The in-fighting that broke up the Wu-Tang Clan
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The in-fighting that broke up the Wu-Tang Clan

It has always been unclear what definitively broke up the iconic Wu-Tang Clan in the early 2000s. From the pursuit of solo careers to the death of Ol’ Dirty Bastard, there has been much speculation.

However, in 2018, the most underrated member of the collective, U-God, wrote his memoir, RAW: My Journey Into the Wu-Tang, in which he revealed that it was an “all for one” mentality that destroyed the group.

In his book, the emcee wrote, “Right now, it just looks like the Wu brothers are not on the same page, going at each other’s throats, missing shows, and all that. But, to me, it’s really years of BS catching up to RZA.”

The lyricist (real name Lamont Hawkins) also claimed that members of the group weren’t getting paid properly by RZA, writing, “See, he puts his family in charge of sh*t, and for years, we would go on the road but the money came up short.”

According to Hawkins, the group’s leading figures, such as RZA and GZA, were stingy when funding solo albums and prioritised some members over others. As such this apparently caused the group to fight about money and royalties nonstop,

Speaking about how, even to this day, the collective doesn’t have good management, Hawkins detailed, “In 25 years of being in the business, RZA has never placed the group at an A-list agency. I wonder why?! Just talking about this shit frustrates me. I mean, here we are, the Rolling Stones of hip-hop, and we ain’t even got proper representation. Meanwhile, RZA’s always had A-list agents repping him personally. What the fuck is that all about?”

One passage in the book sees U-God explain how RZA always had to be in charge, reading, “RZA also started becoming a bit of a control freak around this time. He wanted to control the budget, publishing, writing hooks, everything. I kept quiet and kept working, but it didn’t take a brain surgeon to see he was trying too hard to control the entire creative process.”

HAwkings puts a lot of the blame at RZA’s feet in his memoir. You can watch the emcee further explain his issues with RZA in the video below.