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HIPHOPDX | RZA & Cappadonna Explain Wu-Tang Clan Pay Scale
In the latest edition of the DX Daily, HipHopDX Editor-In-Chief Justin Hunte breaks down everything we know about the upcoming Wu-Tang Clan A Better Tomorrow album and reveals new information about the group’s inner politics, including the revelation of a tiered class system that channels more money to certain prominent members within the group.
“I don’t know where it came from but it definitely penetrated,” RZA said of the group’s “upper tier” in an interview with DX that premiered in the clip. “I think it came from a third party, one of our solo managers maybe. But when it penetrated I was like, ‘Yo, that really don’t make no sense.’ In that case just give me the most money. If you wanna just go stupid like that. But what I’ma do with that? There’s a eight-slice piece of pie here, eight slices in the pizza. I’m gonna take two pieces? Nah, I’ll take my slice, you take your slice. If I take two slices somebody gotta cut theirs in half. That don’t make mathematical sense in that cypher. But as far as me going along with it, I was like, ‘Yo, I’ll put myself on a lower-tier and y’all could try it for a year if y’all want.’ But I’m not participating in that ideology nor am I gonna stop the boat from running when you got that many brothers saying, ‘Fuck that, this how they feel.’ So, we actually tried it for a year and I think we’re gonna have to vote on that again. That has to be talked about.”
In a separate interview, Cappadonna expanded on the approach.
“There’s an upper tier now,” he said. “The upper tier consists of Raekwon The Chef, Method Man, GZA, The RZA, and Ghostface. That’s the upper tier. They started this on the European tour. It’s a system that was developed within our system to bring a certain status to individuals. That was the most stagnant part of the building and structuring of this album. We had to deal with that. Even until the last minute, brothers had to overcome our differences in order to make it work. But there’s still an upper tier. I don’t know if that’s gonna affect anything in our future plans, but that’s what it is. I say that not to be a back biter; not to sprinkle any salt on our wounds. I say that as remarkable wisdom and giving you insight on true facts of what we had to overcome to make this thing a reality to us and for our fans.”
Cappadonna added on, addressing why each of the “upper tier” Wu-Tang Clan emcees deserve the status.
“I’m looking at it like, Rae, he’s done a lot of collabs with a lot of known artists so that puts him in a different bracket,” he started. “You’ve got Ghost who’s doing various TV shows. He’s in one bracket. Meth has been a success since the beginning. He’s doing movies, that puts him in a bracket. And GZA, based upon his delivery and sales, I guess he’s in his bracket. And of course, RZA. RZA never wanted to be in no upper tier or none of that. He don’t really trip on that right there. He’s not really comfortable with it for him but he’s just gonna play that part because, ‘I’m just gonna play this position to keep a balance,’ the team being more valuable than the captain. He can’t let nobody out rank you. He’s the captain. He had to take on the position just for that. To me, that’s real talk right there. That’s real active because it affected all of us and we had to deal with it the best way we knew how. And that’s why this album is such a beautiful significance. That’s why it’s so strong it can be considered, if not the best, one of the best because of the sweat that was put into it, the essence of our nature, the hardship, the tough love, and consistency. It was like a bunch of chaos and confusion that we came through. We came through obstacles. It wasn’t an easy album.