In regards to The Wu - Once Upon A Time In Shaolin, the project the group is selling one copy of, RZA says Raekwon is on the album. But as far as A Better Tomorrow is concerned, RZA says Rae has not assisted with the creation of that particular album.
RZA revealed that he’s unsure of why exactly Raekwon hasn’t participated, but feels creative differences may be to blame.
“There’s two things that’s going on,” he said during an interview with Vlad TV. “Let me be clear with you so you can put this out. There’s an album called Once Upon A Time In Shaolin that will be a single piece of art in a beautiful encasing. That belongs in a museum or art gallery. That’s where it belongs. And then there’s another album that belongs to the consumers called A Better Tomorrow. And that belongs to the consumers because it’s a celebration of Wu-Tang and their fans. And Raekwon has not been participating with that particular record. I haven’t had a chance to really talk to him about why not. All I see is the press going back and forth. But I would say that maybe creatively we on different paths. I’m creatively different than I was in the ‘90s.”
Prior to speaking on Raekwon, RZA addressed The Wu - Once Upon A Time In Shaolin, which has reportedly received offers of up to $5 million. The New York City musician says he’s received numerous offers from people hoping to get their hands on the lone project, but is more impressed with the response he’s received from his peers praising the idea.
“It’s gonna be many offers. It’s a lot of offers coming in,” RZA said. “But more than offers coming in, there’s a lot of—There’s more people responding to the artistic nature of it. You know? A lot of my peers in big places are sending me emails like ‘Great idea. Perfect idea. World-changing idea.’ And that’s the goal. I mean, money, I make money. As you can see you’re sitting with me right here on the set of a—promoting a movie. So, it’s not about the money. It was more about music being devalued. And us mistaking what it means to us. Music chronicles time. It captures a moment.”
The Wu - Once Upon A Time In Shaolin will reportedly consist of 31 songs. The physical album will be housed in an engraved silver-and-nickel box.
There’s no word yet on when A Better Tomorrow will be released, but the project has been heavily-discussed by members of the Wu-Tang Clan. During an interview with The Breakfast Club in February, Raekwon revealed that there were “a lot of issues” surrounding the album. And while speaking with Grantland.com last year, RZA revealed the names of the Wu-Tang emcees who’ve shown up the most while recording A Better Tomorrow.
"And one of the guys who showed up the most was Method Man," he said. "He showed the most tenacity, he was the most vocal, he showed up the most, and he got the most lyrics on the new album. He's already recorded eight or nine songs. He’s been on it. You know, I give Cappadonna credit, he’s been really on it. U-God has been present. Masta Killa be representing. Inspectah Deck has been somewhat present. Ghost has been, you know, 20 percent present. And Raekwon hasn't shown up at all."