We've heard the RZA drop lines about the study of mathematics in several of his verses, and now he's using numbers to dispute Cappadonna's claims of being jerked in business dealings with the Wu-Tang Clan. He says that if Donna has any disputes, he can go back and look at the books.
"According to my lawyers and the people on my team over these years, they say I've been one of the most foolish businessmen in the game because I treat my artists too fair," RZA said Wednesday, defending himself. "I'm supposed to be sitting on mad, mad mega[millions] 'cause these n---as all rob each other in this game. I don't rob my n---as. In all reality, the way you gotta get on in this business is you gotta rob the next mutha----a, but that's not my mentality. That's not my heart."
Last month Cappadonna opened up to MTV News, saying that he had only received one royalty check his entire career and that Wu-Tang never paid him for his guest spots on their various group LPs and solo projects (see "Cappadonna Opts To Be Homeless, Drives Cab To Support Fam"). RZA disputed the allegations, saying that Cap earned at least $500,000 while signed to his Epic imprint, Razor Sharp, from 1995 to 1998. After 1998, RZA said, Cap was signed with Sony Music.
"Any dollar that came to us for Cappa, he received," RZA said about the man he says he still considers a friend. "If anybody owes him money, it's Sony. Sony's his record company; check on Sony for it. If you talking about the Wu-Tang Clan albums, those were courtesy appearances and he got paid upfront for them. That was a courtesy to him, not a courtesy to us. We let him shine [on the albums], but we paid him for that. He didn't just rap, it was like, 'Homie, here's a stack of cheese.' "
RZA said when he first heard about Cap's claims of being treated unfairly, he called his former rhyme accomplice and Donna denied the story. But when he heard it from the horse's mouth a few days ago when Cap was on the New York radio show "The Wendy Williams Experience" promoting an appearance MTV2's "The Wrap," RZA was a little upset.
"He was saying that he was driving cabs and all that sh-- and I wouldn't even share that business," RZA scoffed. "Whatever you going through in your struggle, son, that's your struggle. You made your own mistakes. Nobody made no mistakes to mess up my n---a. [Cap] made his own decisions, and the decisions he made wasn't proper, that's all.
"If he's homeless, that sh-- is f---ed up," RZA added. "It's enough of us in the crew that have love so if he's in a bad situation he can easily reach out to somebody if his pride ain't covering his eyes. He reached out before to my people like, 'Yo, I need a quick 10 [grand].' It's a recession now since 9-11, so it probably got tight around the belt. He probably didn't prepare for this."
Prepared or not, Cap makes no apologies for his current lifestyle.
"Now I do whatever I gotta do, man," Cap said earlier this week in Baltimore. "If I have to snatch a pocketbook, if I gotta go to the store and rob some milk for my babies, then that's what I gotta do. I'mma do whatever I gotta do, bite whoever I gotta bite, eat whoever I gotta eat to get mine."
For now, Donna has put the mask and gloves on the shelf and isn't resorting to cannibalism, either. He's still working as a gypsy cab driver in Baltimore.
"It's called hacking out here," he explained. "I was telling [my passengers] my name is Hack Love from the Heavens Above, but they get in the car and say 'Cap.' "
For as little as $10, Cap will give you a round-trip ride to some locations, even if you're doing wrong. "Crackheads is picking me up, taking me to people's houses," he said. "They hit the houses up, come out with TVs. But it's like, 'Where you going? Pawn shop?' Good. I can get paid."
Cap's new LP, The Struggle, is slated to drop sometime this summer.
To see Cappadonna at work as a cab driver, tune in to MTV2 on Sunday. He'll be featured on the latest episode of "The Wrap," which premieres at 9:30 p.m.