Raekwon Says Solo Careers Hurt The Wu-Tang Clan

The Chef drops a bombshell on VladTV about how he feels the Wu's solo careers hurt the group.

VladTV recently caught up with Raekwon to talk about the legendary Wu-Tang Clan's career and their legacy as of late. During the interview, the Chef explained that he personally feels the Clan hasn't been as active as a team as of late due to differences that arose out members' solo success.

He explained that when the Wu was first working together, there was a certain energy and hunger that unified the nine members behind the W. But as members branched off with their own projects, certain emcees' solo fame led to divisions within the group that ultimately hurt almighty Wu's effectiveness as a team.

"What I really miss is that energy from my brothers. We were young, we were child stars at that time, but I miss being around niggas and laughing in the studio…just, every line that come out niggas, everybody's head lift up like, 'Oooh,' and everybody's head go down and get back in that pen and pad," he said. "To me, it just created a force and I'ma tell you something - and I ain't told nobody this - but I feel like in a way, us doing solo things hurt us [as a group]. I never told nobody that, y'all niggas the first ones to know. When we had something so pure and so solid together, it could've been structured more togetherly. It could've been more stronger if we knew it had to stay like that. But when we allow[ed] each other to do us, some did better than others and when some did better than others, it caused a certain kind of reaction in the whole movement."

He added, "It wasn't like nobody was trying to out-do each other, because we all was nice, it was just that some probably worked a little harder and some did more things and some was just playing his part. You can't be mad at it; the nigga is playing his position and when it's time to go shoot and you say, 'Yo, shoot!' - 'Aight, shoot - bong,' but not being a slinger. To me, when we did that, it kinda like put us in a more competitive situation with each other instead of focusing more strongly on the brand. The brand is so big just as a team, it's like when we did that, it jumped into some ego shit - which normally happens, but what I'm just trying to say is if we would've stayed more tighter, we probably would've had about 30 albums right now."

The full interview can be seen below.

RELATED: RZA Updates On New Wu-Tang Clan Album, Eyes 2012 Release

96 Comments

  • Anonymous

    Now that they're all grown men, with kids, money and bills, there's no way they'll ever be able to come together and have the same results click.

  • 1love

    aside from there solo debuts most of there solo shit is trash( especially method man)

  • Yssup Kidz

    Raekwon = Mr. Obvious The problem was that they were all short sighted. In a hurry for more golden eggs, they killed the goose that laid them. They never took the time to build a strong foundation before expanding the house. Okay, enough analogies, but you get my drift.

  • Fish

    Wu-Tang on their worst day is better than YMCMB on their best - FACT! Wu-Tang Is Forever...

  • JOE DIRT

    RAE&GHOST were absent from the current tour in my city but CAPPADONNA was CLAN IN DA FRONT ripping his classic WINTER WARZ verse over the WHO SHOT YA instrumental. WU TANG FOREVER.

  • RZARECTAH

    black hippy are the new wu tang

  • In Your Fucking Face

    This Is Why It Works For Odd Future They Came In Solo Artists Who Rep A Group. The Groups Success Depends On How Successful The Solo's Are. Nobody Can Claim Jealousy, Just Laziness.

  • big sha

    whatever your opinion on the article, rae looks like a chipmunk dont he?

  • Anonymous

    i think they should have solo albums just make sure its RZA produced thats what made it Wu-tang all classics had all RZA production Tical, Return to the 36 chamber, Only built 4 cuban linx, IronMan,then they started going in differnt direction not using RZA as much and using differnt artists for features like Tical 0 the prequel, gza legend of liquid sword and Inspectah deck the Movement

    • Powerphi

      You're absolutely right - RZA's production fueled all of the classic solo projects. His production alone is classic, and when you add the superior rhyming skills of the Clan, it's a can't-miss situation. Tical, Ironman, Liquid Swords, Only Built 4 Cuban Linx, and Return to the 36 Chambers are all classics. You can easily argue that the soloists on these projects have yet to come close to repeating the same brilliance without RZA. With the exception for Ghost, who has clearly put out classic material with other producers. Only Bulit 4 Cuban Linx II, for all of it's hype, and good work, is really not a bonafide classic; and it's no coincidence that the best track on that album was produced by RZA (Black Mozart).

  • Da1

    Yeah Makes sense. all the solo albums were hard every last one of em. but these niggas coulda been like the beatles first. droped like 10 albums id say around album 4 they woulda been diamond. so yeah they woulda been bigger if they stayed together then dropped solo albums later in their careers

  • d

    I saw Wu-tang a week ago and Raekwon wasnt even there,so maybe he should shut the fuck up and actually go on tour with his brothers and he might get some of that feeling back. Incidentally,I bought his new album at that show,so the Clan is still helping HIM with his solo career.

    • dude is right

      dude is on point, I went to a weak ass raekwon show in the summer and was hoping it'd be all good seeing the whole wu tang so i went to that too but he wasn't even there it was pretty much just Meth and Rza and Rza aint even rap so it was prettty much a nostalgic ass method man show. the WU is fuckin there name up i can tell you that tho...They shouldn't go on tour if it aint the whole Wu

    • Deezy

      lol shut up you faggot

  • Anonymous

    Am I the only one who thinks TICAL is a classic? That album perfectly fits method man's style and with cuts like Bring the Pain, All that I need, Meth Vs. Chef...plus a remainder of solid tracks. I dont get how dudes dont give Tical the status it deserves

    • Yssup Kidz

      "What the Blood Clot" is an ill song.

    • smksum

      Tical definitely was/is a classic, right away .....lookin back, I wouldn't mind if they remastered/re-released it....although it was on purpose, still sounds like it was done in RZA's basement....but definitely a CLASSIC

    • dockevoc

      It's a classic in my eyes. Shit is just too dark and grimy for the new generation...they're stuck on the media derived myth that Supreme Clientele is the best Wu solo.

    • Assassin221

      Word, I never understood why that isn't considered a Wu classic.

  • SHAOLIN

    all we need is an enter the 36 chambers part 2 and liquid swords 2

  • talktalkreal

    Actually I like the "W" album. It just RZA's beats have gone south of late. But I'm sure those fools schedule make it hard to come together tho.

  • micah dancy

    Wu-tang clan has always been great but solo albums build you as a individual star and thats whats keep your career going and they kinda went south their last 3 albums they werent able to stay consistent after wu-tang forever which is their best album ever period and somebody through outkast out their their last album went plantinum

  • Ctallday

    Togetherly? C'mon son!

  • BiLL$

    We'll lets hope raekwon back in the studio from the next Wu-Tang album. Odd future r better then Wu-Tang, YEA RIGHT THAT SO STUIPED IT MAKE MY DICK LOL. NO HIP HOP GROUP IS BETTER THEN WU-TANG CLAN. PEACE TO THE GODS.

  • Nike Champ 718

    I get what Rae is saying, but it's too many in the group to have just kept it as one unit each and every time an album came out. I don't know how it goes down when preparing to do an album, but if you have 9-10 dudes (when Dirt was around) to wait for so that everything can come together, who knows how long that could take? You have to have 9-10 schedules synced for things to happen. Doing solo projects is the best thing to happen. It helped expand the brand. It helped us get a feel for the individual members. Eh, I guess it's both a gift and a curse.

    • Powerphi

      I agree with both views above, however I also appreciate the spirit of what Rae is saying. MC's are at their best when they are hungry - it's the nature of hip-hop, which is essentially street music. Basically, dude is reminiscing, looking back when the family was tight. I doubt he would take back the purple tape, or any of the first solo albums from the other members (all classics). Those albums, combined with the group albums comprise one of the greatest catalogues in the history of music.

    • jake

      def a gift and curse. but if it wasnt for the solo albums we wouldnt have albums like tical and liquid swords. straght classics as is the 36 chambers record by the group as a whole

  • uzipolo king of decatur

    first of run dmc is the best rap group period they 12' single sucker mc's sold more than a wu tang albulm so with that being said rae is right the nigga is talking bfreal talk and i dont see the hatered in it method man was they weakest link to me-says uzipolo king of decatur

    • Anonymous

      Fuck outta here! DMC can't be dreaming of reaching the Wu-Tang potential.With those nursery rhymes!Fuc outta hea! They are so revered and respected because they are pioneers in the hip-hop world.Period.

  • Anonymous

    None of the wutang Clan need to drop any more solo's albums again. Method Man did'nt live up to the hype but holds it down and really needs help to put together a classic. They are untouchable when they are together on a track. So agreed, their strength lies in their togetherness. They should be looking to bring the industry back down on it's knees, like in 1993 when rap was beginning to become overun with bullshit commercialism

  • dockevoc

    RZA was the mastermind behind the WU and after producing the first 7 classics he let his brothers do them...Phil Jackson refers to this as the "disease of more," after a team wins a title everyone wants more shine but not everyone is star, every team only has 2 stars, 2 really good players and a bunch of dudes that play their part. Inspectah Deck and U-God should have never dropped more than one solo, if that. Method Man is like the Chris Webber of Hip Hop, he had more talent and a unique style but dude just never put it together and will go down as one of the most dissapointing solo careers in hip hop history. Masta Killa was like Robert Horry - he dropped two pretty ill albums even though he really had no business building a solid career based on his obviously limited skills, which just goes to show that intangibles are as important as flow and wordplay sometimes. Ghost is just a beast, he been killing the game since Ironman and continues to do so - one of the most impressive discography's in history. Rae just needs to take his time when putting together albums, like GZA. You can tell GZA don't have any leftover tracks when an album is done. He makes his 14 joints and they all bang and that's that, he don't make 50 songs and pick the best 17 like Rae be doing. Fuck that. Quality over quantity. And fuck all those offshoot groups like Killarmy and Northstar that brandished the WU lable. Those dudes had us running to the stores for a WU joint and left us like "WTF is this bullshit!?" back in '98. RZA need to get back behind the boards for a year or two and make sure the WU wraps up their legacy with another classic albums and another round of classic solos from Ghost, Rae, Mef and GZA. The Cure would be ill too...shit is more mythical than Detox. One.

    • verbalpain

      I bought Silent Weapons 3 times cuz it kept coming up missin, Wu Renegages also had a dope album

    • dockevoc

      Nike Champ: I know, I have them all. I think most would agree that there was no reason for them drop more than one without heavy help from RZA. Hidden By Leaves: I don't give a shit about Jay-Z, at all. And it's true, many find Killarmy to be a classic but to me that shit was a letdown. 4th got the right ingredients but to me usually never got the recipe right. And if your calling any Killarmy album on par with Ironman, Liquid Swords or OB4CL then you are legitimately retarded. No offense. Da1: I ain't saying that most of the Wu albums ain't good, I'm saying that when they were on top (93-97) they put out nothing but FIRE and after RZA stopped overseeing every project many fans started to drift away due to what they saw as lackluster efforts. Lyrics are always dope but it's called MUSIC and the beat has to be ill, too. OB4CL had very little radio play and never strived to be a pop album that shit is still revered as a classic to this day.

    • da1

      wow. all the wu albums are good. everybody after their first album except ghost lost guidance in building an album of of beat selection. but everybody lyrics are ill in every single song. they never off in songs. but they dont be the best songs. cuz they rappers true hiphop not song makers pop hit makers they speak the streets

    • HIdden By Leaves

      GTFOH with your jaded basketball analogies. So I suppose Jay-Z is Mike then, right? You sound old and bitter. And for the record, Silent Weapons For Quiet Wars was a classic, 4th Disciple tailored that entire album just as RZA had those original 7 classics, if you didn't appreciate it enough thats prolly cause yo weed got mo seeds than ODB

    • Nike Champ 718

      Deck and U-god both dropped multiple albums.

  • WU TANG FOREVER

    the WU needs to drop another classic

  • Anonymous

    To me the Wu-Tang Clan did it perfectly. Enter the 36 Chambers was the introduction to nine MCs, and told their story from a collective point of view...then Liquid Swords, Tical, OB4CL, Iron Man, and Return To The 36 Chambers told the same story from each individual point of view. So while I agree with Raekwon that solos may have hurt the Wu as a group, I can't disagree with the way they did things because the solos were classic, after classic, after classic...so 5 classics out the gate vs. a possible 3 classics in a 4 year span

  • Anonymous

    hit the nail on the head.. like every group duo or collective the solo career disects the whole movement,.. what happened to outkast?? that last album idle wild flopped cause the solo stuff, say bye bye to the clipse too.

  • Anonymous

    Its funny cause the main person in the clan he's describing is himself, he was always the one talking slick out his mouth about RZA, even to this day he complains about shit that goes on with the Wu in public Forums, he pretty much bombed "8 Diagrams" before anyone even heard it by going on the radio and shitting on it and people had their minds made up to hate it before a single was even released Rae IS the poison of the Wu Tang Clan

    • Hidden By Darts

      Poison? That stunt Rae pulled before 8 Diagrams was to raise awareness for their new record. If you signed it off as wack based on what he said without listening and drawing your own opinion then what does that say for your character? Sounds sheepish to me. Look at Rae's last two solo releases. Seems to me that he's the only one left in the clan who crafts his solo albums to sound like WU-TANG CLAN albums. I award you no points and everyone in this forum is now stupider from reading your post.

  • BIG FACE ITALY

    Back when the Wu came out they gave us that family feel, the unity!! Wisdom Universe! Lets Face it Rza is the mastermind behind the Wu, he layed the bleuprint. The best Wu albums are overseen by the Abbot! They should lay their differences behind them and do it for the bigger cause. Russel Jones would have loved it! Wu Tang forever, its a movement!

  • kennyken

    i gotta agree with rae on this. When they were tighter, they had a better sound quality, but when they started beefin and people started saying shit like "I" and not "WE" they suffered an ugly painful downfall.

  • Anonymous

    ''we probably would've had about 30 albums right now." Yeah, and the majority of them would be Nastradamus status.

  • The Ice Cold Phenom

    Hindsight is always 20/20 vision. Raekwon is an original member of the Clan so he is making a valid point. Overall, Wu Tang was extremely successful but could have been much larger had they focused more on the group. They probably should have released at least 3 group albums prior to the individual group member albums.

  • 29th Chamber

    Raekwon is is always taking slick little jabs at Wu-Tang. After the first Cuban Linx this dude abandoned the clan and RZA cause he thought his album didn't do good enough....He figured "I can do better on my own" and flopped. lol He's the one who always wanted to be a solo artist and shit talking about doing "Raekwon" music and not "Wu" and even talking shit about RZA beats....Now when he's flopping he wants to join with Wu again and make Cuban Linx Part 45.

  • Anonymous

    Yeah he's right but did anything think otherwise? If you have a talented collective of rappers and they branch out to do what they want to do as individuals, time goes by, they get older, and before you know it everyone has their own career and successes going for them. It doesn't take quantum physics to figure that out... It's pretty doubtful that a number of talented dudes in one group would stay together doing the same act forever. They're not all equal in talent, goals, or personality so I'm unsure what Rae was getting at exactly... I mean I get his point, the Wu brand could've had more life breathed into it if they had more focus on it, but in the end they're legends for what they did together and what they did apart and that's the best they could ask for.

  • Anonymous

    tyler raps about dumb shit. a step down from soulja boy and a step up from lil b. wu-tang has rza and gza. the 2 best lyricist ever. look up animal planet by gza. tyler couldnt do that in a lifetime

  • Suuu36

    He sayin some shit...but for real yall niggas got too much of an opinion about it. He makin a point but relax! its not like Im gonna start regret the classics they put out or nothing crazy!! WU Tang is still the best fuck that!! RZA keep that Wu bat out there faithfully, rae ghost etc, niggas is worldwide! bees migrate everywhere! just read a story saying RZA used to rent out the Wu logo to artist lol!! stringarm the game!! WTC ANT NTHN 2 FK WIT FOH!!

  • Hopit

    He is absolutely right. I really miss Wu-Tang Clan as a collective.

  • dun

    I agree with him. I actually thought this was the case by the time "The W" album came out. Even though they've created several solo classics, their individual identities became so well developed that going back into a group with 9 different guys...they just never really connected on tracks as well as on 36 Chambers or Wu Tang Forever. They still do well at shows together, but I can rarely listen to a track with all of them on it nowadays.

  • So Icy Boi!

    Lol. Raeknow is such a lame rappa. dis dude needs to take some lessons. Rae u should fallow Ghostface Killah c work at wallmart after ya last album. Wu-Tang Clan is wack & old. stop listenint to it! Wolf Gang goes hard!!! Odd Future is freakin awesome. Tyler & Hodgy made deir next street album cool. ma system bangs to OFWGKTA! swag. swag. swag.

    • YADIG=YESSIR=SO ICEY BOI

      dude do you like anybody in the hip hop game with any skill or talent?? like come on man, you steady riding these dudes with no flow at all .im confused with you , YADIG and YESSIR

    • Wu Tang Clan

      @So icy boi: You fag, Odd Failure dont have shit on Wu Tang. Just a bunch of coonish emo punks that decided to rap one day. Wu Tang is for life. Fuck Wolf Gang bitch!

    • Sansa

      You swag idiot,,you don't real hiphop that's why you dumb and fail algebra....stupid!!!Real hiphop is about opening the mind to new concepts and ideas something swagg and flossing will never do.......idiot!!!

    • BIGED

      SWAG RYMES WITH FAG HOMO

    • Anonymous

      Go kill yourself. fuck you and wolfgang hailey. thats a girls name. a bunch of tight jean wearing faggots. the wu fuck wit real gangsters and are 100% real all the time. i can go off the head with all of rea's newest rhymes that would make tylers best rhyme he ever wrote sound like a 5th grade did it. tyler is for little kids that hate life. wu is for the children that wanna be something when they get older. cream bitch. best protect ya bitch ass neck ya dick ridin fag

  • Ghost of Nat Turner

    thats real shit from Raekwon. He's probably right. On the other hand, OB4CL2 and Shaolin vs Wutang solidified Rae's spot as the best solo Wu catalog next to Ghost. Maybe better than Ghost. Back in the day I woulda expected that Method Man would have the best career, but his albums are ehh. I didnt expect that Ghost and Rae would be carrying the Wu in 2012.

    • METH?

      2 ALBUMS IN 15 YEARS NINJA/I CAN DIVIDE/ THATS 1 EVERY LETS SAY 7.5 YEARS .....JESUS... WHAT A WASTED CARREER METHOD MAN???? SMH

    • Anonymous

      Immobilarity was a GOOD album!? That album stunk.

    • Anonymous

      C'mon son?! Better discography than Ghostface? Few artist in hip-hop have a discography that can stand against that of Ghostface, much less Raekwon.He had the best classic out of the Wu camp IMO, but let's not forget Ghostface co-starred brilliantly on that.OB4CL2 was another classic, Immobilarity was a good album, Shaolin vs. Wu-Tang too, but Ghostface has: Iron Man (classic) Supreme Clientele (classic) Bulletproof Wallets (4.5/5) The Pretty Toney Album (4.5)- this had the potential to be a classic "Put It on the Line" with Trife (4/5) - slept on album FishScale (classic) More Fish (3.5) The Big Doe Rehab (3.5/5) Ghostdini Wizard of Poetry... (4/5) - nice album, but I wouldn't call it a hip-hop album Apollo Kids (4/5)

  • Hypestyle

    Lol.. watching the whole interview... let's face it, even as the first album hit, everyone was scrambling to do solo projects.. everybody wanted that solo fame, that LL or Rakim status, only maybe half the crew got it, in some form..... Wu-Tang's pioneering contractual deal to allow for cross-label solo work was excellent, but it also gave light to the fact that everybody wants to be "#1", and supporting a group identity, for its own sake, is considered weak compared to getting that solo cheddar. In the 1990s, Wu-Tang changed the dynamic of how a group could operate-- for the better and for the worse-- quick, name the stage DJ of the group! you've got 3 seconds.. figured as much. During the rise of Wu-Tang, Nas, Tupac, Jay Z, the DJ identity became less of a core component to the image of rap performance. Put in the DAT tape, get "anybody" to work the turntables.. Plus, consider all the in-group squabbling that took place over the years, everbody's swearing the next man was hating on their shine/swag, etc., now all of a sudden it's, yo, all the solo stuff held us back in some way.. Can't have it both ways, Rae.. God bless the gods, but...

  • RS

    They are still one of the best group! Are you targeting the Japanese market? I have more than 18,000 Japanese followers on my Twitter. If you are producer, artiste, DJ, dancer, or records/producton company and need my help, check this out. http://bit.ly/zXEFnw

  • Nikky Pipes

    Wu-Tang Forever!

  • jabba

    raekwon is talking about his self when he dropped the purple tape his head got big as and elephant..

  • WordUp25

    it's true though, solo albums always have adverse effects on groups. The fans hype things into a popularity contest. But with Wu they still stickin together which is great

  • Anonymous

    Preach Lex Diamond!! Now explain why "Wu Massacre" and "Shaolin V. Wu Tang" were both generic crap (tho' "OB4CL2" was truly hot.)

    • deez

      massacre was rushed and pushed out by the label though was rather crap.....shaolin vs. Wu tang was a pretty fukin good album all in all i thought...

  • junMaf*ckn

    Deep that Rae expressed this. I agree somewhat cause the Wu albums would have been tighter. At the same time Brothers branching out on their own is natural evolution. It was destiny for it to play out as it has... Just wish Ol Dirty was still here so they ca try an outdo 36 Chambers... But the past is a moment in time. Cant change it. Just gotta appreciate it for what it was. And that Era was Golden.

  • feedbak

    Tical, Liquid Swords, & Cuban Linx 1, Return to the 36 sounded like Wu-Tang albums to me, like collaborative efforts where RZA executive produced the albums. After that it got exactly how Raekwon said, where the solo efforts didnt have a wu-tang feel, and it hurt the brand.

  • casper21

    a confusing opinion somewhat, Cuban linx was a classic solo that brought him more recognition than half the group... But from the beginning the plan was for RZA to set them up and establish a network so that they could veer off and do solo work, a 5 year plan. And sorry Rae, you probably would have another group album or two, but with group success comes egos, and ya'll haven't gotten along as a group in a long time. Your just a little nostalgic, but don't kid yourself. Can't wait for the next Wu album, I know they're kind of in the studio working on something in bits and pieces.

  • ETK

    well all you can do Rae is reassemble all them niggas and give em a pep talk to bring a bit of that hunger and put out another classic!

  • Anonymous

    What's done is done. We still got so many great albums. Thanks Wu.

  • derrty d

    i can genuinely see what he is saying here

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