'Wu-Tang: An American Saga': The story behind Bobby Diggs' Prince Rakeem and his connection with Tommy Boy Records
As the end credits roll, you would hear Prince Rakeem's "Oh, We Love You Rakeem", you might wonder how the RZA could have performed this track. This week's episode lets you know the reasons behind that.
This week's episode of 'Wu-Tang: An American Saga' was titled 'Labels' and was a piece of cinematic genius. Directed by Tara Nicole Wyer and written by Gabe Fonseca, the eighth episode follows Bobby Diggs as Prince Rakeem as he's signed with Tommy Boy Records. The episode is divided into five chapters, each set in a different city and each chapter goes through a single shot.
Bobby's track, "Oh, We Love You Rakeem" is something he's proud of, but later on, the label makes a change without Bobby's approval and the song tanks, following which the label drops him. Talk about a blessing in disguise! We take a look at the history behind this episode.
The RZA was not happy with the way he and his music were being treated by Tommy Boy Records -- the label did not let him have any creative control over his music or even the video, as you've seen in this episode. Even GZA (Gary), his cousin had a similar experience at Cold Chillin Records. Both these labels tried to strip these artists of their individuality leading to pretty unsatisfactory experiences. This is what prompted both of them to go back to Staten Island and produce their own records.
Were it not for what happened later on, "Oh, We Love You Rakeem" would have been quite forgettable. The record lists eight tracks but just consists of three songs that have been remixed multiple times. It's also interesting to note that Bobby worked with both Easy Mo Bee and Prince Paul (the latter we meet in this episode) on this record. Both artists would later collaborate with the RZA for the Wu-Tang Clan's music.
There are just two more episodes left in Hulu's 'Wu-Tang: An American Saga'. This episode planted more seeds of the influences but there's still a lot left to be done before the Wu-Tang Clan comes together. Dennis aka Ghostface Killah is still angry with the Park Hill people for shooting up his house (from the first episode) so we need to see how and why he lets go of that animosity to become part of the group. Divine's role as the group's manager has not been set up yet either.
'Wu-Tang: An American Saga' episodes can be streamed on Hulu.