The RZA on The Tao of Wu
By Gilbert Cruz
Emerging in the mid-1990s, New York City’s Wu-Tang Clan proved to be one of the decade’s most intense, wacky and essential rap groups. The nine-MC Clan was led by the RZA, who in recent years has gone on to release several solo albums and film scores (Jim Jarmusch’s Ghost Dog and Quentin Tarantino’s Kill Bill). His latest project, a book released this month called The Tao of Wu, is half-memoir, half-spiritual guide. The rapper and entrepreneur, whose real name is Robert Diggs, talked to TIME about the history of hip-hop, cult films and his love of Broadway.
In The Tao of Wu, you lay out your very unique worldview. I lost track of all the elements involved, which include traditional Islam, Taoism, Buddhism, chess and numerology. If you had only a minute to tell someone about your beliefs, what would you say?
First of all, the tao means the way. And there are many ways to get to a place as long as you stay on the path. So if you want to travel the way of Jesus, the way of the Prophet Muhammad, if you want to travel the way of Buddha or Bodhi Dharma, if you want to travel the way of a great chess master like Kasparov or Fisher â€” any way you can reach self-enlightenment or self-worth works. Many great men have left paths for us. In the end, we are all searching for the same thing. We’re just taking different routes to the same location.
Continue Reading “RZA Interview”
T.H.A.N.G. That Hoe Ain’t No Good
If my mind recalls correctly You Can’t Stop Me Now was a title planned to be on the 8 Diagrams album. Previous news bits have John Frusciante playing on the guitars and RZA doing production. Now like suspected it ended up elsewhere. The new bobby digital album to be exact.
To be fair the track is real nice. No real bobby feel here. I approve.
On another note, the cover you see here is done by Gary Alford and seems to be an early sketch for the cover. The album is slated for a July 1st release.
And another one. The Liquid Sword collection of samples. This one includes a lot of samples I myself did not have. Mainly because I never really searched for them. So this is a good chance of updating it.
Kudos to Hip Hop is Read for doing this. Greatly appreciated. Hit up their site if your are by any chance looking for the samples to God’s Son, Game Theory or Doctor’s Advocate.
It would be nice if someone took the time to collect the samples used on 8 Diagrams. Sure to happen some time in the future.
Hit the jump for the complete tracklist.
- ‘Mercy, Mercy, Mercy’ by Willie Mitchell
- Sampled for ‘Liquid Swords’ by GZA (feat. RZA)
- Produced by RZA
- ‘Groovin” by Willie Mitchell
- Sampled for ‘Liquid Swords’ by GZA (feat. ODB, Masta Killa & Inspectah Deck)
- Sampled for ‘4th Chamber’ by GZA (feat. Ghostface Killah, Killah Priest & RZA)
- Produced by RZA
- ‘That’s the Way it Is’ by Al Green
- Rumored to have been sampled for ‘Liquid Swords’ by GZA (feat. RZA)
- Produced by RZA
- ‘I’m Afraid the Masquerade is Over’ by David Porter
- Sampled for ‘Duel of the Iron Mic’ by GZA (feat. ODB, Masta Killa & Inspectah Deck)
- Produced by RZA
Some of y’all might remember The World According To RZA album, released in 2003. RZA recorded a whole bulk of songs for this album. Amongst which one with a Dutch MC called Brainpower. At the time the best selling Hip Hop artist of the country. When he announced this at his concert in Amsterdam in 2003, it was received with an almost general consensus: BOOO! The RZA fans there did not appreciate the move. Word was that Brainpower was sitting backstage at that moment, and could thus hear it all.
That day he did record a song with Brainpower however. The song had been scheduled to show up on W.A.R. and feature Tekitha and Cilvaringz if I recall correctly. Due to some error in the recording the song was scrapped. Here is the bit that was released a few years back.
ANd while we are at the subject. It may be time to do those other parts of the world now. Because in all actuality, this was Europe According To The RZA.
FRIDAY FEBRUARY 22ND FREE FUN THE STUDIO B WEBSITE LAUNCH PARTY sponsored by FRANK 151
with live performances by
RZA – wu-tang clan
THE STATIONARY SET
BLOOD RED SUN
MURDER MYSTERY MUSIC
PAUL HOLMES AND THE GREAT DEPRESSION
OPEN BAR FROM 10-11
FREE W/ RSVP
DOORS OPEN 8PM
259 banker st. btwn meserol and calyer.
FOR MORE INFO AND DIRECTIONS
Is it just me or is RZA doing a lot of stuff like this in the last years. During the Canadian Music Week he will hold a keynote on March 8th. That is a Saturday, just so you know. Looks pretty cool to me to see what he has to say about music, or even what he will say.
That same day KRS-One will also be speaking here’s the programme & address:
Fairmont Royal York Hotel
100 Front Street West
Toronto, ON M5J 1E3, Canada
12:15PM-1:15PM, Saturday, Ballroom
In Conversation with RZA
2:45PM-3:30PM, Saturday, Ballroom
- RZA announces that the whole ‘Digi Snacks‘ album is finished but put to the side for the release of 8 Diagrams (the goes same for OB4CL2). Bobby has matured allot on the album. This will be showcased by writing of the songs, which has gotten better according to RZA. There is a really beautiful song on Digi Snacks that’s called ‘Drama‘ which has an incredible chorus and Bobby tells people how to make their lives better. That one feels like a hit-record. But there is also tracks like ‘My Lovin’ Is Digi Pt.2‘ where he just talks shit; “my dick is hard” – that’s that Bobby Digital shit.
- He says that his favourite Wu-Tang album is ‘Return To The 36 Chambers,’ there is no other album that provides so much joy. It’s a true piece of art.
- In 1997 RZA found a book on music-theory which started his translation from hip-hop producer to musician. The first beats he made after reading this book were ‘It’s Yourz‘ and ‘Triumph.’
- He says that Ghostface has a very good ear for music and that he is 100% sure that if he just learned how to use a sampler he would never have to work with a producer again. He also says that INS is the only one in the Clan that learned how to make beats and that ”He actually done a couple beats that are quite interesting.”
- He gives a prediction that Young DB (ODB’s son) will have a hit-record on top of the charts in 2 years. And it will be a real song-song that people can sing along to. “That’s my first priority when 8 Diagrams is over; Young Dirty Bastard – he is wild, seventeen years old but just like his father. If he just can keep his health.”
The RZA Revisited
By Chi Tung
An arresting storyteller, philosopher and anthropologist, the RZA is at his best when he just riffs. Call it the RZA reel o’rama, if you wish. Or simply sit back, and let him kick some knowledge.
On the origins of the Wu Tang sword…
Shaolin fit in with the mental part of life; the Shaolin discipline was able to produce the Wu Tang sword. The person who invented the sword according to the history I read was a monk named Shien Tseng Fei. He was a great martial artist, but he wasn’t in depth into Buddhism; he actually had more Daoist thoughts in him. He ended up leaving Shaolin; some say he was exiled and expelled, some say he left on his own. But he walked to Wu Tang mountain, which was started by General Wu hundreds of years earlier and founded a place of peace, true enlightenment within himself.
On the parallels between Shaolin and Staten Island…
How it fits into the Wu Tang philosophy and the urban culture is that Staten island — where we grew up, were disciplined at, had our fights at — that’s Shaolin, but we’re the Wu Tang clan. Because the Shaolin monks were really good guys, but we weren’t good guys — we had good principles, but a lot of actions that weren’t considered good.
Continue Reading “Old Interesting RZA Interview”
Anybody remember the reversed RZA line on Life Changes? Which turned out to be ‘fuck ’em in the butt’. I think some may have missed that because we ran the article quite some time before the album got released. Well here are the two bits again.
Life Changes Snippet Original
Life Changes Snippet Reversed
So you heard the thing. Now that piece originates from the infamous Radio 1 Tim Westwood show they did around the release of Forever. Listen to the next sample to hear what it was all about.
Wu-Tang Clan Live In London – X-Rated
Download the Complete Live Session here.
Adn do it because it is a classic piece of Wu-Tang history. Meth, Dirty & RZA taking calls and leaving the callers clueless. And it goes on for quite some time too. Check it out.
Pronay was first
To clear some things up. I believe RZA had problems with Jamie Summers over child support. Even declining that the kid that ran into him in the courtroom yelling daddy, was his. He could not deny it after that.
I have to hand it to RZA, who according to All Hip Hop “was present for his paternity hearing and according to reports, did not need a DNA test to acknowledge his 4-year-old daughter. RZA previously denied being the father of the 4-year-old, but RZA admitted siring the child after seeing noting his resemblance to the girl. According to RZAâ€™s lawyer, RZA is accused of fathering at least six children by various women.”
Just found this on G’s MySpace:
RZA”s 2008 European Tour
RZA is doing a European tour, as soon as they get me more dates, I will post them . So far they are :
April 28th – The Indigo O2- London, UK
May 1st – Futuresonic Urban Festival – Manchester, UK
Just a month before that Red & Meth will be touring Europe also. Atleast I know they will be doing Amsterdam.