Interview: RZA On Film
RZA, THE WU-TANG CLAN GENIUS BORN AS THE HUMBLE ROBERT DIGGS, HAS DREAMS OF CONVERTING HIS FAMOUS GROUP’S LEGACY TO CELLULOID, AS RIP NICHOLSON DISCOVERS.
RZA interviewed for Rip2Shredz // Street Press Australia // Hiphop.sh
@ 08.30 AEST - 9th January, 2010
Images courtesy of Supreme Magazine (Vol. 5)
The abbot of Wu-Tang’s conglomerate band of brothers, RZA AKA Bobby Digital AKA The Rzarector and a slew of other conceptual identities dependant on the current of creative air swirling around the genius who was born Robert Diggs, is making power moves on a Hollywood chessboard. A student under the wings of this generation’s biggest cult director, Quentin Tarantino whom RZA refers to as the Master, is making grandeur attempts to bring the Wu-Tang dynasty to film, for eternal survival in a young man’s game of hiphop.
Recently the Wu-Tang performed in Melbourne. Good to see almost everybody on stage. How was the chemistry during the event?
We had a really good time out there, the crowd was having a good time with us. We had a good time on stage. I think the chemistry and energy was great. We are trying to do a proper tour with the Wu-Tang Clan but that can be difficult. So I’m coming down, you know test the waters. Ghostface and GZA been down there. Now Method Man and Redman are running around right now. I’mma come down in February and bring my high voltage energy – getting’ it ready for when the whole Wu-Tang Clan returns late this year or early next year. We are working out details for everyone to be involved, but right now you have the energy of RZA individually and have some fun and I’ll build up a demand for the whole crew.
Is this to promote the new album, The Cure?
No I wouldn’t say that. (laugh) It’s really just to touch bases with Australia and New Zealand. I haven’t had a chance to perform in the country for about five years, and then last year we did two dates, then ten dates so it’s like you know, it’s a long trip, a great continent, I think the energy of the people there are really driven and just right for my style of hiphop. I think the youth and adults have really grown to a level of appreciation for the music. So it’s a real treat and pleasure to perform out there.
But I don’t wanna pre-talk on that (new album), I’ve done some work with some good other musicians. We did the Black Rock project with the Black Keys and I’ve been doing some music for some buddies in Hollywood. I don’t know exactly what I wanna do creatively yet to be honest with you. I’m having fun with music and that sound I’ve missed. Over the years I’ve been doing music and in the beginning it was all about fun and good times. Then we strived and got a record deal, then we have a career and started doing music for pay checks, you know what I mean. And if they didn’t write me a budget I wasn’t goin’ in the fuckin’ studio. That became a problem, so for the last two years I’ve been back in the studio makin’ music for fun. Now I don’t know what to do with it, and one day I’ll decide what to do with it. Do I sell it or give it away, we don’t know what we wanna do.
LA Times just announced your clearance for Man with the Iron Fist. I can’t help think this was the next logical step for you, how does writing and directing film compare to scoring music?
Well its a whole ‘nother world but it still reflects my creative, artistic nature but it’s not an easy job, I gotta admit it’s not an easy job to write the script and get it to the format we got it at and to be accepted by Hollywood and the elite people. It’s taken a year, year and a half to get to that level. It’s not easy but it’s very fulfilling. When you get all that creativity out of you and give it to other people to appreciate it and say, ‘Wow what a great story, what a great script.’ It’s something I’ve been working on for a few years and I’m really passionate about and I’m ready to share it with the world.
Consider retiring into the Director’s chair? With Tarantino’s blessing. Because I read somewhere you wanted to put the Wu-Tang on Broadway?
Me, in the director’s chair? Definitely! That’s where I wanna be. That’s why I’ve been studying Tarantino for just that purpose. I wanna follow in his footsteps and help bring some unique new culture to the world.
Now I heard you wanted to put the Wu-Tang on Broadway, is this BS or something for the future?
It’s something for the future. I don’t wanna give too much away on my idea, but I think the cinematography is priority one and the whole operatic movement of the Wu-Tang Clan is something I’ve always envisioned one day. I always envision when I make records as mini movies. You listen to Cuban Link, 36 Chambers, Liquid Swords - those are my movies, but they’re audio. Now I’m gonna get a chance to direct a real movie for the cinema. But at the same time as I study acting and directing, and as I’m getting older and older I’m not gonna be able to go on stage and rap every night.
Now I gotta give you the love of hiphop, as we all get older and the music matures it’s time to put it into another arena to continue to enjoy it without ruining it’s culture. Now I don’t wanna put it on Broadway as like Frank Sinatra, no. There are other ways to do it. Now I don’t think I’m ready yet but everything I’m gaining and learning from this, over the next five years experiencing filming and directing I think it will give me the knowledge and power to take it to another level one day. Its a dream, and right now it’s in the back of my head.
Man with the Iron Fist is this a Leone Spaghetti western meets Kill Bill type of film?
All I’m gonna say is I’m looking forward to bringing the audience a unique movie experience. I wanna give you an experience that makes you wanna buy two bags of popcorn. I’m really aiming at pleasing the audience with this particular film and uh, I go to the movies every Wednesday, me and my wife. A film has to be worth going out and seeing, or else you’ll stay at home. My master, Quentin Tarantino made one of the best films last year, Inglourious Basterds. I saw it three times and I enjoyed it every time.
It’s amazing how he builds up the anticipation in his dialogue.
I’m looking at doing the same, in terms of building up the anticipation and the adrenalin through the visual effect that I will develop over time. We’ll see when the film comes out, yo.”
What can we expect and unexpect from the RZA-rector deliver on ur shows in Australia & New Zealand?
I think you can expect a lot of energy and don’t expect to be standing there stuff, you know what I mean. When we come out to the hiphop concert, that’s where we come and get rid of all our backed up negative energy. So you’re not allowed to walk down the street, jump up and down and yell. You can’t walk into a restaurant and scream and curse and let it out there. That’s what a hiphop concert is for. So I’m bringing the energy and I’m expecting high energy when I get there. It’s summer time in Australia, our shirts will be wet.
By Rip Nicholson // [email protected]