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Ghostface Wins Royalties Lawsuit Against the RZA

Staten Island rapper Ghostface has reached a settlement with Wu-Tang Clan Productions and former group member Robert “RZA” Diggs over unpaid publishing royalties.

Ghost filed the suit in 2005, accusing Diggs — the producer/rapper and sometime leader of Wu-Tang — of holding back royalties for several early Wu-Tang Clan albums. According to the complaints, Diggs was holding onto a 50% producer’s fee, attesting he was owed the cut for creating the songs’ musical beats. Ghost disagreed, alleging Diggs should have received a cut proportionate to the rest of the group’s members, who were left to split the 50% cut that went to the lyric writers.

According to court papers, “Diggs did not dispute plaintiffs assertions that he received the improper fee, rather he provided testimony in support of his receipt of the fee. Furthermore, he proffered expert testimony to support his receipt of the 50% producer’s fee.”

RZA explained his side in a recent interview, saying that the 50% production fee was not out of line. “Every time you put an album out with any producer you do the same thing. Now you are going to change it on me? Not only did I make the beat, I probably gave you some of your lyrics and sat in that f—in’ studio for months!” While the RZA’s defense makes sense, on Aug. 24, Judge Richard Lowe III ruled in Ghost’s favor, ordering that Wu-Tang Clan productions pay the rapper $158,255.18, with costs.
Fellow Wu rapper Raekwon spoke about the publishing issue in the past, telling MTV, “Don’t play with a grown man’s pockets … Don’t ever let a n—- feel like you stealing from him … because we was the n—-s that would’ve did anything for you, jump in front of a bullet for you.”

Ghost’s new album ‘The Wizard of Poetry’ drops on Sept. 29, with no RZA appearances or productions. He recently confirmed to the Boombox that he working on a collaborative album with both Raekwon and Wu-Tang member Method Man.

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