NEW YORK — Just like the "W" Wu-Tang symbol they beam up on the cover of their album The W, the Wu-Tang Clan have given the signal that they're ready to reunite in 2004.
"The word is up, the word is up," Ghostface Killah said last week, confirming that the Wu-Tang Clan are in the planning stages of a new album and possible tour next year (see "Wu-Tang Clan To Release Book, Could Possibly Launch Tour").
"We still got a few other things we gotta sit down and talk about, but the word is up. I got the phone call not too long ago," he said. "I'm all for it. As long as everybody is in the same state of mind and the mind is right, then Wu can do whatever we want to do."
Ghostface is leary of half-stepping a Wu reunion. He said the last two albums weren't up to par because the dynamics of the group had changed. "I was 23-years-old when I first did Enter the 36 Chambers. Growing old, you have a lot of other things on your mind. Everybody just gotta be in sync. We all have to make sure we are all 200 percent properly in the same state of mind and know what direction we're going to."
The rapper was speaking from the Bowery Mission, a homeless shelter and church, where he was passing out sleeping bags to the homeless. In association with Troop (yes, the old-school clothing line), Ghostface donated 1,000 sleeping bags to help curb the chill of sleeping on the city streets for the winter. "It's giving somebody a little warmth. It gets cold. And [this is] instead of having to be wrapped up in cardboard and stuff that night."
Passing out sleeping bags might seem like an odd altruistic gesture and Ghostface agreed that it's not a solution. But he added that if nothing else, it is a start. "You've got to crawl before you walk," he said. "There are too many millionaires out here for the whole world to be starving out here."
Meanwhile, Ghost has his own album to worry about, The Pretty Toney Album, which is due out in February on Def Jam Records. "This one is a little offspring of Supreme Clientele," he said. The RZA produced its first single, "Run," which features Jadakiss. Raekwon and Ol' Dirty Bastard will also be on the album. Outside of the Wu, Ghost has recorded with Missy Elliott and hopes to recruit Busta Rhymes by the time it's finished. For now, he's worried about samples. "Last time [on Bulletproof Wallets], I had a lot of stuff I had to take off because of dealing with the sample issue," he said. "Sometimes that will go ahead and crush your album a little bit."