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It was all good just a week 21 years ago. RZA and Raekwon haven’t exactly been subtle about their indifferences lately, but The Chef took the broken safety off in a recent interview with Rolling Stone.

Continue after the jump…

In response to RZA’s interview with Vlad TV, in which he claimed he wasn’t sure why Raekwon hasn’t been involved in the upcoming Wu album, A Better Tomorrow, Rae expressed his dissatisfaction with the project and where RZA is taking it. He even compared RZA to a coach who “won rings back in the day, but now your team is in ninth place.”

After a barrage of harmful yet candid comments, Raekwon said that he’s “on strike” from the group and probably won’t appear on A Better Tomorrow. This one hurts to read, folks.

What do you think of “Keep Watch”?
I hate it. I hate it. I don’t hate shit, but I hate that fuckin’ record. It ain’t the gunpowder that my brother is spitting; it’s the production. And I ain’t shitting on the producer because he’s one of our soldiers. But if it ain’t where it need to be… It’s 20 years later. We talkin ’bout a whole new generation is sitting here representin’ and making fiery shit and you telling me that we comin out with some mediocre shit? That ain’t part of our plan.

It almost sounds like you’re on strike.
It’s the same as being an athlete. I don’t give a fuck if it’s Kobe Bryant or Kevin Durant. They will not touch the floor if their managers or lawyers are saying, “Listen, shit ain’t right.” So therefore, I’m in a limbo situation. So yeah, you’re right. I am on strike. It ain’t the fact that I don’t want to be there. Because of course I want to be there. But if we’re there, we gotta do the best everything. We gotta work 10 times harder, because that’s what I’m signing in for. I’m not about listening to somebody that’s not an artist telling me what the fuck they think is hot.

As far as the RZA, I respect him, I love him – the love ain’t gonna go anywhere – but you’re not in the music world no more. So to me, you need to take a backseat and respect the n—as that is playing the game. I’m always out in the field and finding out what’s going on with the new. Period.

Do you think part of it is the expectations put upon the group after 20 years?
We created something that wound up being so big, it has to sit on a certain kind of podium. It has to be sitting up there shining. It can’t be sitting up there with bullet holes and all this bullshit on it. I love my fans. I would never give them something that I feel is not a hit or a win. We made decisions together when it came to making great music. Today, I don’t know where RZA’s mind is at. I don’t know if he looks at himself as being a top producer. But you’re not the top producer no more. You’re definitely one of the best, but you’re not one of the best today.

We said with this album right here, let’s go use some of the relationships with the producers and artists that we know and let’s make something that the fans can be like, “Goddamn.” You don’t go out there and put somebody on the fucking record that nobody never heard of. That’s an insult to us. I’m just sitting back in the bleachers just watching shit. There’s no animosity with me and my brothers. My issue is with fuckin’ management. And whoever sits in that chair, RZA and Devine, that’s they shit that they have to deal with. You’re not going to bury my career with your dumb moves.

Was there talk about working with other producers?
There definitely were conversations about this like, “Let’s make this a colorful album with some of the hottest producers in the game.” Motherfuckers love and respect us enough where it’s like, “If you call me, it would be an honor to be involved with it.” But RZA, you’re the guy that can do that and I don’t understand why he’s not doing that. We want to continue to hold that belt the way it’s supposed to be held.

Did you ever think about leaving the group?
[Pauses] I would never leave the group. Before, I would say to myself, “It can be fixed.” We’ve done so much work together as a family that I would never turn my back on that. But if my business ain’t right, then it’s causing me to do what my heart is telling me to do.

On a scale of 0-10, what are the odds that you end up on A Better Tomorrow?
We at a two right now. It’s like climbing up a fuckin’ mountain if you got on slippers.

It’s sad. It hurts. It’s all about the fans. It’s all about them saying, “This is my favorite fuckin’ hip-hop group in the world.” I have a job to do for them. And I would never let my fans down and make something I feel is mediocre just to say I made it. That’s not Raekwon.

Read the full interview here.

Related:
New Music: Raekwon “Living Room”
RZA Speaks on Raekwon and Wu-Tang Album Delay, But Assures It’s Still “Brotherly Love”
Raekwon Unhappy with New Wu-Tang Album: “We Cannot Leave Everything In RZA’s Hand No More”