RZA just made a monster business move. According to Variety, the Wu-Tang Clan legend has sold 50 percent of his Wu-Tang Clan and solo catalogs to music IP investment and song management company Hipgnosis Songs, which amounts to 814 pieces of work. The company didn’t reveal how much they doled out to retain the material.
“RZA and the Wu-Tang Clan did not invent Hip Hop, but they took it from being fun to something that represented a true reflection of what the streets, and being black in America was really like,” Hipgnosis Songs founder Merck Mercuriadis said in a statement. “They were and are the most authentic band and brand in Hip Hop and it all starts with RZA’s vision, his songs and his struggle, manifested in music, that could show the entire world what was really going on.
“He is now globally recognized as a true renaissance man of Hip Hop and most would argue that he is the G.O.A.T.”
The Abbot was represented in the transaction by longtime manager Tyler Childs at Forward Artist Management as well as Fox Rothschild attorney Tim Mandelbaum. The deal includes RZA’s worldwide copyrights, including publishing and writer shares.
“I wear various hats in my artistic expressions but the one that has been so deeply reflective of my life’s journey is my songwriting,” RZA said. “I’m honored to partner up with Merck and the Hipgnosis team to usher my songs into an exciting future.”
Hipgnosis Songs has been buying up catalogs by everyone from Timbaland and Eurythmics’ Dave Stewart to Jack Antonoff and Jeff Bhasker. The company began trading on the London Stock Exchange in July 2018. Between March 2019 and March 2020, the company has spent nearly $700 million to acquire 42 catalogs.
“All of our songs have a proven track record and we do not speculate on new songs regardless of the past performance of the songwriter, producer or artist,” Mercuriadis said. “These proven hit Songs produce reliable, predictable and uncorrelated cash flows which are highly investible.”
RZA just released his new film Cut Throat City, which stars Wesley Snipes, T.I., Shameik Moore, Demetrius Shipp Jr. and Terrence Howard. The movie takes place in New Orleans right as Hurricane Katrina hits. In the storm’s aftermath, four childhood friends discover they’ve lost everything and decide to pull an unconventional heist in the heart of the city.
In a 2018 interview with HipHopDX, RZA explained why he was compelled to make the film.
“I felt like what these four guys was going through was similar to what we go through in my neighborhood,” he told DX’s Kyle Eustice at the time. “Just being men who, based on environment and unfortunate conditions, sometimes is pushed to do acts of desperation.”
Watch the trailer below.