An official press release stated: “Hipgnosis has acquired 50% of RZA’s worldwide copyrights, including publishing and writer share, in his catalogue comprising 814 songs.”
Speaking about the deal, 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. They were and are the most authentic band and brand in Hip Hop and it all starts with RZA’s vision, his songs and his struggle, manifested in music, that could show the entire world what was really going on. He is now globally recognized as a true renaissance man of Hip Hop and most would argue that he is the goat.”
RZA added: “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 honoured to partner up with Merck and the Hipgnosis team to usher my songs into an exciting future.”
When combined, RZA’s works – comprising the Wu-Tang Clan and its various affiliated solo projects (RZA, GZA, Method Man, Raekwon, Ghostface Killer et al) , as well as production for other artists including Kanye West – have more than three billion streams worldwide.
RZA was represented in the transaction by long-time manager Tyler Childs at Forward Artist Management and attorney Tim Mandelbaum at Fox Rothschild.
Childs added: “Merck and Hipgnosis are true music people through and through. RZA and I are thrilled to partner with them on these songs and continue our long standing relationship with Merck.”