After years of false starts and delays, the Wu-Tang Clan will release a new studio album, "8 Diagram," this summer via SRC Records.
After years of false starts and delays, the Wu-Tang Clan will release a new studio album, "8 Diagram," this summer via SRC Records. According to principal member RZA, the album will include an unreleased performance from the late Ol' Dirty Bastard and a long-in-the-works tribute to the artist dubbed "Life Changes."
SRC founder Steve Rifkind has a long association with Wu-Tang dating back to its seminal 1993 debut, "Enter the 36 Chambers," released on his Loud Records label.
After years of inactivity, the group reunited to play the Rock the Bells festival in California in 2004 (released as the CD/DVD "Disciples of the 36 Chambers") and staged a North American tour last year. Wu-Tang Clan has not released a new album since 2001's "Iron Flag."
"People want something that gives them an adrenaline rush," RZA said in a statement. "We're here to supply that fix. How could hip-hop be dead if Wu-Tang is forever? We're here to revive the spirit and the economics and bring in a wave of energy that has lately dissipated."
RZA has actually been pushing for a return to the studio for several years, but he conceded that coordinating the members' busy schedules and meeting their financial needs were formidable obstacles.
"I know everybody has a lifestyle they have to maintain," he told Billboard.com in February 2005. "Let's just say a Wu-Tang Clan album is worth a couple million dollars. Once 10 guys get on it, it's still worth a couple hundred grand. Some guys' lifestyles require them to make five or six hundred thousand dollars a year regardless. Maybe doing Wu-Tang will make you that much money, but doing it by yourself could you make you a million, because there aren't so many hands involved. But for the legacy, I think we should be willing to make that sacrifice and get it cracking."
To tide fans over, Nature Sounds will on Feb. 6 release the collection "Wu-Tang Clan & Friends -- Unreleased." The 20-track set rounds up rare material produced by the group's DJ, Allah Mathematics, including remixes of "Wu Banga" and "Da 'W'."