The Wu-Tang Clan inner drama is continuing to boil, and there's a deadline on getting it all sorted out.
"The album is slated to come out in July," RZA told Sports Illustrated, referencing A Better Tomorrow. "If we don't come to terms [with Raekwon], I think, within the next 30 days, then this will either be an album without Raekwon or an album that never sees the light of day. And that's a very strong potential."
The project, which has been in the works for some time now, would be the group's first since 2007's 8 Diagrams. However, just last week, the Chef voiced his frustrations with the music's current state.
"I don't wanna comment on that right now, because I'm going through limbo with that," Rae told MTV News last week at the premiere for the film "Time Is Illmatic."
In a separate interview, the Staten Island MC revealed to Rolling Stone that he and RZA disagreed on the direction of the recording. "We are at creative differences because at the end of the day, I want to win," he said. "Being that I feel the team is being compromised by his so-called 'logic' of making music, I have a problem with that because I love my fans. I would never want to give my fans anything other than the best."
RZA shares those sentiments, even if his vision of how to get there differs from Rae's. "I don't want the fans not to have this incredible music that we've been working on for the last year," he added in the SI interview. "So, that's gonna be a tough decision, but we got about 30 days, I think, to make that decision and come to that conclusion. And, either way it goes, the sad part of it would be if it goes the way that it doesn't come out. I would be very disappointed. But I know that Wu-Tang legacy has already made a great mark in the world."
On Monday, during an interview with Hot 97, RZA said that the two Wu warriors have touched base, but no agreement has been reached. "We did speak six, seven days ago and he gave me his demands, which we presented to the company," he said. "If they can be reached, they can be reached. If they can't, they can't. And if they can't, then we got to reevaluate what we're going to do."
This tension, however, doesn't seem to affect the Wu's special project, Once Upon a Time in Shaolin. That album, which was initially announced in March, will reportedly include every member. Only one copy will be released, with plans for it to travel as an exhibit at various museums, for fans to check out and listen to, before being auctioned off to the highest bidder.
So, despite all this back and forth, does RZA still think fans will get A Better Tomorrow, like they've been hoping for quite some time?
"My gut feeling says yes."