A Deep Dive into Wu-Tang Clan’s New Song “Claudine”

About a month ago, the legendary Wu-Tang Clan released “Claudine,” their first official single in over six years. But, while the group consists of a cavalcade of rappers, the only two who make an appearance on the song are Ghostface Killah and Method Man, who are joined by Dutch singer Nicole Bus.

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The title for “Claudine” is derived from the 1974 rom-com of the same name, directed by John Berry and starring James Earl Jones, Diahann Carroll, and Lawrence Hilton-Jacobs. In the film, Jones’ character Roop, and Carroll’s character Claudine are significant others, but their relationship carries a lot of baggage. An impoverished mother of six, Claudine’s rugged lifestyle presents dilemmas for Roop, which they seek to overcome together throughout the flick.

Wu-Tang’s song gets its motifs from the film; Method Man’s tongue-in-cheek verse sees him rap about a lover who he shares a complicated romance with, while Ghostface’s verse has him thanking his now-deceased mother for the sacrifices she made for him as a child. “Claudine” begins, though, with Bus’ verse and her first rendition of the hook, as her elegant singing brings a vintage tune over the piano-laden production. Introduced by trumpets and a succinct monologue by Ghostface, Bus’ mellow verse depicts two partners trusting each other in tough times.

It’s a cold world out there and I can’t take the silence
See all the things I’m going through
I don’t know why
But I know that you
Are herе with me
And that’s all that matters now
If I got you, oh, you got me, you’ll see

[RELATED: The Top 10 Songs from the Wu-Tang Clan]

After this verse ends, and Bus croons her punchy I got onе for the lovers, two for the ones we love hook, the stage is set for Method Man’s aforementioned, turbulent performance.

I only love her when she mad at me
She mad scrappy, that make-up sex be mad nasty
Our heads be bumping like bad acne, it’s sad actually
She turn her back to get back at me and backtrack me
But we happy, just take it back and don’t backstab me

Once another rendition of the chorus comes through, Ghostface passionately raps about his fallen soldier of a mother, asking her to come back to him from the grave.

To never hear her voice again, it never be the same
When the death is fresh and feel like your soul is soaked in sadness
And you find yourself crying in the open
Her face was cold, she felt my tears in the casket
And every drop that fell on her cheek, I cried acid
Obituary, photos and flowers all in the cemetery
And cries just like the end of Cooley High
Mama, come back, we miss you
Come back for a couple of days so I can just hug you and kiss you

Ultimately, “Claudine” is an anthem for women and mothers alike that’s presented with gumption and nuance. Though they may not see wholly eye to eye with the ladies in their lives, Wu-Tang understands the hardships they go through.

“Claudine was made as a dedication to my mother as well as an ode to all mothers, wives and young women, reflecting their struggle, strength, courage and love,” Mathematics, the producer of “Claudine,” said in a press release.

Photo by Bennett Raglin/Getty Images for Essence

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