Earlier this month, RZA explained to Vlad TV that he had recently spoken to fellow Wu-Tang Clan rapper Raekwon who went on to submit his requests for the group’s upcoming album, A Better Tomorrow. RZA didn’t share any details about Raekwon’s requests at that time, but did shed some light on Rae’s demands during an interview on Sway’s Universe this week.
He says that the amount of money Raekwon requested for his work on A Better Tomorrow is an amount that can’t be provided, given the budget for the album. RZA added that although Raekwon’s demands aren’t unreasonable, it can’t fit into a budget that’s meant to compensate an entire conglomerate of rappers.
“His demands are not unreasonable as who he is and the value of what he brings to any industry,” RZA said. “But being that Wu-Tang is a conglomerate, a big conglomerate of 10 to 12 people, those demands can’t be met...And we in a situation right now where the budget can’t really sustain what he’s demanding. And for that to be equal across the board. And not even equal, even if we was to say ‘Well, he gets a percentage more than him or a percentage more than him.’ What he’s demanding is so—takes so much weight on the budget that the record can’t be done…If I’m about to do 30 sessions, that’s what 600 grand? The budget can’t sustain that. It can’t afford me to do that because we’re in a time of our industry where we not walking in getting two, three, four million dollar budgets no more.”
RZA added that he has received offers of up to a million dollars to fund A Better Tomorrow and revealed that Method Man has provided nine verses for the album pro-bono with the hopes of working finances out upon completion of the project.
“There’s been offers of a million dollars to do the album. That’s a reasonable offer. But when you got nine emcees and studio costs and producing costs it's more like a just a wash,” the Wu-Tang rapper said.
In addition to providing an update on A Better Tomorrow and Raekwon’s demands, RZA also spoke on emcee mastery. He revealed that he wrote his first lyric at the age of nine and reached emcee mastery 10 years later.
“When I was an emcee, right? I think I reached emcee mastery at the age of 19,” he said. “And the reason why is because I wrote my first lyric around the age of nine. You know what I’m saying? And I was repeating other people’s lyrics at the age of seven and eight. Then finally at age nine I wrote my first lyric. So, 10 years later—which they say whatever you’re doing it takes 10 years to master. Watch a kung fu movie, ‘It’ll take you 10 years to master this style.’ So, by the age of 19 I became a master emcee I would say. And that led to producing and all the other things that became Hip Hop.”
During his conversation with Vlad TV this month, RZA informed those watching that if Raekwon’s demands are unable to be met then they would have to reevaluate their plan for A Better Tomorrow.
“But then we did speak a few days ago,” he said. “About six, seven days ago. And he gave me his demands. Which we presented to the company. Like ‘Yo, this is his demands.’ If they can be reached they can be reached. It they can’t they can’t. And if they can’t then we gotta reevaluate what we’re gonna do.”