It might have been all so simple then, but it's not anymore.
The Wu-Tang Clan emerged in the mid-'90s with a distinct style of kung-fu-movie-inspired hip-hop. The group's architect and producer, the RZA, ushered in a gritty street sound on its albums, and the guys made history as the individual members negotiated solo deals with a range of labels, including Def Jam, Universal and Sony.
But lately, the love isn't flowing like it once did.
Wu, who are set to release 8 Diagrams — their first group effort since 2001's Iron Flag — on December 11, should be united. But member Ghostface has gone public with gripes stemming from creative and financial differences with the RZA, and now Raekwon is following suit.
Ghost fired the first dart three weeks ago when he told MTV News' Mixtape Monday of his disdain for "the hierarchy at Wu-Tang Clan." According to the Def Jam star, he wasn't properly compensated for the group's last tour, as part of Rock the Bells, and he was frustrated delays in recording 8 Diagrams resulted in the album landing on same release date as his upcoming solo album, The Big Doe Rehab.
"It's on right now," Ghost sniped. "N---as better pay my f---ing money. Matter of fact, they can keep the money — just get me out of their life right now."
Raekwon reiterated Ghost's claims on Thursday (November 8), telling New York radio personality Miss Info of Hot 97 that he feels as if he's "being taken advantage of." The Cuban Linx rapper also revealed his desire to make a full Wu album without RZA in the future.
"A lot of times there may be a deal where we never get a chase to see the paper work," Rae said in the video interview posted on MissInfo.tv. "We like, 'Hold up, what's going on? Deliver that paperwork. Let me agree to disagree,' whatever. And it seems like mother----ers be like, 'You don't need to see nothing.'
"And that's where the bullsh-- comes," he added. "It's like you switching. One minute, you my brother, one minute we doing business. ... And that's the problem. A mother----er may know you love them because you love them like that, and then next thing you know he uses that as a weakness against you and your mind."
In a 2003 reader-generated interview with Blender magazine, Method Man designated RZA's business partner, Divine, as the #1 person on his "sh-- list" when presented with the question. Meth claimed the Wu-Tang Management associate "took something major from me that he had no intention of giving back."
A representative for the RZA, when reached by MTV News, said the RZA's only comment in regards to the financial dispute Ghostface and Raekwon are claiming was that, "It's all his fault, and he'll take the responsibility."