8 Diagrams Drama All Over Again

Remember when 8 Diagrams came out and Rae & Ghost had beef with RZA about the artistic direction of the project? It seems that these guys have been hard at work on a time machine because Rae is back at it again. In response to RZA calling him out in an interview for not showing up and not putting in work, Rolling Stone picked up the phone and dialed 1-800-CHEF.

Raekwon perfectly lays out that he hates the new single Keep Watch. An opinion which I share with him for once. He’s on strike untill he gets a better contract. But still has the fans in his heart. And with that he also thinks RZA is not the producer he was twenty years ago. One could deduct that Rae is saying the RZA should step his producer game up.

Ego’s are clashing for sure. And the odds of a getting complete project looks slimmer than ever.

On a scale of 0-10, what are the odds that you end up on A Better Tomorrow?
We at a two right now. It’s like climbing up a fuckin’ mountain if you got on slippers.

Wu-Tang 1 comment on Raekwon Interview, Can It Be All So Simple

Raekwon Interview, Can It Be All So Simple

While his reputation as one of the most savage MCs on the planet has remained largely unblemished for well over a decade, it is Raekwon’s exploits in recent years, or perhaps the lack thereof, that, for some, has brought into question the service at The Chef’s five star restaurant of rhymes. However, despite seemingly perpetual delays, fans continue to file in and wait patiently in line for a fresh serving of Rae’s highly anticipated new LP, Only Built 4 Cuban Linx II, now slated for a March 2009 release date. In a recent interview with RiotSound.com, Raekwon digs deep to clear up all the rumors and separate fact from fiction when it comes to all issues pertinent to his forthcoming album. With a rare glimpse into the true nature of Hip-Hop’s culinary genius, we go behind the aroma, spices and kitchenware to get a taste of what fans around the world have spent nearly two years salivating over, perhaps with good reason. In today’s world of disposable, drive through Hip-Hop, a slow cooked meal is something that may just be worth waiting for.

RIOTSOUND.COM: Just to give the fans some insight into the Clan and how everything first came about – with yourself personally, how did you initially become involved with MCing and how did you become part of Wu-Tang when the group first came together?

RAEKWON: I’ve been rhyming from the block, you know, and we’ve been doing this for a long time; some of our favorite MCs were right out the neighborhood. We happened to live in one of them neighborhoods where there was a lot of MC contests and battles, breakdacing, graffiti writers, etcetera. So I kinda grew up with all that stuff. When Run DMC and all that starting poppin’ off, that’s when we really took Hip-Hop to another level, as far as in our neighborhood. You’d have brothers out there basically just portraying themselves like the MCs that was out around that time.
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Wu-Tang 0 comments on RZA Interview, Triumph

RZA Interview, Triumph

Few groups have had as much impact on hip-hop culture as Wu-Tang Clan. Emerging out of Staten Island, New York in 1993, the nine-man collective revolutionized the game. Not only did they deliver an instant classic with Enter the Wu-Tang (36 Chambers) but the Clan refused to be shackled by the industry’s standard. While Loud Records had the distinct honor of signing the group, principle producer and leader RZA made sure that each member had the ability to sign solo deals with other labels. As a result, the Wu was to make a corporate takeover that has yet to be rivaled. Under RZA’s direction, breakout star Method Man won a Grammy (“You’re All I Need”), while the various members racked up platinum plaques, launched a clothing line, segued into successful film/TV careers and solidified the Clan as a worldwide phenomenon.

Recent years have seen the Wu’s flame flicker a bit, with the loss of the always-memorable Ol’ Dirty Bastard in 2004, and rumors of internal bickering during the recording of their 2007 reunion album, 8 Diagrams. But the end of ’08 proved that Wu-Tang is forever as the remaining members took to the road with longtime collaborator Cappadonna for their first national tour in years. RZA recently took time out to chop it up with XXLMag.com about the potential for one more Wu album in the chamber, signing ODB’s son and his plans for taking the Wu brand further into Hollywood.

XXLMag.com: After 8 Diagrams, there were a lot of murmurs about the Clan beefin’ about the musical direction you went with. So how is it having all of y’all on tour again?

RZA: It’s healthy for us and shit. The Wu-Tang Clan is like steel; you rub steel against steel it makes it sharper. I think we make each other sharper. So that’s what I see happening show after show, night after night. So it’s good that the conversations are getting more intimate. And I think we’re seeing more of who we are to the world.
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Wu-Tang 1 comment on I couldn’t believe that Ghostface stood up there and said lies.

I couldn’t believe that Ghostface stood up there and said lies.

RZA Keeps Busy
by Shehzaad Jiwani (CHARTattack)

Though he may not be in the spotlight as much as your Kanye Wests or Lil Waynes, The RZA manages to keep himself busy with a multitude of projects, many of which have little to do with hip-hop. ChartAttack recently caught up with Prince Rakeem himself to discuss such non-musical aspects of his career, such as directing his own movies and being sued by fellow Wu-Tang Clan members.

ChartAttack: Can you set the record straight about Ghostface and Raekwon “defecting” around the time 8 Diagrams was released?
RZA: Ghost and Rae both were being deluded. They were saying some stuff that was straight-up untrue. They were saying I took their money. Took your money? I gave y’all more money than I was supposed to! There’s no facts to that shit. Everybody in the business side of the industry looks at me like a fool for the advances I gave the group. As a producer of the album, I’m writing 50 per cent of the music. If we get $500,000 and I make half the music, I’m liable for $250,000. I didn’t do that. I let everybody else take $50,000 each. I was giving up my money.
Continue Reading “I couldn’t believe that Ghostface stood up there and said lies.”

8 Diagrams 19 comments on How To Let A Hype Die 101: With Wu-Tang [HGW Video]

How To Let A Hype Die 101: With Wu-Tang [HGW Video]

Here is what I was waiting for. The Heart Gently Weeps Video. Was it worth the wait? Can we read the family feuds form it? Did it come to late? Could this have saved 8 Diagrams? IS Ghost happy with it or was the geisha’s forehead too big? Is that RZA on the editing? Are we getting more video’s? Is this how you introduce Wu-Tang to a new generation? Where was Meth, Ghost & Rae at? Does it need more Wu? Where does the dancing geisha remind me of?

Looks like both BDR & 8D went kind of flat line. Maybe, just maybe they should have cooperated in re-establishing the Wu-Tang brand. Instead one shot down the left of the chair under the other not knowing they were dangling from the same rope. The helpless cries we witnessed. It was out of our hands once they shifted the focus. Kanye & 50 knew how to push sales. They didn’t with their tremendous track record. What did go wrong?
All well. A lot of new stuff is coming. I am not following that any more. Too many disappointments, last weeks Red & Meth show in Amsterdam not being one of them though. Strike the iron when its hot. It is not that difficult. On that note I’m calling it EPIC FAIL.
Thanks for the video though. It still has a bit of cheap feeling to it. Maybe that’s just GZA’s acting. But finally we got something. You do care. Yet we grew up and drifted away to our own destinies.

8 Diagrams, Inspectah Deck, The RZA 7 comments on You Can’t Stop Me Now

You Can’t Stop Me Now

If my mind recalls correctly You Can’t Stop Me Now was a title planned to be on the 8 Diagrams album. Previous news bits have John Frusciante playing on the guitars and RZA doing production. Now like suspected it ended up elsewhere. The new bobby digital album to be exact.

To be fair the track is real nice. No real bobby feel here. I approve.

On another note, the cover you see here is done by Gary Alford and seems to be an early sketch for the cover. The album is slated for a July 1st release.


8 Diagrams, Wu-Tang 18 comments on 8 Diagrams Metal Box Set

8 Diagrams Metal Box Set

8 Diagrams Metal BoxComing March 3 2008

  • DVD
    • Enter The 8 Diagrams: The Wu-Tang Clan in the studio,8 Diagrams in their own words, raw and uncut behind-the-scenes / live material.
    • Live In Europe 2007: Previously unseen & unreleased concert footage.
    • London, Paris, Berlin – One Week With RZA: An intimate insight into the promotion trip for 8 Diagrams in fall 2007, join RZA on his interview tour through europe.
  • T-Shirt
    • 210 gramms-finest-cotton original black wu-wear t-shirt, strictly limited 8 Diagrams edition.

    8 Diagrams T-Shirt

Track List

  1. Campfire
  2. Take It Back
  3. Get Them Out Ya Way Pa
  4. Rushing Elephants
  5. Unpredictable – Feat. Dexter Wiggle
  6. The Heart Gently Weps – Feat Erykah Badu, Dhani Harrison And John Frusciante
  7. Wolves
  8. Gun Will Go – Feat Sunny Valentine
  9. Sunlight
  10. Stick Me For My Riches – Feat Gerald Austin
  11. Starter – Feat Sunny Valentine And Tasmahogany
  12. Windmill
  13. Weak Spot
  14. Life Changes
  15. Tar Pit – Feat George Clinton
  16. 16th Chamber

Disc 2

  1. Enter The 8 Diagrams
  2. Live In Europe 2007
  3. London Paris Berlin One Week With RZA
  4. The Heart Gently Weeps

Release Today

8 Diagrams 0 comments on Some Added Value To The Heart Gently Weeps

Some Added Value To The Heart Gently Weeps

John FruscianteNow this my be a gamble, but I think not everybody here knows that John Frusciante, one of the guitar players on The Heart Gently Weeps. was a heroin addict, let alone a member of the Red Hot Chili Peppers. Just as I as searching for something I came across this article on him.

It was only in the last few weeks of 1996 that Frusciante was finally able to kick the three-year habit that contributed to the loss of his Hollywood Hills home and the gradual deterioration of his body; earlier this year, John’s remaining teeth were removed and replaced by dentures in order to avoid a life-threatening infection. His right forearm appears badly burned, and his speech, though filled with interesting insights and word games, is slurred and erratic.

Till I Reach the Higher Ground, Guitar Player Magazine- November ’97, by James Rotondi

To me this certainly gives a new insight to the song. And he must be the one that told RZA about the all the other heroin addicted guitar players through times. It must have meant a lot to Frusciante to play on this record while the others were talking about the other sides of the heroin business.

Here’s a more complete recap from Wikipedia:

1992–1997: Drug addiction

Frusciante developed serious drug habits as a result of touring with the band during the previous four years. He said that when he “found out that Flea was stoned out of his mind at every show, that inspired me to be a pothead”.[21] Not only was Frusciante smoking large amounts of marijuana, he began using heroin and was on the verge of full-scale addiction. He went back to his home in California and fell into a deep state of depression; feeling that his life was over, and that he could no longer write music or play guitar.[19] For a long period of time, he focused primarily on painting and producing 4-track recordings he had made during the time he spent recording Blood Sugar Sex Magik. To cope with his worsening depression, Frusciante significantly increased his heroin use to a state of abuse; and subsequently spiraled into a life-threatening dependency.[22] According to Frusciante, his use of heroin to medicate his depression was a clear decision: “I was very sad, and I was always happy when I was on drugs; therefore, I should be on drugs all the time. I was never guilty—I was always really proud to be an addict.”[23]
Niandra Lades and Usually Just a T-Shirt sample:
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8 Diagrams 3 comments on Take It Back Err

Take It Back Err

Take It Back Raekwon

Take It Back has just hit the net and already the first error in the video has been sighted. Although the video spells Raekwons name right when he is rapping, they have made an error with his name in the bigger picture. How this could have slipped in, no idea. The video was announced two months ago around the LP release. Together with a video for Heart Gently Weeps. So they would have had enough time to correct it. This is only a small error in the complete picture that is 8 Diagrams.

Take It Back error Raekwon Raewkwon

The above image is only flashed on for an approximate of three second. But the RaeWkwon is easily noticed.

As it is looking now, people are glad to see a video. But the majority is disappointed by the video itself. Saying it looks like some outsourced job. A guy slapping some images together and kicking it out. Some not even believing that this is official. Off course with RZA living it out in Hollywood, they could have done something better than this. You can’t fool me saying RZA is not connecting with people. May be even if QT had the time he would be dying to do a Clan video. Because in all reality this is a pretty shitty video for their first collaborative effort in seven years. For now it is as official as the Wu gets.

8 Diagrams, The RZA 1 comment on RZA: Digi Snacks Is Finished

RZA: Digi Snacks Is Finished

RZA has only one eyeclaa7 got together a small recap from a RZA interview featured in the Swedish KingSize magazine. Here are a few things he pointed out that were said in the interview:

  • RZA announces that the whole ‘Digi Snacks‘ album is finished but put to the side for the release of 8 Diagrams (the goes same for OB4CL2). Bobby has matured allot on the album. This will be showcased by writing of the songs, which has gotten better according to RZA. There is a really beautiful song on Digi Snacks that’s called ‘Drama‘ which has an incredible chorus and Bobby tells people how to make their lives better. That one feels like a hit-record. But there is also tracks like ‘My Lovin’ Is Digi Pt.2‘ where he just talks shit; “my dick is hard” – that’s that Bobby Digital shit.
  • He says that his favourite Wu-Tang album is ‘Return To The 36 Chambers,’ there is no other album that provides so much joy. It’s a true piece of art.
  • In 1997 RZA found a book on music-theory which started his translation from hip-hop producer to musician. The first beats he made after reading this book were ‘It’s Yourz‘ and ‘Triumph.’
  • He says that Ghostface has a very good ear for music and that he is 100% sure that if he just learned how to use a sampler he would never have to work with a producer again. He also says that INS is the only one in the Clan that learned how to make beats and that ”He actually done a couple beats that are quite interesting.”
  • He gives a prediction that Young DB (ODB’s son) will have a hit-record on top of the charts in 2 years. And it will be a real song-song that people can sing along to. “That’s my first priority when 8 Diagrams is over; Young Dirty Bastard – he is wild, seventeen years old but just like his father. If he just can keep his health.”

Kudos to claa7 for translating the bits

8 Diagrams, Method Man, Ol' Dirty Bastard, The RZA 2 comments on How We Treat Them Hoes: Life Changes

How We Treat Them Hoes: Life Changes

Did ya see that?Anybody remember the reversed RZA line on Life Changes? Which turned out to be ‘fuck ’em in the butt’. I think some may have missed that because we ran the article quite some time before the album got released. Well here are the two bits again.

Life Changes Snippet Original

Life Changes Snippet Reversed

So you heard the thing. Now that piece originates from the infamous Radio 1 Tim Westwood show they did around the release of Forever. Listen to the next sample to hear what it was all about.
Wu-Tang Clan Live In London – X-Rated

Download the Complete Live Session here.
Adn do it because it is a classic piece of Wu-Tang history. Meth, Dirty & RZA taking calls and leaving the callers clueless. And it goes on for quite some time too. Check it out.

The RZA 0 comments on Guitar Center RZA Interview

Guitar Center RZA Interview

RZA yeahWe ventured to Bruce Forat’s studio in Studio City, California, where RZA produced and mastered the majority of the 8 Diagrams album. The following is an excerpt from our conversation with Bruce Forat and RZA.

Guitar Center: How did you guys get to know each other and what are some of the first projects you worked on together?

RZA: Well, let’s see. Who told me about you? It was a guy named Dangerous D.

Bruce Forat: Dangerous D?

RZA: Yeah, right. He’s actually part of a band called Stone Mecca who plays a lot on the Wu-Tang album. It was in EQ magazine. He was telling me about Bruce because I had an MPC4000 with a lot of shit in it that lost all its memory. That’s the reason why I bought a Roland MV-8000. Because my whole hard drive burned out, and for a minute, you know, I thought that was years of work that I’ll never be able to use again, but D told me about a guy named Bruce Forat. Said, “Yo, he could retrieve it. He do all kind of shit.” I says, “Yeah?” Brought the shit over to him and boom! He did it. Y’all have been electrical genius, you know what I mean? You know he made his own beat machine? Not too many people can say that.
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Wu-Tang 0 comments on Where Is That 8 Diagrams SE?

Where Is That 8 Diagrams SE?

For the second time the 8 Diagrams Metal Box Set has been pushed back. HMV & PLay.com are currently listing it for March 3rd. So we’ll have to wait another three weeks. The box is also absent of a 3rd disc. And the DVD tracklists vary.

I have no idea why they keep delaying the release. Don’t think they are doing it to record the HGW video to include that. Maybe the box will be canned altogether.