As the December 2nd release date approaches for the new Wu-Tang album, members have revealed in the press that they’re being paid on a hierarchical tier system based on their individual popularity. The recording of A Better Tomorrow was reportedly difficult, with members struggling to come together. Raekwon was often singled out as the biggest hurdle to a reunion. Now that RZA and Cappadonna have confirmed the differing pay scales for each member, it becomes clear that while they may be “Reunited”, they aren’t necessarily united.
RZA says that he’s not totally thrilled about it, and that he declined to take the higher pay grade:
I think it came from a third party, one of our solo managers maybe. But when it penetrated I was like, ‘Yo, that really don’t make no sense.’ In that case just give me the most money. If you wanna just go stupid like that. But what I’ma do with that? There’s a eight-slice piece of pie here, eight slices in the pizza. I’m gonna take two pieces? Nah, I’ll take my slice, you take your slice. Yo, I’ll put myself on a lower-tier and y’all could try it for a year if y’all want
Cappadonna, for his part, doesn’t seem too upset that he’s in the lower-tier. He breaks it down in depth:
I’m looking at it like, Rae, he’s done a lot of collabs with a lot of known artists so that puts him in a different bracket,” he started. “You’ve got Ghost who’s doing various TV shows. He’s in one bracket. Meth has been a success since the beginning. He’s doing movies, that puts him in a bracket. And GZA, based upon his delivery and sales, I guess he’s in his bracket. And of course, RZA. RZA never wanted to be in no upper tier or none of that. He don’t really trip on that right there. He’s not really comfortable with it for him but he’s just gonna play that part because, ‘I’m just gonna play this position to keep a balance,’ the team being more valuable than the captain. He can’t let nobody out rank you. He’s the captain. He had to take on the position just for that. To me, that’s real talk right there. That’s real active because it affected all of us and we had to deal with it the best way we knew how. And that’s why this album is such a beautiful significance. That’s why it’s so strong it can be considered, if not the best, one of the best because of the sweat that was put into it, the essence of our nature, the hardship, the tough love, and consistency. It was like a bunch of chaos and confusion that we came through.
You gotta give it up to Cappadonna for being so reasonable. Hopefully, everybody gets on the same team. It’s hard enough without ODB, let’s keep the group together.