Dear Rza, aka The Abbot, aka The Rzarector, aka The Guy I’m Presuming is Directly Responsible for Cher Being on a Wu-Tang Album,
As one of the world’s foremost Wu-Tang Clan apologists, it’s a pretty rare occurrence for me to be at a loss for apologia when it comes to any sort of Wu-Tang criticism. For instance, I have zero problems with the “release” of Once Upon a Time in Shaolin being more of an “un-release,” what with it being a single copy confined to art galleries and museums. That’s some next level Wu-Tang mythologizing there, and being that I’m just barely old enough to remember life wayyyyyy back in the late 90’s when you still couldn’t get literally any song you ever wanted via the internet, I kind of like the idea of the exclusivity and unattainability of this album. It gives you something to look forward to, and will make it that much more fun to listen to once it eventually gets leaked or released to the general public in one way or another (anyone who thinks this thing won’t ever be available to them at some point or another probably also thinks that Marvel is sincerely going to permanently kill off Wolverine and never ever bring him back).
The Cher vocals on a Wu-Tang album, though… that’s not something I can defend. Not something anyone can defend, I think. Come on, Digital, can’t you see that this is an affront to all 36 chambers. This is a betrayal of every one of those dudes you named in the intro to “Clan in da Front,” even the ones whose names I could never quite make out because clear enunciation wasn’t always your biggest priority back in those days. I want to have faith here. I want to believe that you’ve tortured Cher’s vocals via amplified sample through vacuum tube compression, and given it a twisted quality that could almost rival Billie Holiday’s amazing voice riding over the “Swinging Swords” track from Killarmy, her lyrics malformed to sound as though she’s swinging from the perspective of said swords being swung.
But in my heart of hearts, I cannot believe this. Worse yet, given the clandestine nature of the album’s anti-release strategy, there’s no chance for anyone to hear the tracks she’s featured on and reassure the rest of the Wu fandom that, “Guys, guys, I’ve heard it, and it’s really only a fraction as awful as we all thought it would be.” You therefore leave me with the worst possible torture, worse than having my eyelids cut off only to be fed sleeping pills… the torture of imagining the abomination that must be Cher featured on a Wu-Tang album. This sounds like a worse combination than polos and bow ties Were this a kung-fu flick it would be The Master of the Flying Guillotine Vs. the Headless Pacifist. This is the worst idea since taking dinosaurs off of Isla Sorna.
I know it’s too late to change it now. What’s done is done, and you won’t reverse the course of this direction, I’m sure, no matter how many passionate letters the fans may write, or how many actual Africanized killer bees I threaten to personally murder if Cher isn’t removed from the album.
I just had to let you know how I’m feeling, Mr. Steels. I’m not saying you shouldn’t evolve, and that you should still be spitting about consuming planets like Unicron, or packing a black uzi and shooting someone right in front of the jakes like Jack Ruby. But there are infinite opportunities for musical evolution that don’t result in this.
Every Wu-Tang Fan Living or Dead in History (and Probably Raekwon Too)