Downtown signs deal to represent Wu-Tang Clan publishing catalog

Downtown Music Publishing has signed a global publishing administration agreement with Wu-Tang Productions, and owners Robert “RZA” Diggs and Mitchell “Divine” Diggs.

The deal will see Downtown represent the iconic hip-hop group’s interest in songs from its back catalog of classic albums — as well as select works co-written or produced by individual Wu-Tang Clan members for solo releases, affiliates and other artists.

The writers represented under the deal include co-founders Ghostface Killah, GZA, Inspectah Deck, Method Man, Ol’ Dirty Bastard, Raekwon, RZA and U-God.

In addition to the group’s celebrated catalog, the agreement includes select solo works by members Cappadonna, Ghostface Killah, GZA, Method Man, Raekwon and RZA, as well as other works contributed to by the covered writers — with songs recorded by Alicia Keys, Cardi B, Danny Brown, Drake, Justin Bieber, Lauryn Hill, Logic, Mariah Carey, Mary J. Blige, Mobb Deep, Pete Rock, Rick Ross, Swizz Beatz, The Game, The Pharcyde and Wyclef Jean, among many others.

It’s been a particularly busy two weeks for news regarding the Wu-Tang Clan catalog, with today’s news following the UK-based Hipgnosis Songs Fund’s announcement on August 24 that it has acquired a 50% stake in the music publishing catalog of the hip-hop group’s founder member RZA.

RZA 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.

One of the most renowned hip-hop acts of all time, Wu-Tang Clan has remained a household name since the release of their seminal debut, Enter The Wu-Tang: 36 Chambers, in 1993 and has inspired generations of artists across genres.

Besides music, the Wu-Tang brand spans several industries including art, film, fashion and technology.

The deal follows a year that included the release of two series: the Hulu biopic Wu-Tang: An American Saga, which announced its second season in January, as well as the Showtime documentary miniseries Wu-Tang Clan: Of Mics and Men.

Downtown adds the storied Wu-Tang songbook to its catalog of represented works alongside those of other prolific legends including Miles Davis and George Gershwin.

Wu-Tang Productions was represented by longtime attorney Tim Mandelbaum of Fox Rothschild, LLP.

“Downtown’s system is ideal for us — they have the global reach and capacity of a ‘major’ while maintaining strong, highly personal relationships with their clients.”

RZA

“We are excited to be partnering with Downtown and entrusting them to handle our historic back catalog,” said RZA of the deal.

“Downtown’s system is ideal for us — they have the global reach and capacity of a ‘major’ while maintaining strong, highly personal relationships with their clients.

“Their customized approach to clientele accompanied with their focus in areas like rights management and distribution make Downtown an ideal partner for Wu-Tang Productions.”

“Wu-Tang Clan isn’t just one of hip-hop’s most influential groups, it’s an iconic institution in every sense of the word.”

Justin Kalifowitz, Downtown 

Justin Kalifowitz, CEO of Downtown Music Holdings, parent company of Downtown Music Publishing, said: “Wu-Tang Clan isn’t just one of hip-hop’s most influential groups, it’s an iconic institution in every sense of the word — with a legacy that extends well beyond the realm of music.

“As a New Yorker, representing some of East Coast hip-hop’s most revered legends — whose stories are so ingrained in the culture of our city — is a tremendous honor.”

“We look forward to collaborating with them on many creative projects; the possibilities are endless.”

Bruce Lampcov, Downtown

Bruce Lampcov, Downtown’s Senior Vice President of Global Business Development, added: “In addition to being inspirational artists, RZA and Divine are extremely talented entrepreneurs.

“From what they accomplished with Wu Wear to RZA’s work in film and television, and numerous other endeavors, the group has showcased their shrewd business acumen time and time again.

“It’s no wonder that their legacy has remained as strong today as it’s ever been. We look forward to collaborating with them on many creative projects; the possibilities are endless.”

 Music Business Worldwide