RZA Says Wu-Tang Clan's "A Better Tomorrow" Budget Can't Accommodate Raekwon's Demands

RZA reveals that he hasn't recorded with Raekwon in seven years, says Method Man has recorded nine "A Better Tomorrow" verses pro bono.

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.”

RELATED: RZA Explains Why Raekwon Isn't Working On Wu-Tang Clan's "A Better Tomorrow" Album

100 Comments

  • Geko

    It's sad because Raekwon is weak without rza and the Wu-tand album is more about Hip Hop than album sales/Playboy

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  • Sheek LOUCH D-FLOP

    go YONKERS!! Papoose def need to be featured

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  • Anonymous

    Rza need to leave a trail of candy to the studio...Rae will come

  • Papoose

    they need Papoose on every track to even sell 50,000 copies

  • SheekLouchassholeLOOSE

    Sheek Louch and SilkkDAShocker are the only rappers hip-hop really needs. YEA D-BLOCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCKKKKKKKKKKKK

  • Anonymous

    The there most important project, the last hurrah. You gotta come humble on them like its 1993!

  • Anonymous

    RZA please STFU the last time you sound like an MC was on WU FOREVER i do like bobby digital the 1st album you dropped but even in that album you sound like crap and your beats OMG what happen to your production skills just let trumasta and mathematic do all the production and get primo or 9th wonder or alchemist since you live in LA

  • Anonymous

    Not interested in any Wu project that has more Mastah Killah and Cappadona than Raekwon.

  • HHFAN

    I remember being around 14 when Wu was on MTV Cribs or maybe at Wu mansion before the 2nd album dropped and Wu were explaining how Rza runs the show with production and everything. My dad (who owned a business) was half way listening in the kitchen and said "See that one over there (pointing to Rza), he's going to be the rich one. I'm sure he owns the company that owns the publishing. Watch the others bitch years from now how they didn't make enough off rapping." It's amazing that he was right.

    • Anonymous

      It's easy to get rich when you're taking large chunks of the money coming in. One problem with Wu Tang is Rz simply has too much say. I know he's part of the group, but why is he always speaking for the group? If Rae has demands, I want to hear his side. Or Meth's. Or Cappadonna assuming he's not homeless.

  • staticmwp

    come on man.. take pay cut times change its for the last wu album... quit the games method man a real dude and more humble.

  • jimjim

    don't know what to say just drop the album see what numbers it do that's all

  • wolf

    put it down get from around hahahahahahahahahahahah rip stackbundles

  • Anonymous

    lol this the fifth time RZA has spoken on Rae this week, he caught feelings

  • Robbin Tanks 4 Ammo

    Just use your intellect, If it really was about the Wu legacy Rae would do it. Ironicly he was the one that said focus on solo would hurt the Wu as a group. I was down with Rae but since he on his diva shit, i am not even gonna miss him on another Wu album. Fuc dat Shit

  • Anonymous

    i saw raekwon in gastown, vancouver not that long ago. he looked pissed

  • IROC

    This guy is a permadona now and now we want hear or see a Wu album sad situation

  • Anonymous

    Rae missing a chance to promote Rae even more. Get Redman to replace him if he gonna bitch out

    • AlecDawesome

      The only reason OB4CL2 was good was cause RZA executive produced it and chose all the beats/producers.

    • Anonymous

      If it wasn't for ghostface and Raekwon the wouldn't be relevant (I hate that word). Gost is the most consistent and Rae came back with OBFCL2 and that shit was fire from beginning to the end. 12 Reasons to Die is the type of music I miss from the Wu. RZA's beats ain't there anymore. They need Adrian Young, Allah Math, 4th Disciple type beats ... Shit that sounds new but still brings you back to their sound of origin. If Rae ain't on the album then it's not worth doing. Ya killed the vibe with all this back and forth radio interview shit anyway. Greed will always kill a good thing.

  • nigga slim

    even is gaekwon did the album for free, it would still only help him and his image.He's outta his mind to pass up being on this or ANY album just cause the money aint right. Some money is better than no money

  • Anonymous

    Shouldnt take millions of dollars to have a dope album in this day n age. Those big ass studios with those boards are outdated as fuck. Its just for image. Any REAL niggas know you can make n mix some bangin ass shit on a computer now, as long as you got the right gear

  • Anonymous

    So close yet so damn far from a Wu album. Frustrating to say the least. And I dont have 5 mil to drop on once upon time in shaolin. Rae threw a curve and hurt rza's 90% gut feeling batting ave

  • Anonymous

    Why cant the greatest rap group of all time get their shit together and put some quality music out? You cant be asking for crazy $$$ when there are 8 other guys that lay fire down on the track too. Rae should demand the group has to agree on the beats and that's it! Demanding crazy $$$ or going on strike is some weak BS. Got the feeling they ain't even a group if they don't spit in the booth together and vibe off that energy. Was hoping for "A Better Tomorrow" but got a disappointing present instead.

  • Anonymous

    Rza shares last moment with Paul Walker? Tyrese is jealous and territorial when it comes to his vanilla meal ticket.

  • Ass Man

    Nobody is really checking for Wu-Tang projects anyway. They may have been good in the 80`s but the music they put out these days is very poor compared to YMCMB.

  • Sensaye Sixkiller

    I don't understand what these niggas mean when they say 'studio costs'. Rza just got done saying in an interview that he has like 9 different studios or some shit. I know niggas that work at gas stations that come out with CDs with professional sound quality and production. What are all these producer fees he's talking about? If they really wanted to put this shit together, they could, easily. I'd rather they just didn't even put the record out. It's gonna be wack. Several members of the WU make their own shit that still encompasses that Wu sound, we don't need to pretend that these niggas are still a unit like the X Men or some shit. I'll be honest though, Raekwon is one of the only Wu members or affiliates still puttin' out ill shit. Rae, Ghost, Killah Priest, still dope. The shit Masta Killa did with 9th Wonder was okay, Meth recent shit been weak I can't even lie and that 'Crystal Meth' thing was a pipe dream, Deck to me fell off worse than any of them, he just has no firepower left. The Pro Tools album Gza did was dope. That Wu Massacre shit was a money-grab and an insult. The influence the Wu has had on the sound of Hip-Hop can never be denied, but if you're waiting for them to blow the doors off the game with some groundbreaking shit it's never gonna happen. Oh, and Rza forgot how to make beats. I can't believe I'm saying that, but it's true. He either had other people making his beats for with him that aren't around any more, or the nigga just forgot how to make beats, because he's got nothing in the tank. The few beats he does put out here and there are either recycled versions of old beats he made or some experimental trainwreck. You can't live off reputation forever, at some point you gotta put in some work again. Peace.

    • Sensaye Sixkiller

      I have no problem with them 'evolving', but 'evolve' has become another word for becoming wack. I've seen a lot of MC and artists evolve and I'm all for it. But Rza's shit has DEvolved, if anything. It's not like I'm the only one who doesn't like the shit he's put Out recently. I don't see people clamouring for his material. Matter of fact, why don't you tell me something dope he's done recently. You'll have to stretch to name anything. Even the couple tracks he threw Raekwon on the OB4CL album were forgettable. Believe me son, I'm a fan. It's not like I get a kick outta seein' these niggas fall off, but I gotta call it like I see it man. Rza shit has really fallen off and it's almost like because he's so creative it gives gim a license to make the wackest beats in the world and just say that people 'don't get it'. He's livin' off reputation at this point, musically.

    • Anonymous

      you hit it right on the nail

    • WU THRU & THRU

      I wish them niggas would go somewhere the fuck away from everybody without phones and shit, bring some good green, drinks(but not too much), and their favorite albums of any genre prior to making the 36th Chambers. I wish they would build, argue, fight, laugh, reminisce, and see what they have done and how important the role they played in this shit was then go cock the guns and give this shit everything they got in the name of their own fucking legacy!!!!!!!!!!! Show us the better tomorrow, my niggas!!! We need to believe it!

    • Anonymous

      What you mean forget? You expect it to sound identical to the 90s sound? He aint forget he just evolved and expirement due to his experiences changing. Not only that but its a normal progres. So cuz he not making the shit you expect it to be that means he forgot? But then when niggas stay the same hip-hop calls them repetitive. You cant win in hip-hop. Im not saying you have to like it but to sit there and say he forgot just cuz he aint making what YOU (out of a million people btw) want him to make that means he forgot? Music changes. You evolve. You experience. You taste. You expirement. You hear new sounds, you try new sounds. I mean this is what music is..

    • QB

      Real talk my dude... I can tell you're a real Wu fan cuz real fans are not afraid to criticize when their fav artists mess up.

    • MrPoNoMo

      Well Stated

  • The Ice Cold Phenom

    Hip Hop needs another authentic and gritty Wu album. Sounds like Rza is moving on from having Rae on the project. Surely there must be high powered guest artists (Redman, Nas, Prodigy, M.O.P, etc) who can contribute and fill the void left by Rae.

  • Anonymous

    "If you're good at something, never do it for free" True. I'm sure The Rolling Stones never did a free show, but Wu Tang hasn't been Wu Tang for years now. It's one thing to want the money to be right, but another to demand more than your current value.

  • A Trillionaire

    So now the truth comes out. That's alright Chef, you aren't coming up with anymore groundbreaking shit anyway. It's probably best if you don't put your signature on this album that will undoubtedly only serve to tarnish their rep. Wu Tang died when ODB did imo.

  • Raekwon

    truth is, my bars is dried up. but I want everyone to think it's about the money. RZA's new beats are whack tho, no lie.

    • Anonymous

      if i was rza id go back to the early sound as far as beats/production, then release a remix with his new production with live instruments. Kind of how GFK had 2 versions of 12 reasons to die album

    • Anonymous

      I don't think Rae's bars are dried up lol, I do think RZA needs to revisit Cuban Linx, Wu-Tang Forever, & Iron Man/Supreme Clientele for that neck snappin, red light runnin production shit. Even if it's not a RZA produced track, I hope he keeps this "A Better Tomorrow" production in-house.

  • Divine1-2

    RZA needs to do whatever it takes to accommodate Rae's demands. In my opinion Rae's the most relevant and consistent MC out the Wu right now. For all you cats that keep your ear to the radio, try keepin' your ear to the street and you will agree Rae has been the most consistent Wu member throughout the years-guest features, songs, mixtapes, etc.. .pay that man.

    • Anonymous

      Raekwon been grinding hard since he came back strong in '09. He's still hungry even if his content isn't as fresh as it was in '95.

    • Divine1-2

      Yes, Ghost is the defly the most consistent member out of Wu.. totally agree, no one will argue that. My opinion was Rae is the most "relevant" out the Wu right now. For the last year or so, you can't go a month without hearing a song from Rae or something he's featured on.

    • dd

      I would say 2nd most, because Ghostface wins most consistent hands down. Dude has put out like 9 albums, and not a wack one to speak of. And thats not including Wu Block or his work on Cuban Links 2 or the album with Meth and Rae, or all his guest spots.

  • Anonymous

    if you notice RZA is the only one that keeps talking about this, which leads me to believe he's probably the unreasonable party in this..Dude always rubbed me the wrong way, especially when he talks about being the "founder and creator" of wu-tang. A lot of minds and personalities molded the crew, but he just takes credit like others didnt have solo careers afterwards.

  • Anonymous

    who the fuck goes on sway wearing a suit?! this dude need to get over himself.

    • Anonymous

      A multi-million dollar producer/rapper/actor/director/legend in his 40's does. He represents himself like he should at this point in his career. No one would want to see Rza looking like it's 1995 all over again. Lets be real!!!!!

  • chronwell

    If they cant find the money to pay Rae, the album dont need to be done. The Wu Tang legacy is solidified.

  • Nrml

    My favorite Wu Tang album was Return to the 36th Chambers...they didn't need 1/2 mil dollars to produce Hip-Hop then and they don't now and that's there problem. They've become accustomed to big budget productions in a small budget world. Two turntables and a mic don't cost that much...

    • Divine1-2

      It's a new generation. I dunno what era of rap you grew up in but back then artist like Wu-Tang were mainstream; what underground is now was mainstream in '93. So, they may need that extra financial push for marketing and promotion. Of course they do it for the love of Hip-Hop, but ultimately at the end of the day these cats still have families to feed.

  • Anonymous

    Raekwon is a greedy motherfucker, what a bitch, just go drop a couple verses, how much time is it really going to take out of your schedule?

    • Lame Mofo's Like Y'all Should Die

      You niccas sure is jokers.

    • insanemacbeth

      "If you're good at something, never do it for free." LOVING this quote of THE JOKER!

    • Anonymous

      Rae wont be rapping for free. He'll get some change nothing large. Why not continue to build with the team that help establish you? He look like he eating ok. Plus he got FILA coming thru soon to grab some dough.

    • King C

      If you want to sustain hype, in this world you have to give something free to get stay relevant or the fans will steal it. Ya Rae is hot in the streets, but the $$ is in the radio spins. Kaskade just gave away his whole entire NEW album. Rae knows he'll get paid doing shows, so why tax the crew.

    • Anonymous

      If you're good at something, never do it for free.

  • Wu Tang Forever

    Raekwon FELL OFF a long time ago, dude doesnt have the energy and flows he used to have back in the days, listening to 95% of reakwons verses from the last 5-10 years makes me fall asleep, hes not wack but just boring i personally think the wu album would be better without Reakwon listen to cuban links or any old wu shit and ull see raekwon was hungry back then, dude fell off tho, lazy flows an un inspired lyrics

    • Anonymous

      he's still hungry. i don't know what you're talking about. no one from the wu is dropping as many verses as him, and they're all enjoyable. he sounds a little different than back then because his voice has aged (not something that can be avoided). it happens to most MCs.

  • Anonymous

    Why is everyone bashing Rae? So RZA get's 50% off the top for being producers, and then the MC's gotta split the other 50% (which includes RZA.)So basically Rae is getting 5%. Naw not taking that deal. Do your thing Rae.

    • Anonymous

      You think all he does is spit? if that was the case why the fuck do you think this is dragging as much as it is?! Theres something called intangibles my friend. Besides rae is also a writer, which is key the last time I checked.

    • Anonymous

      fuck that, all rae has to do it show up and spit a verse, it'll take a day out of his schedule, quit being a bitch and just go drop a couple verses

  • Anonymous

    a label and a group is not the same thing They are both. They belong to a label but also collaborate. Rise of an empire is this generation's 36 chambers.

  • Anonymous

    There are artists out there making music without a million dollars. How hard is it to crank out 10 songs that will probably be less than 3 minutes long anyway? I doubt there would be many features. Like I said b4, it's greed.

    • Anonymous

      this is probably their last disco..gotta squeeze as much college tuition out of the industry as you can. You gotta remember these MEN are pushing 50.

  • Baytove

    In other words...regardless to whom or what, we need that album.

  • carlos7

    me thinks RZA isnt recognizing other Wu artists as he should be...things av changed big time since protect ya neck, Rae would be there if it was a 'fair' deal all round, just don't believe RZA as he's all claiming it to be

  • Baytove

    Peace to Rae and the whole Clan...as a long time fan I feel that the album will still be a success if a member or two may not be present....in my opinion Wu Tang is loaded with talented producers and MCs and any one of them can fill in, its still all Wu Tang. Bronze Nazareth on some beats, 9th Prince on verses, Killa Priest, 4th Disciple, etc, its all still WU. Its more about the movement as a whole and what it means to the real fans .

  • Anonymous

    RAE needs to lie down

  • DG

    Even if Rae does get on the album...if you got members emailing RZA their verses, and it's not a cohesive project, Raekwon's presence won't matter either way

  • ODB outta da Grave

    Yo its a shame that Rae is not working on the new album because he wants more money than they offer him! Really?! I cant understand why Rae turned into a money hungry bitch... Shame on this nigga!!!

    • Me

      Wu just remain classic and go out in style, it's over, I'm just glad I got the best of it but they couldn't get a dime from me, especially after reading this, in my Damon from Shark Tank voice, I'm out..

  • Russo

    Then why even bother with the greedy motherfucker, got only himself to blame for his absence on the record. Just make sure people will get to hear some good street rap, anything else is irrelevant.

  • dentaldamboy

    As an accountat of young money & mmg I can say my clowns can't even write shitty lyrics, they got ghostwriters to write wack lyrics for them.

  • Anonymus

    Go ahead and drop the album without Raekwon, if ODB is not on it, what's another member missing gonna do? You can get Street Life, Redman, even Trife for filler verses which has been most Raekwon verses lately case and point getting shitted on by Joey Badass and Black Thought on Birdseye view.

    • Sensaye Sixkiller

      Yeah right. Black Thought was weak on "Masters of our Existence" or whatever that shit was called. Rae's verse was way nicer. And I like Black Thought. Raekwon is a dope MC, can't take that away from him.

    • g.d.stubbs

      accurate. Black Thought verus Raekwon in this case is like the difference between magma and lava.

  • Anonymous

    YMCMB and MMG will never disband over this. Wu Tang ain't that close.

  • dentaldamboy

    Drake has an unlimited budget for his albums becuase Universal knows they will go platinum. The reason Pu-Tagn Clam doesn't get a budget is becuase no one wants to buy those garbage albums.

    • drake fan

      So true. Drake is definitely much more important to hip hop culture than all of Wu Tang. Didn't Wu Tang actually get their name from a Drake song? yeah, they need to take lessons from him

  • Not Impressed

    Just do the album without that scumbag. Let Raekwon put out his garbage solo album no one is going to buy and just move on with one of the affiliates. Bone Thugs have done albums without members and they turned out fine, the same thing will work for Wu Tang. I'm not impressed

    • Russo

      No logic. Having debts has nothing to do with refusing an offer and not getting anything. Making things worse. That looks or Rza wants it to look like typical greed. And its not "Raekwon & Wu", not "Raekwon's Wu-Tang". The other rappers you heard on tracks that had not featured Rae, were those wack just because of that? The only people losing here are Raekwon fans and those who think he is essential to the Wu. Well he is not, he's just a part of it. Not hating or anything.

    • g.d.stubbs

      I'm sure Raekwon has his reasons, and the fact that Meth can "advance" his verses tells us that these two brothers may be in very different positions in life. I can't judge Raekwon because I'm not in his shoes... I don't know what debts he might be carrying, or what he's trying to accomplish by leveraging his brand and clearly stating his demands? That said, the Wu at its best is like a powerful chemical reaction, and even if they aren't all on the same track at once, where ODB *can't* be there, having one brother missing from the whole project over $ issues can weaken the formula.

    • Anonymous

      Totally disagree, no disrespect to the other members but without a GZA, Inspectah, Ghost, Meth or Rae contribution on ANY Wu album, it will NOT work bruh.

    • Anonymous

      Bringing up bone thugs in the same sentence as wu tang is laughable. No disrespect to bone thugs but there's no comparison to how the group dynamic changes when one of the most integral members of wu is left off the album.

  • Anonymous

    If Rae ain't on it, shelve it...

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