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Wu-Tang Clan's RZA Will Appeal Royalties Lawsuit
Ben Hewitt , September 30th, 2009 08:16

Producer will fight to keep hold of 50% royalties

Wu-tang Clan producer RZA is set to appeal against a lawsuit brought by fellow member Ghostface Killah that claims the former isn't entitled to 50% of the outfit's royalties.

According to reports, RZA received half of the royalties from the group's early albums — a larger percentage than any of the other members — which caused Ghostface Killah to launch a lawsuit disputing the producer's cut of the profits in 2005.

But although a report last week suggested Ghostface Killah had won a $158,000 (£99,000) judgement, RZA has claimed that the case is far from over.

He told All Hip Hop: "The case between Ghost and RZA is not closed yet. The judgement has not been entered yet, and we are appealing the case. I'm not appealing because I don't want to pay Ghost something that I owe him. Anything I owe him I would give him . . . But he's with a group of people who to me have a misunderstanding of hip-hop and contracts."

RZA also claimed that a producer claiming 50% of royalties was standard practice in hip-hop, adding: "When it comes to the beats of hip-hop, how it carries on to this day is that the producer gets 50% of the composition, and the lyricist[s], no matter how many, gets the other 50%.

"If I wasn't the producer and it was just a contract thing, maybe I'd feel more compassion. But trust me, when it comes to doing these records, I'm in the studio hundreds of days where they're here for 20-30 days.

"The beats are made on my own time then brought to the studio, tracked down with me and the engineer, and then you're brought in to do your 16 bars. Songs like 'Bring Da Ruckus', I made two years before they even rapped on it. Songs like 'Can It Be 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 . . . They've made millions based on my beats."

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