The Africana QA: The RZA - 2004-04-16 17:51:12

© The Wu-Tang Corp.- 2004-04-16

As one of the dopest producers in the game, is it difficult for you to maintain your hunger and creativity?
As far as me being dope or not, I leave that up to the people. However, being hungry and creative is a natural thing. Music is a habit that I cannot break. I tried, but it’s not happening.

Why did you try to break the habit?
Because when I do music, I feel mad childish. I have a scientific mind, so I wonder if I am wasting my time. I spend three, four, five hours a day on music. But, I love it so much I can’t stop. It’s sickening.

So, what inspires this love?
The weather and the people around me, the daily struggle of [being] black…The joy from being successful and being able to put food on my table inspires me.

Your score for Kill Bill Vol. 1 was incredible. What’s your involvement in Vol. 2?
We brought in more orchestra for the second installment, with a few different composers. I am grateful to have had the opportunity to actually compose a classically-driven score that’s equally influenced by hip hop.

Were you at all hesitant about scoring a Tarantino film?
At first, I was feeling Quentin just as a king-fu buddy. He had one of those Wu Tang weeks, when he was just playing Wu everyday, and he said, ‘I want you to do this right here.’ It was a pressure job because Quentin is a genius. It’s hard to please a genius, like it’s hard to please myself at times.

What did you two disagree about?
The biggest disagreements came over whether I was doing Bobby Digital or RZA. He was like, ‘Look, man. I want RZA to do this, not Bobby Digital.’

Do you have problems deciding under which personality you are going to create music?
It’s just a different way of approach. It shows two different sides of my creativity.

Which do you enjoy best?
The RZA encompasses all. It’s my title of life.

How do you feel about African Americans, critics and regular folk, claiming that Tarantino exploits black culture?
I can’t really understand that question because directors exploit everything. A movie is just the exploitation of life.

Let’s talk about music for a bit. What are you listening to right now?
I have been composing movie scores, so I have been studying music more. I haven’t bought any hip hop this year. I like Twista and Kanye’s single. Twista is killing it with his style, and he’s finally got a chance to live.

What’s up with Wu-Tang? No 10-year anniversary celebration?
The year fell on a time when everyone was going their different ways and I had an opportunity to operate on all of the ideas that I had. I look forward to having a Wu-Tang album out in 2005.

What do you think of the hip hop that’s popular now?
It’s ironic. Hip hop is no longer the voice of change; it’s the voice of submission. The stereotypes are now true. I think that a lot of artists from the ‘90s, like Wu-Tang and Mobb Deep, laid the foundation for anyone to pick up and carry on, but some of these artists are not picking up and doing a good job. But, that’s what music is anyway, you have good talent and bad talent. It’s lacking a little substance right about now, but I think that The Birth of a Prince is one of the few [albums] that goes into it deeply. When MTV and BET showed my video for “Grits," they were happy to put it in rotation because they say its one of the only ones that doesn’t have T&A in it. I want to introduce my kids to hip hop, but the hip hop that’s out now is sex and violence based. But, I love it. It’s a double-edged sword.

Do you think that a turn is in the air?
Everything goes in a cycle. Wu-Tang told you that everything goes in 360 degrees. Take someone like Lil’ Jon, I remember eight years ago when he couldn’t get in the clubs. Now, he is [everywhere].

Written by Isoul H. Harris for The Africana

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