According to Wu-Tang Clan lyricist Inspectah Deck, there are two reasons why the release of his solo album, Uncontrolled Substance, took so long, especially when compared to the solo efforts from other artists in the Staten Island, New York-based group.
The first reason the rapper’s album was delayed was due to label issues. Inspectah Deck explained that he was initially signed to Loud Records when the label was dropped from BMG and later picked up by Sony. Due to Loud Records’ move to Sony, he found himself up against artists like Nas and Bone thugs-n-harmony.
“Two things happened with my album,” Inspectah Deck said, during an interview with Vlad TV. “When I first signed, I signed in 1995 for my Uncontrolled Substance album. And what happened with that album was that Loud Records had went defunct. After I put out Uncontrolled Substance…There was nobody left to run that situation. You know what I mean? So, I was pretty much left on my own to have this album out. Meanwhile, The Purple Tape was out on the same label. You dig what I’m saying? So, I’m trying to fight to get my album released in the mix of The Purple Tape being pushed. As well as Big Pun being signed and bringing Fat Joe through. So, it was a lot going on.
“Then when Loud got dropped from BMG,” he added. “I believe Relativity or Sony—Sony picked up Relativity and Loud. So, now I became—if I was slated to drop three albums later on Loud, now I’m on this machine that they got Nas, Bone thugs, Crucial Conflict. I remember, Fat Joe. So many names was on this label that I was scheduled to come out next year sometime. So, that was the initial delay.”
In addition to his label issues, a flood in RZA’s apartment wiped out Inspectah Deck’s entire first album. The album had to be re-recorded and was therefore “a totally different album.”
“RZA had a flood in his apartment,” the rapper said. “Lost my whole first album. My first album wasn’t even the album that y’all hear as Uncontrolled Substance. It was a totally different album…I had a whole different album. But the flood came. Back then we was doing beats on the ASR floppy disks and things like that. Floppy disks got soaked. Everything got lost, man. I tried to salvage it. I took it to a computer place. Nothing could happen. So, I lost that first album and had to start all over again.”