Last Thursday (October 2), the BallerStatus team visited Warner Bros. Records offices for the press announcement of the Wu-Tang Clan’s long-awaited album, A Better Tomorrow. During the afternoon, we had the chance to speak with members Method Man, Inspectah Deck, Cappadonna and affiliate DJ Allah Mathematics about the new project, among other things.
A Better Tomorrow is scheduled for release on Dec. 2nd, a little over 20 years since the group’s debut album, Enter The Wu-Tang (36 Chambers).
What do you listen for when determine what beats to write to?
Method Man: It’s a long process. Usually starts with RZA. It all comes down to the energy.
You’ve been busy outside of music, can you elaborate on any of it?
MM: Yeah, I’m in Thomas McCarthy’s The Cobbler, which just made its rounds at the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF). I also have a part in Judd Apatow’s Trainwreck, which is coming out next year. And, another comedy, Stanton Island Summer, with some of the SNL cast.
Is there anything you would like to tell the fans?
MM: Thank you for 20 plus years of dedication. You keep me on my toes. I’ll forever stay loyal, that’s why I’m on so many joints on the Wu album.
What was your first thought when you got the call letting you know the new album was going to happen?
Inspectah Deck: It’s like when the bat signal goes up. It’s like the Justice League. When you get that call, everything stops.
Is there a particular record on the album you felt like you did the most justice on?
ID: There’s a joint called “Ruckus in B-Minor.” It’s pretty hardcore, with a full live band sound and gritty rawness. It reminds me of ’93 Wu-Tang, ’97 Wu-Tang and 2004 Wu Tang. It’s pretty hard for those longing for that sound.
There’s always a place in music for the Wu…
ID: Die-hards know. You see, we make our music for die-hard fans. There’s millions of people across the globe our music has affected. It’s way bigger than us. When we say “A Better Tomorrow,” we mean it. In ’93, we were rhyming for hood to prove we could make it. In 2014, we’re rhyming for the world. Aliens going to rock this sh*t. That’s the frequencies we’re touching.
What’s your favorite song you’ve ever recorded?
ID: That’s a hard question, I’ve been recording music for 20 years. I would say “The Greatest Story Never Told” on the Manifesto album holds the most weight to me. I was speaking to my pops who passed away when I was six. It’s an open letter, it’s a personal one for me.
What do you hope fans take from the new album?
ID: I hope people take it and embrace it as the evolution of Hip-Hop.
How long has it been since you started working on the new album?
Cappadonna: I’ve been working on the album since our last European tour (2013).
In your opinion what’s the evolution of where the Wu-Tang Clan is at now?
C: It’s more musical. It’s epic and it’s an event, because of the struggle of everything we went through. My lyrics are filled with pain and reality. I feel that’s my greatest contribution.
This album comes as a pleasant surprise for fans, were you expecting it?
C: This album almost didn’t happen. It was tough love to put this album together, it wasn’t like all of the other albums that flowed easily. We already said “Wu is Forever,” but we’re paving the way for A Better Tomorrow.
Where do you feel like you shine the most?
C: With the Clan, amongst the brotherhood. That’s where the glow is inevitable. There ain’t no better place to be.
How did you meet the members of the Wu-Tang Clan?
DJ Mathematics: I’m from South Side Queens. GZA is from the same neighborhood and a lot of my older brothers used to hang out with his cousin Life. I would hear about GZA being a dope emcee and I was a dope DJ around the way, so we started working together. I met RZA from from back in the day at Parliament Meetings we used to have as part of the Five Percent Nation.
How import was the Five Percent Nation to you and the Wu-Tang Clan?
DJ Mathematics: It changed my whole life, it changed the way that I lived. It taught me how to eat and how to take care of myself. It taught a lot of brothers how to read and learn about the world and our existence. Even with this album, you get taught something. Like that movie Lucy, we’re here to pass on information through our experiences. When we’re talking about A Better Tomorrow, it just isn’t your own tomorrow, but that of others and your kids.