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World Beat: Daily Music Briefs from Around the World
Wu-Tang Clan Set to Release New CD, Wu-Tang Iron Flag, December 18

December 10, 2001 – After nine years, rap artists Wu-Tang are still going strong with a new release, Wu-Tang Iron Flag, due in stores December 18th on Loud Records.

Wu-Tang -- Rza, Method Man, GZA, ODB, U-God, Masta Killa, Ghostface Killah, Inspectah Deck and Raekwon -- broke onto the music scene in 1993. They soon became the first rap group to spin their careers into the fashion industry with Wu-wear (1995), and the first to create their own video game (1998). The members also went onto cultivate successful solo careers selling more than 20 million records worldwide collectively.

The release of Wu-Tang Iron Flag comes a little more than a year after the group's last platinum-plus CD, The W. RZA explains, "We are always in the studio working on either solo projects or together and because it usually takes a few years in between for us to release an album we thought we'd try something different from our norm and hit the hood with something new quicker than before. Everybody's rhymes were on point and it only took us about thirty days to make Iron Flag. I believe it's some of our best work yet."

The album's first single "Pinky Ring (Uzi)" has already seen a lot of mix show airplay across the country. Ghostface says, "'Pinky Ring' is a song that lets our peoples know that the Wu is back. A lot of people out there was doubting that we could do it so soon after the last so 'Pinky Ring' with the hook 'The Wu is back' seemed like the best song to let the streets know that we were definitely coming."

Unlike their last effort, Wu-Tang Iron Flag -- executive produced by RZA and Ghostface (as all Wu albums are) -- doesn't boast a lot of guest appearances. Only the Isley Brothers and Flava Flav show up this time around. And the only outside production is done by the Trackmasters on the Isley Brothers' R&B laced track, "Back in the Game."

From songs about crooked cops to life in the streets to September 11, Raekwon says, "We just trying to give y'all the opportunity to see how we live and think for a minute, you know, experience what we experience. Never take our s*it lightly." As for songs like "In the Hood" U-God says, "We are always there so it's easy for us to talk about it. Most rappers after finding success don't go back to the hood, we never left the hood -- we always go back -- that's what we represent."

Wu-Tang Iron Flag comes amid a flurry of Wu-Tang activity. "We flooding them right now," says Ghostface Killah, whose Bulletproof Wallets was released in November. December 2001 will also see the release of Method Man and Redman's How High movie and soundtrack. RZA's Bobby Digital in Stereo was released in August, while Raekwon's RAGU and the incarcerated Old Dirty Bastard's The Trials and Tribulations of Russell Jones are set for releases in March 2002.

Previous Albums by Wu-Tang:
36 Chambers (1993)
Wu-tang Forever (1997)
Swarm (1998)
The W (2000)

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