The long-awaited Wu-Tang Clan album 8 Diagrams is finally out. How do you feel about the album finally being available to the fans?
I feel like it’s all gully right now. The album is out. It’s been hard labor, basically nine months of pain going through the cracks and the crevices of life and at the end of the day, we were still able to pull it off through blood, sweat and tears.
Are you happy with the finished product?
I mean, you know, it is a collective entity. Collective minds collided together, so I can’t really say that I’m not happy with the finished product because I had a chance to maybe make a difference if there was something I didn’t like or something I did like. I’m just more or less happy with the completed version. I’m not really satisfied to my satisfaction, as far as my satisfaction is concerned, but I’m happy. I’m happy to be a part of something that was big and still has the potential to be big.
Raekwon recently came out and said he was going to support the album. If you’re a part of the album, shouldn’t it be assumed that you support it?
I believe that everybody should promote the album regardless of what, but you know, we all have individual opinions and everybody had different feelings and viewpoints on how they think things should be, not only in music but in life in general. I support every man for putting his work in and giving it his all to the best of his ability to bring forth a collective item. How people feel is in that one man’s reference or how he feels the album should go and that right there can only bring about something more valuable in his solo attempts.
Were you able to give your opinion and creative input on 8 Diagrams as you guys were making the album?
What I consider would be my opinion and my asset to the collective is just to be a part of something that has the potential to be something more than what it was in the beginning, which was nothing. It was hard enough for us to just come together after five or six years of separation and growing into different, various aspects of life. Some of us have children who didn’t have children before and some of us who had children now have older children. We grew up in different ways and with different lifestyles and the fact that we were still able to come together after all the heartache and pain is definitely a plus in the making of a Wu album and the constructive entity that it takes to even supply these endeavors right here and these logistic thoughts. I’m very satisfied with the coming together of the Wu album and I’m sure everybody else is satisfied with the coming together of the Wu album because with this album right here, it’s giving us the ability to still shine as a group and to still have the potential to come later on as individuals with our solo projects.
Was this the most difficult Wu-Tang Clan album to make?
Yes, I believe this is one of the, well, not one of the most, but the most difficult album ever recorded from Wu-Tang Clan because of the differentiality of all the individual artists and the various changes that took place in our lives over the past five years. It’s just like we had to basically become friends or just respect each other’s manhood in order to even come with an album of this caliber right now. It’s 8 Diagrams and I have yet to see my face appear on the Wu-Tang cover as a collective entity for the group.
Five years is a long time between albums. Was there too much time between Iron Flag and 8 Diagrams?
Time is of the essence. Time waits for no man. Now’s the time for us to come amongst this nation and end all devilishment. This is the perfect time for us to bring back peace. The rap game has been tormented by so much by profanity and vulgarity that has been taking place over the years that led Nas to state that fact that hip-hop is now dead. And now we have the opportunity, being one of the most powerfulest rap groups of all-time, to put some of that negative energy to rest. Although we have a lot of negative energy within our own circumference, to show everybody that even through the negative energy and the bad parts of life that we had to experience, we can still come together as a people to construct something like this. That’s one of the most important things in our community and that’s the unity.
How important was it for you to show a more grown-up perspective on this album where some of your songs on previous Wu albums were more aggressive and in-your-face?
I think the laid-back vibe came from everybody trying to feel each other out and basically get to know each other again after the past five years. There was a lot of turmoil there from previous adventures and things we went through in life. We grew up together and we’re from the ‘hood so we go all the way back to crack, man, and various trials and tribulations that were hard times for us. So for us to be able to face that reality and respect each other as men now and put all the other crap behind us, that takes a lot of growing up and a lot of team effort and just a lot of understanding, so that right there, you just wanna sit back and not try to force your hand too much and not try to force things, but just kind of let things fall where they may.
When Ghostface Killah said that 8 Diagrams was “bullshit”, most members stayed quiet. Did you say to yourself that that was just Ghost being Ghost or at any time did you want to get out there and say, “Hey, this album isn’t bullshit!”?
Everybody has their opinion of how things should be. That’s not only in music. That’s in life in general. And a lot of people are not going to like everything that the next person likes. That’s why we have so many styles of clothes and cars and standards of living and hats. There’s a lot of things for each person so that everybody can come to some kind of mutual agreement or mutual understanding of what should be done.
At the end of the day, work done is better than no work at all. If it wasn’t for this Wu album right now, where would we be standing as a group right now? There wouldn’t be no radio play and there wouldn’t be no arguments and there wouldn’t be no Wu album. There wouldn’t be all of these great things. There wouldn’t be the great tour Rock the Bells that we experienced where there were 80,000-100,000 people who were die-hard and they loved Wu-Tang. They respect the fact that we are a group. They don’t know all of the ins and outs of what we go through as people. They just see the beauty in music and that’s the love of the music right there. It’s the universal language. It’s going to always prevail over all negativity at all times, man, forever.
Was any of the excitement and expectations for the album lowered when Ghost called the album “bullshit”?
Well, what it does is as a group and as a family, it just kind of leaves a salty taste in the mouths and ears of the fans who always looked up to Wu-Tang. They sometimes kind of feel like that one individual is going against the grain. We’re responsible for our words. They say what you say can and will be used against you. At that point, whether or not the fans are going to be feeling his statement because they’re going to still have to listen to the album, judge it for themselves and see that Ghostface is still a part of something he doesn’t like or whether he likes it or not.
It’s almost like having a child. You took the time out to give birth to that child and you took the time out to have intercourse with this woman, but now you don’t like the results of what your actions created. The best thing for you to do is disassociate yourself from a family that made you who you are today. That’s something that you learn through growth and development. That’s not something that you’re going to get in one day. You can never forget where you come from and what made the person that you are today. So, you know, let him go ahead and listen to that.
Groups from the past like The Spinners and The Temptations, a lot of the older brothers that were our age when they started doing it, they don’t talk like that. You know? Even Michael Jackson and the Jackson 5, they still…Michael Jackson is still getting the cover of Ebony magazine, man. He’s still shining on that joint. He’s in Africa now. Through all of the allegations and everything, Michael Jackson is still that dude, man. He wants to do his video in Manhattan or whatever he wants to do, but that’s the same way that we should carry ourselves.
We should show our growth and development and we should rise up over any forms of monotonous and separation or any kind of disagreements that we may have. We should be able to come together as adults and put something good on the table, man. We will never give up and there’s always a chance and God is always willing to forgive and I’m always willing to forgive. We can take this further and further and further, man, if we just learn to love.
Do you think Ghostface will leave Wu-Tang Clan in the future?
I see him partially, like I said, disassociating himself with the group. You will never be able to disassociate yourself with something that is the foundation of everything that you are today. The fans won’t allow it. The record companies won’t allow it. You have to really just change your whole identity. You might as well just get a facelift at that point and change your name.
That’s the only way you’re really going to be able to avoid the umbrella of ruin but you can show some good growth and development, man, if you just show that what you have to offer to the Clan is the better of yourself and with that being said, that you should only give your best, because perhaps it’s your rhymes and your asset to the collective that’s wack and that has no value because you didn’t have the love and the understanding to contribute that kind of energy to the collective assault.
Did every member give 100% on 8 Diagrams?
I feel like everybody gave what they had. I can’t say that they gave their all because a lot of brothers probably wasn’t all together at that point. If you’re all bent out of shape and are not up to your greatest standards, you will never be able to be the great athlete that you once were before the knee injury, the head injury or the arm injury where you’re not able to extend your arm like you did in the beginning when you were at the peak of your profession.
Raekwon said on MTV that you guys were going to record a new Wu-Tang album without the RZA. Is there any chance of that happening?
I mean, Rae’s the chef. If he’s cooking up a new, marvelous track for everybody, dang, let’s go for it. RZA’s doing quite well. He’s doing movies and he’s doing very good. He’s in L.A. right now enjoying the sunshine and the good weather. He has a very, very long put-together track record of things he’s done in the past. If he made a Greatest Hits RZA album, it would be great material. It’s not going to be any sweat off of his balls for him to not be a part of this new revolution, whatever the case may be, at any length. What it would do is it would reestablish Wu-Tang on another level and at the same time, but at the same time, you still have to pay homage to that W and the strongest of the W and the founder of the W, which is Robert Diggs.
Would it be loyal to record a whole album without RZA and call it a Wu-Tang album?
I mean, it’s not necessarily, well, if he does name the album and still put it under the Wu umbrella, it would be a great move as opposed to the loyalty of the Clan and it still gives RZA the stigmata that he deserves, but at the same time, disassociating yourself from the W, the fans will not allow you to come up from under the umbrella of the W. That will still be your brand, regardless of what, but it would definitely bring something new to the rap industry with the taking of and the receiving of various other trackmakers like Swizz Beats, Kanye West, Puff Daddy, Dr. Dre…
It would build a lot of bridges and it would just put us in a new light and up in the horizons of Wu-Tang into the future of hip-hop and into the future of music for years to come.
What producers do you want to work with?
Only the best, man, from rock to pop. Quincy Jones, I mean the best. R. Kelly. Whoever’s doing it big and has been in the business for years, knows what a hit is about and knows how to make a hit and knows how to reconstruct and reproduce artists into the new world and just to keep up with the times. There are various trackmakers and artists out there who can help us bridge the gap between all the old and new and create a new world order and a new kingdom of God under the music industry of love, peace and happiness, man. There’s nothing like it, unity in the community, all day, every day. This is 2007. We’re coming into a new year. It’s going to be a prosperous year for Wu-Tang because of the effort that was made in the 8 Diagrams album, with me being a leader on the first song off of the Wu album “Campfire”.
It’s outrageous now. I’m loving the vibe. I got my horn ready. I got my 2008 glasses still on standby and I’m ready to go into this new world revolution. All of my cards are on the table, all of my debts are paid, all of my new money coming in and all of my old money going out, man. It’s nothing but love in the air each and every day in each and every way, with Jesus right there and Muhammad on the other side. Love is love, always. You know how we do. New tracks, new Cappadonna, new Raekwon, new Ghost.
Are you getting the response from fans that you wanted for 8 Diagrams?
I’m so happy right now, man. I’ve just been giving coats away. I’ve been giving clothes away. I stay giving to the homeless. I stay giving to the poor. Mad love is in the air. Sometimes I get angry because I have so much more to give. I have so much more to give. It’s better to give than to receive. And I think the fans are really taking to what’s going on and whether or not they’re taking all the way to it, they’re going to love to be just a part of anything that looks like it’s something positive. Whether it’s good, bad or ugly, we all go through the same things in life with our relationships and our families. It’s not all peaches and cream. You’re going to go through ups and downs in your life, but I think that coming out on top of that is the best thing you can do and by us formulating and putting it together shows and proves that we came out on top.
Everybody came together with the exception of Dirty, whose life was still there in spirit. We came together and did it. Like we told you before, Wu-Tang Clan is forever and it’s always going to be like that! It’s never going to change no matter how bad the situation may seem and regardless of all the spite and negative press that we’ve been getting over the last few months.
Man, look, the album is here. December 25 is coming. Christmas is in the air. Love is in the air. 2008, the turn of the new year. Man, it’s going to be nothing but love. Check for the new Cappadonna project. Check for the Capitalized project. We all have MySpace’s. You can hit us up. Google me, download me, dot com, no matter what you do, I’m still part of the Wu no matter what. They can’t keep me out and they can’t keep a big man down. And I’m over here, man. I’m always going to be holding my ground. Holla at your boy. One love and big up to the Wu-Tang Clan. Big up to Cappadonna. Staten Island forever along with all of the five boroughs. Brooklyn stand up. Manhattan stand up. Queens stand up. Everybody stand up and get ready for the new world revolution. Wu-Tang, Cappadonna, the best you will ever have, right here, off the Almighty light. One.
Ed. Note: With that, Cappadonna hung up the phone, signaling the interview was over. I thought about calling him back to ask him a few more questions, but this just may be the best ending to an interview ever run on HipHopGame.