Legendary producer RZA follows No I.D. in signing a new deal with Hipgnosis Sounds, selling half of his 814-song catalog.
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The report indicates that Hipgnosis now owns “worldwide copyrights, including publishing and writer share” of half Bobby Digital’s catalog, though the songs in question have not been revealed. Speaking on the deal, RZA appeared optimistic toward his decision to move forward, citing his artistic pride in the process. “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,” he reflects. “I’m honored to partner up with Merck and the Hipgnosis team to usher my songs into an exciting future.”
The Merck in question is Merck Mercuriadis, Founder of Hipgnosis Songs Fund Limited and The Family (Music) Limited. In his own statement surrounding the newly-inked partnership, Mercuriadis praises RZA’s visionary qualities as well as his role as a cultural trailblazer. “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,” he states. “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 G.O.A.T.”
With producers like Timbaland, No I.D, and now RZA selling their catalogs to Hipgnosis, perhaps we’re looking at a new endgame for the rap game’s vets. Though some might question the decision to part ways with one’s masters, it’s clear that Hipgnosis is doing something right, continuing to forge new partnerships with some of hip-hop’s most esteemed producers. Don’t be surprised to see them investing in another rap titan before long.