RZA has made another lucrative deal regarding the Wu-Tang Clan catalog, which includes songs from Enter The Wu-Tang: 36 Chambers and Wu-Tang Forever.
After signing a contract with Hipgnosis Songs for approximately half of his Wu-Tang and solo catalogs in August, RZA and longtime business manager Mitchell “Divine” Diggs (who co-own Wu-Tang Productions) have made another deal, this time with Downtown Music Publishing.
According to a press release, the company will “represent Wu-Tang’s interest in songs from its back catalog of classic albums — as well as select works co-written or produced by individual Wu-Tang Clan members for solo releases, affiliates and other artists.” The writers represented under the deal include Ghostface Killah, GZA, Inspectah Deck, Method Man, the late Ol’ Dirty Bastard, Raekwon, RZA and U-God.
“We are excited to be partnering with Downtown and entrusting them to handle our historic back catalog,” RZA said. “Downtown’s system is ideal for us — they have the global reach and capacity of a ‘major’ while maintaining strong, highly personal relationships with their clients.
“Their customized approach to clientele accompanied with their focus in areas like rights management and distribution make Downtown an ideal partner for Wu-Tang Productions.”
The agreement also includes select solo works by RZA’s Wu-Tang brethren Cappadonna, Ghostface, GZA, Meth and The Chef, as well as other works contributed to by the covered writers, including Alicia Keys, Cardi B, Danny Brown, Drake, Justin Bieber, Lauryn Hill, Logic, Mariah Carey, Mary J. Blige, Mobb Deep, Pete Rock, Rick Ross, Swizz Beatz, The Game, The Pharcyde and Wyclef Jean.
“Wu-Tang Clan isn’t just one of Hip Hop’s most influential groups, it’s an iconic institution in every sense of the word — with a legacy that extends well beyond the realm of music,” CEO of Downtown Music Holdings, parent company of Downtown Music Publishing Justin Kalifowitz said. “As a New Yorker, representing some of East Coast Hip Hop’s most revered legends — whose stories are so ingrained in the culture of our city — is a tremendous honor.”
Downtown adds the stacked Wu-Tang songbook to its catalog of represented works alongside other prolific legends such as jazz great Miles Davis and composer George Gershwin. Wu-Tang Productions was represented by longtime attorney Tim Mandelbaum of Fox Rothschild, LLP.
As for the deal with Hipgnosis Songs, the company has acquired 814 pieces of work from RZA. Hipgnosis has been buying up catalogs by everyone from Timbaland and Eurythmics’ Dave Stewart to Jack Antonoff and Jeff Bhasker. Between March 2019 and March 2020, the company spent nearly $700 million to acquire 42 catalogs.