For those who thought that producing a single copy housed within an ornamented silver-and-nickel box that would then be paraded through the world’s finest art galleries and museums was the most gangsta thing about Wu-Tang Clan’s Once Upon A Time In Shaolin, now comes confirmation that two songs feature vocals from Cher, star of the classic hip-hop film Moonstruck. Cher’s involvement was first hinted at on the album’s website, which promised “special guest appearances by Bonnie Jo Mason.” This was not, as it turns out, yet another name for the late Ol’ Dirty Bastard, but rather a reference to Cher’s own musical pseudonym, used on the 1964 novelty single “Ringo, I Love You.”
In addition to a zeal for adopting various aliases, Cher and the Wu-Tang Clan also have a shared affinity for Wu-Tang Clan, apparently. As heard in the below, 51-second preview snippet—which you can listen to without paying RZA $5 million—Cher contributed the vocal hook, “Wu-Tang, baby. They rock the world” to at least one of the tracks. It’s an endorsement that’s expected to lend some “cred” to the group, as Cher believes in life after love, an ineffable concept of self-actualization and inner strength. That she also believes in Wu-Tang Clan clearly suggests she regards them as possessing a similar power.
Sadly for Wu-Tang, that cred was mostly just conveyed tangentially, as Cher’s representative tells Rolling Stone the singer “recorded her parts separately, so I don’t believe there was direct interaction”—thus denying the Clan the opportunity to glean some of Cher’s swagger. But hopefully it was enough to convince Raekwon to set aside his recently expressed beliefs that RZA has lost touch with Wu-Tang’s original vibe and started making “mediocre shit,” after Raekwon hears RZA got Cher for their album.