NEW YORK- October 4, 2007â€”Wu-Tang Clan will release 8 Diagrams, their eagerly awaited first new studio album in six years, December 4, on Steve Rifkindâ€™s revived Loud Records label through Universal Records, marking a reunion between the legendary hip-hop group and the pioneering rap entrepreneur.
The first single, â€œMy Heart Gently Weeps,â€ described as â€œan interpolationâ€ of George Harrisonâ€™s classic Beatles song, â€œWhile My Guitar Gently Weeps,â€ is now available exclusively on www.Loud.com. Harrisonâ€™s son Dhani Harrison, Erykah Badu and Red Hot Chili Peppers guitarist John Frusciante guest on the track.
The release of Wu-Tangâ€™s 8 Diagrams marks a reunion with Loud founder
Rifkind, who launched the hip-hop iconsâ€™ very first album, Enter the Wu-Tang
(36 Chambers), nearly 15 years ago on his label. The group proceeded to create one of the most distinctive catalogs in rap history, its nine members going on to success not only in music, but also acting, scoring films, video games and clothing lines.
â€œWhat a thrill to be able to work with Wu-Tang again,â€ enthused
Rifkind, who broke such acts as David Banner and more recently, Akon, into
multi-platinum sellers on his SRC label. â€œOver the last few years, the group has developed
a whole new following of people in their 20s who never saw them perform.â€
The band will begin a month-long U.S. tour on Oct. 20 in Miami, which runs through Hawaii on Nov. 23.
Rifkind was one of the first to employ corporate and label synergy by bringing in major corporations to sponsor individual artists within the hip-hop community.
â€œThis is the perfect time for us to get back together, the stars are aligned,â€ says one of the bandâ€™s three founders, RZA, who started the group with GZA and the late Olâ€™ Dirty Bastard, adding six other members from Brooklyn and Staten Island, including Method Man, Raekwon the Chef, Ghostface Killah, Inspectah Deck, Masta Killa and U-God, taking their
name from one of their beloved Hong Kong martial arts films.
The roots of Wu-Tangâ€™s reunion took place last year, when the band was
rapturously received at a rare live performance in California before more than 10,000 fans.
From the start, Wu-Tang Clan represented a hip-hop collective, its individual members all pursuing individual careers, then coming back to their base. The groupâ€™s 1997 breakthrough, the two-CD Wu-Tang Forever, set a record for hip-hop acts by selling 600k in its first week, debuting at #1 on its way to 4 million in U.S. sales.
8 Diagrams, also named after a kung fu epic, will be the first group
recording since the death of Olâ€™ Dirty Bastard in Nov. 2004, and RZA
promises the new album will include a performance of O.D.B. â€œin his rawest
formâ€ from the vault â€œwhich will show you why he was considered one
of the illest MCs ever.â€ There is also a tribute song to O.D.B., â€œLife Changes,â€ that has been in the can for awhile. â€œHopefully, it will provide some closure for the fans,â€ says RZA.