R
RZA

RZA

Jul 5, 1969, Brooklyn, New York, USA
When it came time for the Gravediggaz, Prince Paul was thinking about putting a group together. He wanted to get some good MCs. Poetic was another dope MC who was underrated out on Long Island. He had one single out on Tommy Boy that didn't take off, but he was a dope MC. As the Grym Reaper, you know how many dope lyrics he dropped. Frukwan, one of the top lyricists out of Stetsasonic. He and Paul were friends already. He told him about me. He said, "I know this one guy who is super-dope." I had to put out Bobby Digital instead of The Cure because if I didn't do that I would've suffered two things. First, I would have revealed where I was musically too soon. Wu-Tang is the perfect medium to expose anything new because I got the most people coming together to buy it. For me to expose it for my own self, I don't think that would've been a wise thing for me to do. I might've caught more people than Bobby Digital caught, but I still wouldn't catch the magnitude of what the Wu-Tang could catch. Maybe this year or next year the game may be different. The Cure is so intimate in writing that you gotta live that Cure shit. I was living like Bobby Digital in '98, '99 na'mean? So if I put "The Cure" out, then I wouldn't even be able to get on stage and perform it for ya'll cause I'd be lying." This is one of my biggest adventures, and one of my [best] feelings. We watched Kill Bill in Manhattan. At the premiere, that happened, but you know, that's Hollywood. But in Manhattan, a theater, just a bunch of kids coming from wherever New York, inside a movie theater and the movie's coming on. They don't even know that I'm the man with the music, and when it said, "Original Music by The RZA", we hear the audience clapping. And they didn't clap for nothing else, because the movie's just coming on. I was like, 'Wow, what the fuck is that about?' That's different. It actually might be something special. You never care who did that... Once you see who stars in the shit, you don't read "edited", you don't read all that. You be eating your popcorn and it go right by you. But, for somebody to see that and then clap, that's a different thing right there. That felt pretty pleasing. "The time is right to bring some older material to the masses digitally. Our fans have been dedicated and patient, and they're hungry to hear the music that has set us apart from so many others. Hip-hop is alive in Wu Music, and with The Orchard, we've got a solid partner that understands our audience and is committed to doing all they can to help us reach the fans. I'm definitely looking forward to working with them to see what else we all come up with. There's much more to come."[20]Wu-Tang? Me and my friends talk about this all the time... We think Wu-Tang had one of the biggest impacts as far as a movement. From slang to style of dress, skits, the samples. Similar to the [production] style I use, RZA has been doing that.[28]All good. I got super respect for Kanye. He came up to me about a year or two ago. He gave me mad praising and blessings... For people to say Wu-Tang inspire Kanye, Kanye is one of the biggest artists in the world. That goes back to what we say: 'Wu-Tang is forever.' Kanye is going to inspire people to be like him." After hearing Kanye's work on The Blueprint, RZA claimed that a torch-passing had occurred between him and West, saying, "The shoes gotta be filled. If you ain't gonna do it, somebody else is gonna do it. That's how I feel about rap today."[29]The way I produce now is I produce more like a musician", RZA said. "In the old days, I produced more like a DJ. I didn't understand music theory at all. Now that I do understand music theory, I make my music more playable, meaning not only could you listen to it, you could get someone else to play it. Before, you couldn't even write down Wu-Tang music. I think almost 80 percent of this record can be duplicated by a band, which is important for music, because that means 10 years from now, somebody can make a whole song out of it and cover it like how I'm covering The Beatles song.[30]I made my albums like movies, you know what I mean? I wanted people to be able to listen to a movie in their car while they was driving. "I want to start off making movies where people will know they're at a movie. Like my man Tarantino, he did that movie Pulp Fiction – classic movie, man. Every time it comes on TV or cable, I have to stop and watch it. And it's based on nothing, really. There's only a few people out there that are able to do that, where it comes from nothing but the vision and imagination of the artist.[37]I got children of my own, you know what I mean? Domestic problems at home. If you start coming home at night from helping all your fans and people and then you've got problems at the house, that will kill any man's spirit. Say you're Bobby Digital, you're RZA, and your girl fornicates on you—you feel like shit. 'Who the fuck? How the fuck?' And say it's some nigga who sells weed—'I'm a millionaire and you're fucking with a regular motherfucker?' That takes a lot from your spirit. That slowed me down, and then the passing of my mother—the two big blows of the year 2000. It really kept me back a few years—I had to go and find myself again. I never told anybody that. You got an exclusive on that one! And I think that's enough right there.[46]

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