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The Wu-Tang Way

Rebroadcast

Hip-hop legend and Wu Tang Clan founder The RZA on life lessons and the “Tao of Wu.”

RZA walks the red carpet at the Trojan/Rolling Stone Evolve America event during the 2008 Democratic National Convention in Denver, Monday, Aug. 25, 2008. Evolve America promotes sexual health as a political issue for both Democratic and Republican parties during the 2008 election. (AP)

RZA walks the red carpet at the Trojan/Rolling Stone Evolve America event during the 2008 Democratic National Convention in Denver, Monday, Aug. 25, 2008. Evolve America promotes sexual health as a political issue for both Democratic and Republican parties during the 2008 election. (AP)

The Wu Tang Clan came out of New York hip hop in the 1990s — intense, poetic, rough, and huge. Nine emcees. Method Man. Ghostface Killah. U-God. Raekwon.

And behind it all — The RZA, aka Robert Fitzgerald Diggs, son of Staten Island, mean streets, and his adopted spiritual home: China’s Shaolin Temple and the realm of Kung Fu movies.

The RZA was a kind of mad genius in the Wu Tang Clan mix. Now he’s sharing his way. A little Buddha. A little Allah. A little Jesus. And a lot of kung fu.

This hour in an archive edition of On Point: The Tao of Wu. And the RZA.

-Tom Ashbrook

Guest

The RZA joins us from New York. Rapper, producer, and composer, he’s the driving force behind the hugely influential, martial-arts inspired hip-hop empire The Wu-Tang Clan. Born Robert Fitzgerald Diggs, he’s had success as a solo artist under several names — Prince Rakeem, Bobby Digital, the Rzarector. He’s scored movies, including Quentin Tarantino’s “Kill Bill” and the anime series “Afro Samurai.” His 2005 book “The Wu-Tang Manual” explained the history and mythology of The Wu-Tang Clan. His new book, out yesterday, is “The Tao of Wu.”

More

In a 2007 Wired magazine feature, the RZA explained the kung fu movie source material and samples in a number of Wu Tang Clan songs.

You can watch a collection a videos at RZA’s MySpace page.  And here’s the trailer for 2008’s “You Can’t Stop Me Now” (as Bobby Digital):

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