Monday, December 10, 2007

On the Eve of...

...either the Wu-apocalypse or the arrival of 8 Diagrams. While the big day is about to be here (actually is here for most international fans) there is some more of he-said-this, he-said-that from Raekwon, who continues to insist that he will spearhead a new RZAless Wu album called Shaolin vs Wu-Tang. But even with all of Chef's naysaying, he does retain the good sense of endorsing the album & he recommends that fans go cop it tomorrow. Then, Meth also drops in for a spell, & his tone & statements seem to not quite coincide with what was reported in the "VH1" piece from the other day, pointing once again to the probable fakeness of that report. Still, Meth is both candid & in the end, much more loyal toward the RZA than either Ghost & Rae have been in the leadup to 8 Diagrams.

The Streets Is Talking: News & Notes From The Underground

Raekwon the Chef recommends that you go buy the Wu-Tang Clan's 8 Diagrams LP when it comes out Tuesday, but he can't honestly say it's the Clan's best work.

"I'm supporting it," he said backstage at the recent J.A.M. Awards, which took place at New York's Hammerstein Ballroom. "Go get it. I'm on it. I laid down the dressing on that. But like I said, it could've been stronger! I know the capabilities that we all have when we all sit in the room together. And then, at the end of the day, it was leaning towards RZA's world. I told RZA, 'This is a Wu-Tang Clan album. This ain't RZA's album.' If we say, 'We need this to proceed,' respect what we need to proceed.

"You dealing with a whole crew collectively, and [our] collective thoughts," Rae added. "You gotta keep that a part of the protocol. That wasn't a part of the protocol — we still try to give this man as much props as he deserves, 'cause he did so much. It's like listening to [Michael] Jordan, saying, 'Follow my hand.' But at the same time, Jordan ain't been around for a while. So now it's gotta be about the team. Ain't no I's in team. When Jordan's head gets too big, you gotta tell Jordan that's what it ain't about. It's team."

The Clan's dirty laundry has been aired out in recent weeks, with Rae and Ghostface Killah alleging creative and financial neglect by the RZA. The pair say they've basically been speaking for the rest of the group.

"It's a lot going on, and like I said, this is not no publicity stunt," Rae maintained. "This is more or less about men understanding men and men respecting men. At the end of the day, I got a family to feed, kid. ... I got children that's going to school that I'm paying for shit for them to make it, and I refuse to sit here and act like another n---a is gonna tell me how I need to do what I gotta do. If it ain't how it used to be, then something's the matter. So, at the end of the day, it's just a nigga's water broke. Like a bitch being pregnant, she can't take it no more, her shit go blow!"

The Chef told us he explained his discontent to the RZA a while ago.

"I let nigga know about his wicked ways before I [came] out and [addressed] this [in public]," he said. "So nigga never say, 'Oh, Chef did it out the blue on some ...' Nigga, you know how I feel. ... It's tough love, but you gonna respect me. ... I can [opine] on how I feel, and if I feel it ain't right ... like I told RZA, 'Yo, I don't get nothing outta trying to shoot at you. I hope you don't get nothing out of shooting at me.' But respect that we supposed to be like this. The ill shit is, it's 10 years later, 15 years later. You mean to tell me you don't look at me like a general? You got a problem."

Method Man, who was under the impression that the album was being pushed back until next year, is also not pleased with how the project turned out and even more disappointed that the dissention has been made public.

"When niggas went in to do the album, it was little discrepancies here and there," he admitted. "Everybody talking and shit. Everybody talking at RZA and not to him. Him being who he is and where he came from, of course he's goanna poke his chest out. And it's gonna be a standoff. [8 Diagrams] is the results of it right here. I don't think anybody is listening to anybody. What I did as a constant, I spit on what I was required to spit on. I'm not trying to throw no monkey wrench in anything. I strived to make the album sound like an album."

Meanwhile, the author of 1995's classic Only Built 4 Cuban Linx ... album says he's spearheading an LP called Shaolin vs. the Wu-Tang and that it will feature basically the entire Clan, except for the RZA.

"That's how I feel right now," Rae barked. "It's coming and it's gonna be a lesson learned. That's a lesson to bust the Abbott's ass and let him know what we do. At the end of the day, if nobody don't do nothing, Chef's gonna show and prove. You [can only] hold in but so much, my dude."

While Meth feels that the LP could have been better, the RZA remains his brother.

"I love the shit out of RZA; that's my muthafucking nigga, right there," Tical said. "Thick and thin and back again. However nigas feel about the god, that's how they feel. But they can't speak for everybody. So if my name pops up in anything and you ain't hear it from the horse's mouth, don't believe what you heard.

"Hell yeah, on my behalf," Meth continued about whether the fences can be mended. "I speak for myself: Shit can be salvaged. Yep. Hell yeah, and the gods know how, too. I ain't at liberty to say with you, but niggas know how they can fix it with me."

In the meantime, remember to go get a copy of the 8 Diagrams album sometime tomorrow.

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