Coming back for the release of their highly-anticipated album 8 Diagrams isn’t the only milestone achieved by revered Hip-Hop collective Wu-Tang Clan.
The group, which re-surfaced last year for a live performance in California, is also returning to its beginnings by reuniting with Loud Records founder Steve Rifkind for the album’s release.
Although it has been nearly 15 years, since he last worked with Wu-Tang, Rifkind has kept track of the impact the group and its members have had on the rap community.
“What a thrill to be able to work with Wu-Tang again,” said Rifkind, who was instrumental in launching the group’s classic debut album Enter the Wu-Tang (36 Chambers). “Over the last few years, the group has developed a whole new following of people in their 20s who never saw them perform.”
Founded by the RZA, GZA and the late Ol’ Dirty Bastard (O.D.B.), Wu-Tang Clan is noted for creating one of the most distinctive music catalogs in rap history.
Since the release of Enter the Wu-Tang, the group’s nine members have gone on to find success through various ventures that include music, acting, scoring films, video games and clothing lines.
8 Diagrams marks the Wu-Tang’s return to the rap scene after a six year absence. The first single from the release, titled “My Heart Gently Weeps,” is described as “an interpolation” of George Harrison’s classic Beatles song, “While My Guitar Gently Weeps.”
It features Harrison’s son Dhani Harrison, singer Erykah Badu and Red Hot Chili Peppers guitarist John Frusciante.
Fans can now hear the single, which is available exclusively on www.Loud.com.
According to RZA, the timing couldn’t be better for him and fellow Wu-Tang affiliates GZA, Method Man, Raekwon the Chef, Ghostface Killah, Inspectah Deck, Masta Killa and U-God to stand united again.
“This is the perfect time for us to get back together, the stars are aligned,” said RZA, who added that fans can expect to hear a performance of O.D.B. “in his rawest form” from the vault “which will show you why he was considered one of the illest MCs ever.”
O.D.B.’s presence will also be felt on a tribute song titled “Life Changes.”
“Hopefully, it will provide some closure for the fans,” RZA said about the completed track.
To promote 8 Diagrams, Wu-Tang Clan will embark on a month-long U.S. tour that kicks off Oct. 20 in Miami, which runs through the group’s final tour stop in Hawaii on Nov. 23.
Wu-Tang Clan’s 8 Diagrams, which will be released on Loud Records through Universal Records, is slated to hit stores on Dec. 4.