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RZA giving Raekwon 30-day deadline to join Wu-Tang Clan album

"I would not want to put out a Wu-Tang album without every live member available."

Wu-Tang Clan might not issue a comeback album to mark its 20th anniversary.

The Staten Island collective’s long-gestating album, “A Better Tomorrow,” is slated to arrive in July. But group turmoil seems to be getting in the way.

When Wu-Tang dropped the lead single from the album, “Keep Watch,” group member Raekwon sent a  snarky tweet in response to the bouncy, '90s throwback. "Keep dreaming," he wrote.

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Raekwon’s curious absence from the song revealed an even bigger divide in the group: He’s been MIA from the recording process, with no plans on joining in.

The rapper’s supposed “strike” from Wu-Tang Clan and a harsh interview with Rolling Stone -- in which he called the tune “mediocre,” lobbed a number of accusations at RZA and said there was a slim chance he’d appear on the record -- has prompted RZA to respond.

In an interview with Sports Illustrated, RZA publicly gave Raekwon a deadline to jump aboard the album, the collective's first in seven years, or else.

"If we don't come to terms [with Raekwon], I think, within the next 30 days, then this will either be an album without Raekwon or an album that never sees the light of day,” RZA said. “And that's a very strong potential.

"I would not want to put out a Wu-Tang album without every live member available. At the same time, I don't want the fans not to have this incredible music that we've been workin' on for the last year. So that's gonna be a tough decision, but we've got about 30 days to make that decision and come to that conclusion."

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The Wu may need more than 30 days to repair this rift. In Raekwon’s interview, he was asked to rank, on a scale of one to 10, the chances of him appearing on the new album. 

"We at a two right now," he said. "It’s like climbing up a … mountain if you got on slippers."

If fans never get “A Better Tomorrow,” they can still pull together all their resources to bid on the group’s secret rare album. It will cost you millions, though.  

Watch RZA dish on the drama below:

Follow @GerrickKennedy

gerrick.kennedy@latimes.com

Copyright © 2014, Los Angeles Times
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