He says he's entitled to his 50 per cent share of royalties
Wu Tang Clan‘s RZA has said claims by bandmate Ghostface Killah that he owes the rest of the rap act royalties are not true.
Reports last Thursday (September 24) stated that Ghostface Killah had won a legal judgement for over $158,000 (£98,000) against RZA‘s Wu-Tang Productions in regards to the unpaid royalties.
However, RZA has now told Allhiphop that the case “is not closed yet”, adding: “The judgment has not been entered yet, and we are appealing the case.”
RZA says that he – along with the other members of Wu Tang Clan – signed a contract allowing whoever produced their material to collect 50 per cent of royalties as a producer, with the remaining half to be split between the lyricists.
RZA states that this is common practice in hip-hop.
“When it comes to the beats of hip-hop, how it carries on to this day is that the producer gets 50 per cent of the composition, and the lyricist, no matter how many, gets the other 50 per cent,” explained RZA.
He added that if he is forced to pay Ghostface Killah unpaid royalties, it could lead to a number of copycat cases from other rap acts.
“For them to say that’s wrong, and the producer shouldn’t get 50 per cent, that means every producer is this industry can now have a potential claim against them from an artist. Remember, we don’t sign contracts in studios.”
The announcement also saw RZA defend the amount of work he has put into Wu Tang Clan songs as a producer.
“They’ve made millions based on my beats,” he stated. “Songs like ‘Bring Da Ruckus’ I made two years before they even rapped on it. Songs like ‘Can It Be All So Simple’, anybody could have got on that. It had the hook, beat, and the lift from the beginning. They threw their verses on it.”