RZA, who says he is back on the set of his Fox television series Gang Related, wrote a Facebook post about the importance of being oneself, a post that he says was inspired by extras on his drama.
“I’m back on set today for Gang Related,” RZA says in the Facebook post. “We have a lot of extras. Filming is going well. It’s funny how some of the extras know me, some don’t and others may be familiar with other members of the cast. Made me think how sometimes your ego is not your amigo. For instance, I’ve been in the room where some egomaniacs think the whole world knows who they are and they walk around like they got big bonkers, but [nobody] gives a hoot. They don’t realize that [their] fan base are the ones who admire their talent and that base can grow or shrink. It could extend to the world to be as massive as the prophets or remain as local as [a] high school football player. Whatever range it reaches, accept it as it is and build from there, but don’t let it delude you because what goes up can come down and a crash landing is surely disastrous.”
In RZA’s post, the Wu-Tang producer and emcee spoke about a time when this became clear for him.
“Once at an award ceremony, the winner for Album of the Year went to a Country singer who me and my peeps never heard of,” RZA says. “We was like, ‘Who is that?’ Later, come to learn, he sold six million records, yet we never heard of one song. His fan base was his. Thus, our opinions about him had no bearing on his star.
“A guy saw me once shinning at an event and wondered who was this skinny black guy with gold vampire teeth getting all the attention while he himself was an accomplished actor that no one in the room cared about,” RZA continues. “He was told, ‘That’s so-and-so from Wu-Tang Clan.’ He was like, ‘Wu what? Is that some kind of Asian kung-fu crew?’ …Well, that night, the bright light came from me, while he was dim as a candle. Still a candle alone in a dark room is bright as a 100 watt bulb to a moth.
“Moral of the story is there are many stars in the sky and some are seen from different points of the hemisphere, so don’t worry about being seen or noticed because in the end, it takes them all to light the sky,” RZA added. “So be yourself and shine on.”
RZA’s involvement with Gang Related was announced in March 2013. The rapper-turned-actor has worked in films and television for years. In 2012, he made his directorial debut with the film The Man with the Iron Fists.
“Even when you’re acting, you’ve got to keep your mind focused,” RZA said at the time. “It’s a very unique craft to be taking on different personalities.”