After chess references, weed smoking, their love of obscure kung-fu movies, and awesome rap music, the thing Wu-Tang Clan is best known for is dysfunction. The creative differences, which came to a head on 8 Diagrams, have been well elucidated, but the repeatedly reported money disputes with RZA — which at one point supposedly forced poor Cappadona to take a job driving a gypsy cab in Baltimore — have never been fully explained. Until this week: RZA, fed up with the latest lawsuit, this one from Ghostface, charging that RZA owes him $158,000 in back royalties, is pleading innocent over at AllHipHop.com, and breaking down why all his buddies seem to hate him every once in a while.
RZA’s often been blamed for out-and-out withholding funds from group members, but he explains here that the issue is with the default royalty split: As a producer, he’s legally entitled to 50 percent of any given song, while the rappers on the track split the other 50 percent among themselves. Seeing as there are seven other official WTC members (R.I.P., ODB), you can understand how some unpleasantness might arise. But, as RZA bluntly puts it: “I have a legal contract with Wu-Tang Productions, matter of fact all of us do. We all signed that. We signed that years ago … Ghost made a deal with someone who thought they should get more from him than what they’ve got.”
While we’re glad someone finally explained what the infighting’s been about all these years, we’re a bit bummed to hear RZA bitter (“What’s so bad is [other producers] using my sound getting 50 percent and here I am the inventor of the sound getting scrutinized”). We know we shouldn’t worry too much, though. No matter how much they fight, they always seem to patch it back up, for some reason.
RZA: Breaks Down the Ghostface Killah Lawsuit [AllHipHop]