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Q&A with Wu-Tang producer and Kill Bill composer RZA - 2004-04-14 16:36:42

© The Wu-Tang Corp.- 2004-04-14

Usually, when a rapper breaks into movies, he’s in front of the camera.

But RZA, a founding member and main producer of the Wu-Tang Clan, had a different idea — scoring films. His dreams have come true with the “Kill Bill” films: Director Quentin Tarantino personally picked RZA to compose the music for the two-part saga.

RZA, born Robert Diggs, got his start scoring films with 1999’s “Ghost Dog: The Way of the Samurai.” That the 37-year-old rap star has scored three movies involving martial arts is no coincidence: he’s a lifelong lover of kung-fu flicks, as the name of his group demonstrates.

AP: Where did your love of kung-fu movies start?

RZA: It was definitely a common love in the ghetto community regardless, in all the hoods. On Saturday afternoons, a lot kids got it from TV. Everybody would stay in the house, and then … you see all the kids kicking and punching each other.

AP: Are you a master in any martial art?

RZA: I’m a chi-kung practitioner. It’s the root of all martial arts. It’s considered more like an internal martial arts.

AP: How does “Kill Bill” stack up against kung-fu classics?

RZA: “Kill Bill” came out beautifully. Of course Hong Kong action films, and Japanese action films, they are the masters of it because they are the fathers of it in their own way. But, I think Quentin has really produced and directed one of the best martial arts films done by Hollywood, shall I say.

AP: Did you ever consider acting?

RZA: Any person in the world would want to see themselves on TV or on the movies, I mean, that’s like a kid’s dream. But I’m known for music. I make music that has a lot of pictures to it. My music is cinematic anyway. Maybe somebody will recognize that I have a talent for acting or talent for directing. After hanging around Quentin for two or three years, and hanging around John Woo, I think directing is probably my niche, I mean more than acting. I would love to see myself on screen kissing a beautiful girl. (But) I’m more of a behind the scenes guy.

AP: Are you more critical of the way movies are scored now?

RZA: I’m an action film lover more than anything, and to me, most action films have trashy music. It doesn’t really match the scene. It’s some techno going on, and it’s not moving with the movement of the film or the movement of the action. I’ve been complaining about that for years. I think the people who approach it, they don’t know action films, and they don’t know music either.

AP: Can you see a picture of RZA holding an Oscar for best score?

RZA: Maybe best score, maybe best song of the year from a movie, maybe best director one day. Or maybe somebody can look at me and see what’s really inside of me and go and do an acting gig.

AP: Rumor has it there has been some dissension in the Wu-Tang Clan recently.

RZA: I don’t know if dissension is the word to use. But, Wu-Tang Clan — clan means family, you know what I mean? You get any group of family of people, you’re going to always have sibling rivalries, confusion. That’s basically what we’re going through. It’s nothing so serious it can’t be remedied.

AP: Do you think Wu-Tang member ODB, who was recently released from prison, will be able to come back the way he was?

RZA: I think his talent is going to speak for himself. There’s nobody like him in the game. He’s got a lot of problems he’s got to iron out, of course, but as far as a one-of-a-kind person, a one-of-a-kind artist, he’s one of a generation, one of a lifetime. He’s a very rare commodity.

AP: With so many Wu-Tang members doing different things, is it hard to come back together?

RZA: We all definitely know it’s Wu-Tang forever. Whatever I’m doing, no matter what any of the other brothers are doing, I’m quite sure when the flag goes up, we’re going to answer the call. Personally, I think the fans deserve more closure. It’s OK if we never did another album again, because we sold a lot of records influenced a lot of minds. But I think it’s only right and exact that we do another album.

AP: Could Wu-Tang hang with the kids today, rap wise?

RZA: The kids today, as far as talent wise, the MCs today have no competition against Wu-Tang. There’s no MC you can pull up right now that can handle Wu-Tang Clan. Like, one paragraph of a Wu-Tang song has more substance than a lot of these guys’ whole album.

AP: Finally, is RZA going Hollywood?

RZA: (Laughs) Holly-hood, baby! Holly-hood!

Written by Associated Press


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