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