Wu-Tang Clan rapper RZA answered questions from fans during a Reddit AMA session yesterday (April 23). He kicked off the conversation with a paragraph about himself and detailed his work with both Wu-Tang and as a film composer, as well as his jump into acting nearly a decade ago.
The rapper/composer recalled jumping into music with merely a dream and then going on to work with artists like Kanye West and The Notorious B.I.G. before wetting his feet as a composer.
“I started off as a hiphop artist with a dream,” RZA said. “Later, formed the world-famous Wu-Tang clan. After selling over 20 million records, I began to produce other artists, from BIG to Mary J., to Kanye… In 1999, I scored my first motion picture, Ghost Dog, which led me to become a composer. I later did music for Kill Bill, Blade: Trinity, and Afro Samurai to name a few. Working in film music led to me being discovered by movie executive Harvey Weinstein, who put me in a film named Derailed. That spawned an acting career, of which I have been nurturing for the past 10 years.”
During Reddit’s AMA session, RZA shared his hopes of one day creating a Wu-Tang Clan movie, an idea one Reddit user suggested could be funded through Kickstarter.
“Yes, actually. Although making movies is very difficult and it’s hard to get green lights, I’m going to keep pushing though,” he said. “And maybe one day, it will see the light…Never thought of using Kickstarter. Hmm.”
RZA even revealed the details of his studio setup when asked a handful of production questions from another Reddit user.
“Well, that’s a lot, but: not being egotistic about this, but I have a dozen set ups,” the Wu-Tang spitter said. “And my home studio I use different rooms for setups. So one room is just turntables and a sampler, another would be just keyboards, another will be a digital room, there’s one room where everything is analog (live drums, guitars, etc). As a composer, you always need different sounds, so after working with Hans Zimmer, I’ve learned to use different rooms to write different things or different scenes.”
Below are a handful of select quotes from RZA’s AMA.
On Touring With Rage Against The Machine: “That was one of the highlights of my career. At the time, Wu-Tang had the #1 album in the country, and we began playing some of the biggest venues that we had to that date. One of my best memories is when Zack broke his leg on tour, and needed a little energy during the New Jersey show, and I came out and rocked the stage with him. The rest of the Wu went home. :(“
Thoughts On Earl Sweatshirt: “Yeah, we got zoned out that night. He’s a cool cat. And I think he will be a great talent in hiphop.”
Rescuing Inspectah Deck From A Cop In Atlanta: “Here’s a story, it may not be funny depending on your point of view, but one time the whole Clan was in Atlanta, and I guess we caused some kind of riot in the building, and thus the police was brought in to end the show. I remember everybody getting away from the cops without any violence, but one cop had got a grab of Inspector Deck and he couldn’t get free. When we noticed it, me and Method Man rushed back over to help, but actually, what could we do? We can’t hit a cop, could we? That would not have been wise. Instead, Method Man grabbed onto Inspector Deck’s arm, and combined his strength with Inspector Deck, which allowed them to get away from the cop, they broke his grip and we all ran. I later told Meth ‘That was some Wu-Tang Kung fu shit right there.’”
Favorite ODB Line: “For ODB ‘I be the answer to your why, the tear to your cry.’ It’s off a song he did with Killer Priest.’
Favorite Producers: “Pete Rock, Dr. Dre, Kanye West.”
On Making Wu-Tang Forever A Double Album: “Actually, a double-album was part creative, and part business. If i can recall, we hadn’t done an album as Wu-Tang Clan for four years. And so we wanted to give Steve Rifkin an abundant amount of material. But also we demanded a budget so high that to appease it, they said ‘how about a double album?’”
The Influence Of Comic Books: “From the age of 9-16, I probably collected thousands of comics. But they all got stolen one day, along with my vinyl collection. And I’m telling you, I used to spend my paper route money on this stuff. I’m still a comic fan. Every once in a while, if I’m in a certain city and they have a comic book store, I will go and pick up a few copies. I love how the new artists are doing the new covers, Grant Morrison’s take on classic heroes has always been cool to me, and I actually bought every copy of Reginald Hudlin’s new take on the Black Panther.”