 100% in sync, but when you look into the history and the individual personalities (and i only know what they tell the internet) you realize that these dudes have creative, intellectual and spiritual differences.
    • Anonymous
      Lol I know it's not really 50 commenting on the article. But to play devil's advocate anyone posting under the name 50 Cent talking about how a leader is holding back a group... G-Unit?
    • Anonymous
      LOL this nigga mastered typing the way 50 talks
    • Anonymous
      LMAO it's too funny for me to be laughin this hard, and to g.d.stubbs, fuck outta here with your reaching ass, it's just a joke goddamnit
  • Anonymous
    Paul Walker is the star of Brick Mansions.
    • Vin Diesel
      Which means this movie = Garbage.
  • Anonymous
    in 5 years this shit will be sold on ebay for 20 bucks
  • Sensaye Sixkiller
    Listen man...this is a obviously a scam to get some rich bastard with a zillion dollars to buy the album so he can pay off these niggas that won't do the "Better Tomorrow" album until they get paid. Who cares if some rich shit head wants to spend a fortune on the album? It's not like it's gonna effect us. That shit is probably a bunch of Civlarings beats with Wu acapellas over 'em. You really think all those niggas were secretly doing all these great songs? C'mon now. The Wu is my favorite group of all time, but I been stopped believing in them as a unit. They are still dope artists individually, and each of them are capable of creating that Wu sound on their own. If anything, Rza has become the only one NOT capable of creating that Wu sound. What is the last GREAT production Rza has done? When is the last time he produced an entire album? I just don't think he can anymore. When you're around a million yes men all day and in Hollywood with milionaires sucking you off, it makes you think everything you do is great. As wise as he is, and as much as I respect him and think he's brilliant...the nigga is gassed and delusional. Look, I try to be a positive dude and shit, but I don't wanna hear a whole album of hopeful and uplifting songs. If you wanna sprinkle that in here and there, which they have always done, then that's cool, but just make some DOPE HIP-HOP MUSIC...and stop putting these terrible ass singers on your hooks, that shit is wack.
    • boss
      RZa is Hollywood wack and wu is falling off cause of rza, fuckin gay ass concept and I don't even give a fuk about wu, only dudes holing it down for wu r ins and ghost lyrically tho ghost can go ovrboard at times, rza is a Hollywood homo fuk rza he is wack and he played out wu
    • Anonymous
      I respect your criticism. Some things I agree with, but in the end its all up to the person and their opinions. Personally, to me RZA has nothing to prove. Dope hip hop manifests through his existence. He is a piece of the puzzle to not only Wu's music, but many other artists as well. Our body's are decaying every day. Better to appreciate stuff you love then to complain even when its not exactly what your used to.
    • LOL AT ANOYMOUS THE CLOWN
      ANOYMOUS U R A FUCKIN NERD WHO DESERVES TO GET SLAPPED THE FUCK OUT, U R A FUCKIN LOSSSSSSSSSER BUDDY ON HERE 24/7 FILLING THE COMMENT SECTIONS LIKE BUDDY GET A LIFE U FUCKIN DWEEB, I WOULD BULLY U JUST FOR BEING A GEEK, I WOULDNT BEAT U UP BECAUSE ITS NOT WORTH IT FOR ME TO KICK THE LIVING SHIT OUT OF U BECAUSE BY YOUR COMMENTS U SOUND LIKE A FUCKIN DWEEB I CAN KICK THE FUCK OUT OF BUT SERIOUSLY DUDE GET A FUCKIN JOB AND GET A FUCKIN LIFE U LOSER, HEADBUTT U 40 TIMES U BIG MOUTHED PIECE OF SHIT WHO CANT LEAVE YOUR ADDRESS U FUCKIN CLOWN, SLAP YOUR HEAD IN A TOILET BOWL CLOWNBOY
    • ANOYMOUS ETERNAL MASTER
      ANOYMOUS U BARREL OF SHIT, U ALWAYS TALKED BULLSHIT BUDDY IF I SEEN U I WOULD INVITE U TO THE BATHROOM LOOK FOR THE NASTIEST SHIT-PISS FILLED TOILET BOWL AND DUNK YOUR HEAD IN THERE...U HAVE A BIG MOUTH AND U R A REAL SACK OF SHIT AND A COWARD, U TRIED TO DISS ME B4 U FUCKIN MUTANT, I TOOK IT PERSONALLY U COURT JESTER HIP-HOP FANATIC FUCKIN GEEK....EAT A FAT DICK AND ENJOY IT U FUCKIN LITTLE BITCH, I WOULD PUNK U AROUND AND MAKE U OBEY ME ON THE SPOT U BARREL OF SHIT COWARD MUTANT, POWERSPRAY PISS RIGHT IN YOUR MOUTH LOSER
    • Anonymous
      Lol feelings were caught. I rarely comment so you got the wrong guy. Hahaha peace to you man that was creative. Thanks for the laugh! I only wish you the best because you don't really know me. I'm sure in real life we could smoke a blunt in the same cypher and be cool.
    • Anonymous
      ^^ LMAO at this bitch nicca tryna talk shit out
    • Anonymous
      ^^ Glad you got a laugh but I only write the truth. I could respond with hate but what good does that do over the internet? If someone was really bold enough to act out against me like that (he was probably trolling anyways) it would not be a good day for either of us. Just remember the perception of words of the internet and the truth of real life situations are always different. Peace
  • ACE THE PHANTOM
    RZA continues to be one of the biggest innovators in Hip-Hop, genius.
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  • Anonymous
    Oh wait, he is........
    • Anonymous
      never come to a hip hop site ever again. that shit was so fucking stupid that you dont know who the rza is
    • Anonymous
      Yeah, it will be a work of art to compare to such pieces. I just visited the site again, too. What you going to do?
  • Anonymous
    "It belongs in an art setting, venue, a museum, or a gallery. Its as rare as any Picasso, any Van Gogh. Its as rareas I said in my articleas finding an Egyptian scepter. Its as rare as the Mona Lisa." That is amazing. He could sell a pile of rubbish for $500,000 with spiel like that.