Interview with The RZA (Wu-Tang Clan)
By: Amalia Judith
Date: September 24th 2009

RZA (WU-TANG CLAN) on - Exclusive Interview * Photography by Scott Alexander

“But that’s how Hollywood and how art gets stuck, like they always try to make the next one just like that one. You’ve got to come with the spirit of Bob Marley but the energy and innovation of yourself.” – RZA (Wu-Tang)

Vancouver, B.C. – The way of Wu is no ordinary path: ancient Chinese wisdom, comic books, drugs, bitches and of course rap music saturate the culture of the Wu-Tang dynasty. RZA – the clan’s de facto leader – has for decades maintained a seemingly omnipotent corner on the hip-hop market, churning out everything from philosophical doctrine to movie scores. A fine balance of caricature and antiquity mark RZA’s work: over-the-top fictions adulterate the martial arts aesthetic as ghetto meets geisha.

With several alter egos, RZA has predominantly released his solo albums under the moniker of Bobby Digital, a comic book hero who tends to sit on a throne surrounded by beautiful multi-ethnic women or else perch atop tall buildings at night. The latest release Digi Snacks follows the exploits of this hedonistic character through a maze of drug experimentation, inner torment and of course RZA’s chilling digital production.

With endless notoriety and creative outlets, it would seem that Bobby Digital is accurate in boasting, “No matter how hard you try, you can’t stop me now.” HipHopCanada sat down with the ingenious and eccentric rapper to try and decipher the code of RZA.

RZA (WU-TANG CLAN) on - Exclusive InterviewHipHopCanada: What’s the space between yourself and the character you’ve created, Bobby Digital? How much is you, how much is fiction?

RZA: It’s a blend of both. It’s a blend of my past and of fiction. All of us got something of past personalities about ourselves. Artists learn how to identify them, name them and even utilize them. So Bobby Digital is built on my past, a lot of it is fact, but I put it in a fictional way. It’s a good blend.

HipHopCanada: What elements of Bobby Digital come from that past?

RZA: Well, you name something about him and I’ll tell you.

HipHopCanada: Well, Bobby Digital’s kind of nuts: how crazy are you?

RZA: I’ve got days like that, I’ve got days like that, woke up in my own throw-up. Near the courthouse, or some shit. Woke up in the cells, know what I mean, cause I just party hard.

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