Back in August when the Wu-Tang Clan made a surprise appearance on The Daily Show with Jon Stewart, the group promised that they would release their long-awaited 6th official group album A Better Tomorrow before Christmas time. With that date fast approaching, however, speculation began to arise that the Clan wouldn’t make good on their promise, but now salvation has been found in a recent press release from Warner Brothers, claiming a release on December 2nd.
The first Wu-Tang album since 2007’s 8 Diagrams, the record has been watched with curious eyes by the group’s dedicated and massive fan-base, especially concerning the back-stage drama that highlighted their last group album. There was an oft-discussed feud between members Raekwon and RZA on 8 Diagrams due to Raekwon’s misgivings with the production (even going so far as to call RZA a “hip-hop hippie”). RZA has since expressed that he was ultimately disappointed with 8 Diagrams too, and even said “there hasn’t been a good Wu-Tang album in almost 10 years.”
This year though, the coveted hip-hop group has been showing that they’ve become particularly unified for the new album. Asides from the Jon Stewart appearance, the group also made vast waves on the internet when they announced that they were huge supporters of filesharing platforms, and debuted a new track on Blend. The released tracks (“Ron O’Neal” and “So Many Details”) have already shown a strong sense of a revitalized spirit for the group, and the album’s title (which in signature fashion is borrowed from a John Woo film) ostensibly carries a sense of optimism to it.
A Better Tomorrow, should not be mistaken for the other Wu-Tang release this year, Once Upon a Time in Shaolin. That record is their one-of-a-kind project that is intended to only have one official copy of the recording released and then auctioned off to the highest bidder, quite possibly for a seven-figure number (reported here). Other upcoming Wu-Tang related releases include Raekwon’s solo album Fly International Luxurious Art, and Method Man’s oft-delayed Crystal Meth. Looks like 2014 is shaping up to be a really official 21st anniversary for their classic debut album, Enter the Wu-Tang (36 Chambers).