RZA, founder member of the Wu-Tang Clan, has sold Hipgnosis a 50% stake in the copyright interest of 814 songs – including a 50% stake of both the writer’s share and publisher’s share of the catalog.
Between them, these songs have accumulated over 3bn streams, and include almost all of the full Wu-Tang Clan catalog, with RZA having co-written and produced close to the entirety of the hip-hop group’s albums, in addition to a great deal of the member’s solo material.
Among those albums is the classic debut LP Enter The Wu (36 Chambers) from 1993, which is widely heralded as one of the greatest hip-hop records of all time, and an influence on artists such as Nas, The Notorious B.I.G. and Jay-Z.
Merck Mercuriadis, Founder of Hipgnosis Songs Fund Limited and The Family (Music) Limited, said: “RZA and the Wu-Tang Clan did not invent hip-hop but they took it from being fun to something that represented a true reflection of what the streets, and being black in America, was really like.
RZA said: “I wear various hats in my artistic expressions but the one that has been so deeply reflective of my life’s journey is my songwriting. I’m honored to partner up with Merck and the Hipgnosis team to usher my songs into an exciting future.”
Just like with their recent acquisition of legendary Chicago producer NO I.D’s catalog, Hipgnosis failed to disclose the financial terms of the deal.