The RZA – who may or may not be hunkering down to work on a new Wu-Tang Clan LP – is heading to court.
The New York producer/rapper/director is being sued by a former collaborator. Dutch singer Thea Van Seijen worked with RZA on the 2005 track ‘Baby Boy’, eventually featured on the 2005 Unleashed OST. She also took the lead on ‘Fury In My Eyes/Revenge’, which turned up on the 2007 soundtrack to TV series Afro Samurai.
As Pitchfork report, Van Seijen is taking RZA to court over alleged unpaid royalties. Van Seijen claims she is owed money for 14 tracks which the pair worked on together between 2004-2011.
Predictably, RZA has rebuffed the allegation. In a (hefty) statement, his publicist claimed that RZA had done his upmost to help Van Seijen, and suggested that the singer is making a cynical cash grab:
“RZA and his entire family have done nothing but help Thea Van Seijen over the years. He even welcomed her into his home and gave her all the resources and money she needed to start a career in music (and eat!).
“She was a streetwalker in Sweden brought to his attention by a family member many years ago who literally pulled her off the street and encouraged her talent as a singer. I met her back then. She was eager and just trying to sing. RZA helped her by collaborating with her and put her on a handful of tracks as a ‘work for hire’.
“Very common in the music industry. This is the second time she has tried to knock RZA down for money she isn’t owed. She is a fish out of water. She has no idea what she is doing and thinks she can build a case for herself in the media and have it hold up in court. Meanwhile, she is dragging RZA’s name through the mud conveniently positioned during a time when RZA’s film career is blossoming.
“She has no industry precedent on pay scale and to our knowledge she is not an established artist beyond the work RZA gave her a shot to shine on. She is taking legal action out of desperation and trying to use RZA again to build a name for herself. She was paid for the work she did ‘for hire’ and credited where it was deserved.
“I’ve seen RZA do nothing but spend money, time, and energy over the years trying to give artists like her a chance. She failed and has come back to suck the well dry again. RZA is a great man. This is what he does. He connects the dots in the universe and helps people with nothing in return. This is why we all know and love his talents. He certainly has nothing to gain by holding pennies from some random featured guest vocalist. Those tracks she worked on never had any commercial success anyway. She is trying to feed off his good name.”
‘Baby Boy’ is below. RZA has recently signed on to direct a biopic of Genghis Khan, the action thriller No Man’s Land, and a film version of Grant Morrison’s Happy!.