"Wu-Tang Is Forever," Comeback CD Hitting Stores This Summer
The New York rap collective signed with Rifkind's SRC Records this past December. Wu-Tang, who came in to prominence in the early 90's via Rifkind's now-defunct Loud Records, have not released a group album since 2001's Iron Flag.
During their six-year hiatus, all nine members of the group have released solo albums. The group's most eccentric member, ODB (born Russell Tyrone Jones), died in 2004 from an accidental overdose while recording his third solo project.
"This is the perfect time for us to come back, the stars are aligned," explained RZA via a statement. "It's like when we first started with Steve. We put out real hip-hop at a time when it was turning into pop or R&B. We brought the focus back to the music in its rawest form, without studio polish or radio hooks."
According to RZA, the album will feature a performance of ODB "in his rawest form" and a tribute song dedicated to the fallen rapper titled "Life Changes".
"The energy is just like it was, and it's needed in our industry same as back then," added Rifkind. "Over the last few years, the group has developed a whole new fan base of 20-year-olds and even younger who've never even seen them play."
"People want something that gives them an adrenaline rush," emphasized RZA. "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."
A release date for 8 Diagrams has yet to be determined.