I started off as a hiphop artist with a dream. 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. My latest film, Brick Mansions, comes out this Friday 4/25 and I acted alongside the late, great Paul Walker. Trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EhFZ4jAD_fU&feature=youtu.be

I'm looking forward to taking your questions. Victoria from reddit will be here with me today. AMAA.


Thanks everybody. I really had a good time doing this, it was my first time, and it was fun enough that I would do this again. Please enjoy the film this weekend, Brick Mansions. Rest in Peace to Paul Walker. And Wu-Tang forever.

RZA's out, bong bong.

Comments: 2359 • Responses: 97  • Date: 

Phineas17132492 karma


authenticRZA2380 karma


I always believed that us who follow the way of the Wu have a wavelength and a culture of our own. Something like a subculture within hiphop. This story helps verify that for me. Wu-Tang forever brother.

Phineas17131658 karma


authenticRZA2488 karma

As it was written, all men are brothers.

zaikanekochan1175 karma

What's your favorite movie, and why is it How High?

authenticRZA1632 karma

Hahahahaheeehohohahaha. Lay off the drugs, cat. LOL.

BearsAndTheAir1097 karma

Can you describe what the reaction was from everyone was after Inspectah deck first laid down his verse in Triumph?

authenticRZA1367 karma

He slayed it. And everybody knew it. And everybody else tried to slay. But he slayed it.

kingmike9879691 karma

Did Ol' Dirty really live up to the craziness that he portrayed in his music?

authenticRZA1355 karma

Times ten.

hamb_sammich624 karma

Have you considered being on the Joe Rogan Experience podcast? I can't remember if it was a tweet or during his own AMA, but Rogan said he would love to have you on as a guest.

authenticRZA779 karma

Yes, I would love to be on as a guest someday. I'll wait for the time for him to invite me.

rakelllama595 karma

I was recently in a yoga class and the instructor said "protect your neck" and I immediately thought of Wu-Tang and giggled to myself. What do you think about a rap-inspired yoga class?

Would bring a whole new meaning to "flow."

authenticRZA601 karma


vandalsupreme576 karma

How was working with Earl Sweatshirt? I've heard that during the making of Molasses, you spit a freestyle for three hours.

authenticRZA878 karma

Yeah, we got zoned out that night. He's a cool cat. And I think he will be a great talent in hiphop.

CatrickSwayze181 karma

Will the world ever hear that freestyle?

Also, I'd like to know more about your diet (besides prefering green tea to coffee). I'm trying to eat a bit healthier, like most, and it seems you've got a good grasp on nutrition.

authenticRZA838 karma

Earl and those guys got the masters from those sessions. I would suggest maybe start with slowing down on red meat and if that can lead you to slowing down on poultry and fish, that will avoid adding decayment to your body. I actually on most days only eat one meal. And my sifu taught me that if I don't exercise, I shouldn't eat. So I started to exercise, whether it's just 50 pushups or 50 situps, before I put anything in my mouth, because he says we don't deserve it. And what this relates true to me is what it says in the Bible, "a man shall work to the sweat of his brow. And thus, after work, he will nourish himself with the fruits of his labor." Peace.

murdahmamurdah517 karma

peace brotha

Rae came out and said that you haven't been as involved in the hip hop game recently like ghost and rae have, which isnt that out there of a statement. Flipside, you've been handeling film scores and the films themselves. but Similar shit was being said during the 8 diagrams sessions, with ghost and rae not being down with the beats and thinkin they were outside the hip hop climate so to speak. with the same sorta issues rising up now, and with 8 diagrams not being the wu comeback album to shake the ages we all know yall cats can make, what are you doing or planning to do different with A Better Tomorrow to make sure it hits that pinacle?

wu changed my life b, thank you for all the jewels you've given. one love.

authenticRZA1007 karma

Actually, I'm not trying to hit no pinnacles. The thing is, when an artist makes a painting, or a song, he makes it. The way the world responds to it is secondary. If they respond to it, and say it's great, then he's going to say great. If they don't respond to it, does that take away its greatness? No, because he's already satisfied in his creation. When Wu-Tang first made our first album, I knew it was great. But many people in the industry slept on it. But after it had success, it changed the direction of the industry. So be it. This may be possible now. Or maybe not.

Regardless, we should always be ourselves.

murdahmamurdah223 karma

So the victory is moreso in the process and the completion rather than the world's reception of the completed task.

Do you see the Wu Tang Clan as even having anything left to prove with an album? If not, do you think that may be another barrier? A "what gift do you get a man who has everything" situation?

Because between all the solo and group accolades, yall have literally done it all. I say this out of love, seeing that one of the last milestones hip hop has left is for a classic group to come back and give us that heat again, to the point where they reinsert themselves in the mainstream conversion. My money is on wu or The LOX right now and i think yall can do it.

authenticRZA449 karma

I agree that Wu-Tang has already made their statement in the world. But as the world grows and changes, and we are still a part of it, our point of view of today's world I think is still relevant. In our earlier albums, we described our childhood, our young adulthood. We have yet described how is it being a man in toddy's society, and a man who has traveled the world, raised children, seeing it change from being very separated because of racism and barriers to seeing these barriers begin to come down. And racism is slowly disappearing. (*I say that because on Staten Island, we would always get into fights with the white boys, and nowadays a lot of the white boys hang out with us and work with us). So I think it would be a wonderful gift to ourselves and to our fans and to the world if we deliver A Better Tomorrow.

cheverella467 karma

what happened first, you naming yourself RZA or your cousin naming himself GZA?

authenticRZA846 karma

I named myself the RZA first, and I named him the GZA shortly thereafter.

BeardAwesome431 karma

Ever give any thought to writing/directing a Wu Tang Clan movie to tie in with an album?

authenticRZA760 karma

Yes, actually. Although making movies is very difficult and it's hard to get green lights, I'm going to keep pushing though. And maybe one day, it will see the light.

killzonev2710 karma

kickstart that shit! ill give you every penny i own for a wu tang movie!

authenticRZA1640 karma

Never thought of using Kickstarter. Hmm.

grantnoffsinger399 karma

What's good RZA. First shoutout to /r/hiphopheads. How do you stay creative as you do lyrically and production wise?

authenticRZA678 karma

I use life as inspiration. And being that I travel a lot, and see a lot of different things, and meet a lot of great people, I stay inspired. Shoutout to /r/hiphopheads.

de_monkey355 karma

Did anything inspire you with regards to the choice of beats on Enter the 36 Chambers? Also, are you still an avid chess player? :D

authenticRZA532 karma

On 36 Chambers, I kind of went on my own inspiration. I was out to prove my abilities. Yes, I still play chess.

_RZA_207 karma

Will we ever get 36 chambers remastered?

authenticRZA384 karma

Perhaps some of the tracks will be remastered. A lot of them are probably not in multitrack form anymore. So the remaster would still have to come from a stereo mix.

crowingzero328 karma

Do I still have to protect ma neck? It's been like 20 years now, I'm getting tired of doing it.

Love you man. As a producer, as a rapper, as an actor, as a videogame character, ANY dj

authenticRZA775 karma

You have to protect ya neck til the day you drop brother. Because if you lose ya neck, that will be the day you drop! You must always protect ya neck at all times.

GreedoLurkedFirst323 karma

Long time fan of the Wu. I was amazed by the Kill Bill soundtracks.

Don't know if you can answer this: Will the Ghostface/MF DOOM album ever be released?

authenticRZA426 karma

I don't know. But Ghost is one of the dopest MCs, and MF is a dope producer and MC. So I'm sure if they do it, it's going to be great.

trevoreld284 karma


Do you still wear those pointy ass rings and have you ever actually punched a hole in a crab's hand with them?

authenticRZA572 karma

No. I gave them to my little brother and I think he lost em.

Wolf_Stansson_DDS280 karma

What is your relationship with Bill Murray like? You guys were in Coffee and Cigarettes in 2003, and then in 2010, this happened. Do you still talk?

authenticRZA506 karma

I don't talk to him often, because we both have crazy-busy schedules, but we have a similar circle of friends. What I can say is what a cool dude.

ConstantStomachPain269 karma

Can you share any memories of your tour with Rage Against the Machine?

authenticRZA530 karma

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. :(

WoodtheLiberator268 karma

Do you need to be self aware in order to have sex for enjoyment?

authenticRZA717 karma

Uh oh. It's getting deep on AMA. We said AMAA. But now that you asked, you better be aware of yourself and your partner(s).

dontbreak_tehwebz246 karma

BONG BONG! Been a fan for 20+ years.

2 questions:

Whats your all time favorite Martial Arts flick?

What is your favorite ODB verse/line/metaphor/song?

authenticRZA456 karma

I'll tell you the 3 that inspired me the most. Shaolin versus Wu-Tang. 8 Diagram Pole Fighter. And the Five Deadly Venoms.

For ODB "I be the answer to your why, the tear to your cry." It's off a song he did with Killer Priest.

Rubbertoe21228 karma

How awesome is it being a Robert?

(My name is Robert)

authenticRZA479 karma

Super duper awesome.

eccentric_smencil227 karma

What was it about Gravediggaz, and the horrorcore genre in general, that appealed to you when it was first starting?

authenticRZA392 karma

At the time, being young and thinking of my childhood nightmares, I wanted to write songs from the darker side of my mentality. I feel like the Gravediggaz are the pioneers of this mentality of lyricism. Hiphop could use a few more doses of it now.

eephounds214 karma

Hey RZA! You seem to be a very calculated, meditative and, for lack of a better word, spiritual person. Was there a certain event in your life that led you to be this way or is this the way you've always been?

Peace & thanks for the AMA

authenticRZA382 karma

Yes, certain events led me to this, which is hard for me to describe to this, which are hard to describe. But I can say that it was a growth process. Would you believe I was once obnoxious.

RUA_bug_Bill_Murray213 karma

Something I always wondered, on the album version of CREAM, Inspectah Deck says:

“A young buck, selling drugs and such, who never had much, trying to get a clutch of what I could not…”

With the word “touch” being implied but not spoken. But on the single and video versions, and whenever I've seen Wu-Tang live, Deck always actually says the word “touch.”

I always thought implying but not saying “touch” was deep and artistic, emphasizing how those things were out of reach for you guys. But then with the word “touch” being included in every other version/performance of the song I’m wondering if that was actually the intent, and if so why has the lyric since been changed?

authenticRZA294 karma

It was the intent during the production.

Darc808205 karma

I have some beat production related questions:

  1. What's your usual setup? All digital? Any analog instruments? Vinyl sampling? What DAW do you prefer?
  2. Do you make beats, then send the finished product to rappers to write lyrics to it or do you usually write the song together?
  3. Do you have a specific process for finding samples, or is it all gut feeling?


authenticRZA459 karma

  1. Well, that's a lot, but: not being egotistic about this, but I have a dozen set ups. 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.

  2. I prefer writing songs together. In fact one of the problems with making a Wu-Tang album is my refusal to send beats, because I believe that great music is created when people are in a room together.

  3. I dig and I dig, and if something strikes my ear, I sample it. Then I twist it.

wilco204181 karma

How did you like your time on Californication? Samurai Apocalypse was a great foil to Hank Moody.

authenticRZA316 karma

It was very fun. Funny. And something was very sexy about that show. Maybe it was Meagan. LOL.

IvarSolocean175 karma

Hey RZA! Tell us some funny stories from u and the guys in Wu Tang: )

authenticRZA895 karma

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."

citizenchristian174 karma

Hey RZA, how did you become a vegetarian?

authenticRZA477 karma

I just snapped out of eating dead animals.

alphadougg153 karma

Could you elaborate on your infamous flood story? The legend says that you once had a flood into your basement that caused you to lose a few hundred beats you had made that were meant to be put onto the first round of Wu-Tang solo albums.

Did this actually happen?

Did you recreate any of the beats that you lost? If so, which ones?

authenticRZA249 karma

Yeah, I lost a lot of beats. In those days, I would keep my beats in a floppy disk holder, which held 80 disks per case. And I had the cases sectioned out with names of each Wu member, and beats that fit their styles. Those disks have not been recovered yet. I have some of them, but they won't play.

_RZA_105 karma

How was the flood caused?

authenticRZA186 karma

Heavy rains and sewage backup, and I was out of town, and so I came home to it.

QWERTYMurdoc39 karma

Have you tried getting them to an expert?

authenticRZA82 karma

I've taken them to an expert, and they declared them unrepairable. One expert did say that maybe one day after drying out and all this crap that it would work. But I think that being that it was not only water, but mud, dirt and sewage, that the disk became permanently damaged.

asswipe360145 karma

Liquid Swords II when?

btw Liquid Swords is the greatest Hip-Hop album of all time

authenticRZA265 karma

I think GZA may be in the process of writing that now.

the_violent_turd144 karma

Whattup Rza huge Wu Fan and personally you are my favourite producer ever!Thank you for doing this, I have a few questions actually, my first question regards the tracks Method Man and Clan In Da front, Did you tailor a beat for every member in the clan, how did you choose who got their solo songs on the album?Who are your other favourite rapper-producers?Lastly are there any beats that once you had finished then played back you realised that it was going to be a classic.Once again thank you!

authenticRZA250 karma

Yes, I used to tailor the beats to their rhyme styles. I knew my Wu brothers for so long, and made so many tapes with them, that I grew an ear to what would fit the MC.

Choosing solo songs for each artist on a Wu-Tang album is something that kind of materializes during the process.

Pete Rock, Dr. Dre, Kanye West.

Yes, I have one right now that I just can't wait til the Wu MCs get on, because I just know that this is one of those magical ones.

Artvandelay172 karma

How hard is it to stop working on any particular song or beat? It must be tempting to keep tweaking and improving so when is it that you know that a song gets to that magical level and you know you should stop?

authenticRZA204 karma

Hmm. Usually if you're in the studio, it's right about when the time is up.

Failure33Object138 karma

What was it like working with John Frusciante and will you be working with him again in the future?

authenticRZA179 karma

John is a genius, one of my favorite musicians. And I look forward to working with him in the future.

italiano11130 karma

actor in Brick Mansions. AMAA.

Hey hey now, let's not forget the awesome performance in "The Man with the Iron Fists!"

Good job man. How much fun is it being so versatile?

authenticRZA163 karma

It's very challenging. Because some of my friends are thinking I'm becoming a little schizo. Wow, the life of an artist.

amaduru71 karma

Best advice you can give someone?

authenticRZA308 karma

Study yourself. Then after that, study yourself again.

moonmman123 karma

You get a swimming pool but you can't fill it with water, what do you fill it with? Money is not a choice either.

authenticRZA453 karma

Those little plastic balls that you see in ball pits.

sidimazz112 karma

Hey RZA, Huge Fan here, I've been listening to you since I was 10. One question

  1. Are you not going to publically publish songs off the new WuTang albulm, or will it only be avaliable to the one lucky buyer?

authenticRZA279 karma

The album, that's entitled A Better Tomorrow, if completed, will be available to the public. The album entitled Once Upon A Time in Shaolin is a piece of art that only one will be made.

SkyManfl105 karma

Hey RZA!

First off, shoutout to my guys over at r/hiphopheads; I know we would all love it if you dropped by to say hi.

Now my question: As someone who only recently came into contact with Wu-Tang Clan (A shame it took until now, I know), what made you guys decide to go with the "Shaolin/Martial Arts" theme? Also, where did the name come from?

I would love to hear about it straight from a Brother of the Wu. Thanks in advance, and keep up the great work.

authenticRZA340 karma

The theme was my idea. I looked at the times we was in, and I used different studies and analogies to describe my style of MC'ing. This style of MC'ing was shared by my fellow Wu members. After contemplating, I decided to call it the Wu-Tang Style. Reason: it said in the Bible that in the last days, out of the son of man's mouth will come a double-edged sword, and this sword would be used upon the nations. And from watching Kung-Fu movies I've learned that the best sword style was Wu-Tang. So I knew that a real sword can't come out of a man's mouth, so that sword had to be a man's tongue, which resembles a sword if you look at it. So being that I felt my crew had the best lyrical styles, I named it after the best sword style… I can elaborate more but we have 500 questions here. Thanks for the interest.

she_loves_ham103 karma

Hey RZA, What was it like working with the Black Keys? Did you guys synch up pretty quickly? I saw some videos and it looked like steak meeting potatoes for the first time. Everything flowed so smoothly!

authenticRZA146 karma

yeah, Dan and Pat are two cool guys. We actually hung out a few times, first before we made music together, and when making the song The Baddest Man Alive, we spent 2 weeks in the studio together, and recorded a lot of demos.

morgzyoloha101 karma

If you could suggest, let's say one to three books, that you think everybody NEEDS to read, what would they be?

authenticRZA405 karma

I think we should all read the Bible, the Koran, and the Bhagavad Gita.

mpm40085 karma

What is your best memory from the set of Brick Mansions?

authenticRZA222 karma

Besides having my family come to set, and seeing the remarkable work that everybody was doing, I have to say eating vegetarian food with Paul Walker.

rosewood_gm81 karma

What Up RZA, I would Like to say thank you. The Tao of wu helped me through the toughest spot of my life, it was very powerful and enlightening. I don't have a true question I just wanted to say Thank you and I have the up most respect for you as a visionary and leader. You are a great role model for myself and anyone willing to chase there dreams. Also Shout out to /r/Hiphopheads come check us out!

authenticRZA113 karma

Bong bong. I am checking you boys out right now. And thanks for the compliment.

tipsqueal79 karma

Who's the best chess player in the Wu Tang Clan right now?

authenticRZA195 karma

Hahahahahahaha. All I can say is that I had the hiphop chess belt.

15chainz73 karma

When was the last time you saw Paul Walker?

authenticRZA321 karma

The last time I saw Paul in the flesh was on the movie set. We had planned on seeing each other again at the premiere. But destiny bends.

Celery033165 karma

What was it like working on Afro Samurai, and what sort of sound and feel were you going for with the music you used? It all fit together very nicely.

authenticRZA149 karma

Working on Afro Samurai was one of my favorite jobs, because the writers, producers, and directors gave me full autonomy. So every sound, every note, was all my choice. They didn't interfere with anything I wanted to do. I'm glad that people liked it, and I hope they make a live-action film.

m0bius_0ne65 karma

Hey RZA! really glad you're doing this AMA. I read somewhere that you and John Frusciante have recorded a ton of material. I really liked FM. Any chance you two might release a full album in the future? That would be awesome.

authenticRZA87 karma

There's a chance for that. If life permits.

Chester_frenchkiss62 karma

How did your collaboration with James Blake come about? He's one of my favorite artists and I really like "Take a Fall For Me".

authenticRZA144 karma

Well, thanks for enjoying the song. Our managers are friends. And they suggested that we get together and make a song. I heard some of his music, and enjoyed it, and what really pushed me that GZA's son Kareem was a fan of James', and I kind of did it to impress him.

killzonev259 karma

I went to the opening night of Man With the Iron Fists, that movie fucking rocks. I'm excited for your future movie/tv show projects, Parks and Rec is a show i watch all the time and seeing that you auditioned for a role next season got me pretty excited, any chance of giving away any details of the role you auditioned for?

Wu Tang Clan aint nuthin to fuck with!

authenticRZA121 karma

Parks & Recreation is a funny show, and Amy Poehler and Aziz and Rashida are all funny and great. It was just a joke we was playing on each other, me auditioning for the show. I will not be appearing.

authenticRZA133 karma

But I am in Brick Mansions coming out this Friday.

idonotownakindle23 karma

How was your experience making Brick Mansions?

authenticRZA52 karma

It was a great experience, man. I'm so interested to see how the fans react to the movie. I hope they enjoy it. Lot of work went into it.

HailToTheThieves59 karma


authenticRZA129 karma

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?"

UsernameNotFound40456 karma

What was it like working on the score for Ghost Dog? Did you know it would become a cult classic while composing it?

authenticRZA81 karma

No, I wasn't aware of how it would be received. But at the time, I was really spending a lot of time making new forms of beats. And I knew they belonged somewhere, and I'm glad they ended up on Ghost Dog.

CanonA155 karma

Will you ever release a real true solo wu sounding album just like the others did in the 90's??? not discrediting the bobby digital stuff, i like that but a lot of wu fans felt it wasn't a true representation of the 90's rza, hard body lyrics and dusty beats, will that ever happen or does everything need to move forward? i jst wish i had a rza album full of songs like Tragedy

authenticRZA88 karma

Hmm. Maybe brother, maybe.

OldCleanBastard51 karma

Wu-Tang Forever!

How much have comic books influenced you? I still smile every time I hear you name drop Rom, The Space Knight on Impossible.

authenticRZA147 karma

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.

Ineedemo44 karma

Which rappers are you listening to the most outside of your Wu-Tang crew?

authenticRZA163 karma

Nowadays, I've just become a fan of the culture of hiphop. Somedays I find myself sitting on my downtime watching Yo! MTV raps, or scrolling through YouTube finding up and coming MCs. I love watching URL and all the rap battles. Sometimes when you're making the music, you become so engulfed in yourself that you forget that you started yourself as a fan of the music. Now that I get time to do other things such as act, score and direct, I can actually become a fan of hiphop again.

piersmw38 karma

Hi, big fan of all your work and I have a great deal of respect for your outlook on life (I try to live to build up the twelve jewels myself), only question I can think of off the top of my head is, given that you've produced a lot of hip-hop, does the beat need to go with the lyrics? As in one of the two books you wrote you mentioned having hundreds (perhaps thousands, I don't recall) of beats that you've made that are just lying around waiting to possibly get used. I'm making rather a mess of the phrasing of this question, but essentially I'm curious about the production process of whether the lyrics come before the beat, or the beat comes before the lyrics, or the lyrics are written and then you find a beat you've already made but not yet used. Thank you.

authenticRZA128 karma

All these processes are used. In a song like Method Man, he came to my house with the lyrics written, at the same time, I had just finished a new beat. We put the 2 together, and made a classic. Yet there's been many cases such as on Cuban Links, when Ghost and Ray took a tape of beats with them to Barbados, and Miami, and wrote the lyrics to the beats. So this process goes back and forth. As far as the thousands of beats that I have that have not been heard by the world, I hope that one day a generation (whether it's my children or somebody else) comes across them, records songs to them, and continues the Wu-Tang expressions.

piersmw32 karma

Thank you very much for responding, and in such detail. I think that's what makes hip-hop the poetry of the music world, that sometimes pure gold can come out of a coincidence, but other times it's premeditated. I hope so too that the sound and soul of the Wu-Tang continues for generations to come - some people need a voice, other people are fine with just hearing the voices that resonate with them, and Wu-Tang is something special there.

authenticRZA98 karma

Bong Bong.

morgzyoloha36 karma

Tell us more about the process behind this one-copy record the Wu is planning to release.

authenticRZA83 karma

This question will take days to answer. But I can say that it's now in the hands of experts. And we will do a press conference in a few weeks to discuss our course of action.

seismicor26 karma

What's your favourite videogame?

authenticRZA109 karma

Nowadays? Well it's hard to say your favorite video game, but one game I've been buying for years and continue to buy every version they make is Tekken. Actually, when Wu-Tang first started making money, me and Method Man came to Manhattan and went to the place where they sell real pinball machines and video games, and we tried to buy a Tekken to bring home to our house. And they wouldn't sell it to us at that time. Method Man would up getting one though. I wound up getting a pinball machine. Anyway, Tekken.

_RZA_25 karma

How did you come up with the name RZA

authenticRZA67 karma

In my neighborhood, my homies would call me the RZA RZA Ra. Because they said I was razor-sharp. Ra was my chosen name, short for Rakeem. When I decided to improve myself, I changed my name to Rakeem Zig-Zag-Zig-Allah. And RZA is like an acronym for that.

Rocket_Dave8825 karma

Love your music, love your style, and great work in Man with the Iron Fists. Will you be doing any more movies in that style soon?

authenticRZA62 karma

Actually, Brick Mansions is a high-octane movie filled with martial arts, the martial arts style is called Parkour. Although my character doesn't use it, because he has a big gun and a big missile. I'm sure you will enjoy seeing this type of action on the screen.

barrygusey23 karma

What's your relationship with David Duchovny like? Your arc on Californication was one of my favorites, as it pitted against and joined together two of my idols on screen.

authenticRZA44 karma

I've only met him working on the set and we emailed each other a few times afterwards. But I can say that I think we enjoyed working together.

lynchedlandlord22 karma

The RZA! What can you tell us about the production on the secret Once Upon a Time in Shaolin? Will there be any notable features?

authenticRZA50 karma

I actually can only say that this project is in the hands of experts, and a big press conference will be released in the next few weeks.

CaptainHarkness20 karma

Peace, Bobby Digilino!

I had no idea that this ama was coming up so I had no questions planned or anything. I just wanted to say that you're one of my biggest inspirations! the knowledge the Wu has brought me, amongst others, has changed my life for the better! Love the Wu, love Bobby, and all your wisdom and philosophy. Keep doin' what you're doin' and you'll keep inspiring tons of people like myself.


authenticRZA37 karma

This statement inspires me to continue. Thank you.

fetfet5019 karma

Dammit I had something for this.

How do you feel your circumstance has influenced the kind of music you're making? In 20 years what have been the things that have affected you the most, for better or worse?

Also, how has knowing Quentin influenced your understanding of art?

authenticRZA55 karma

Circumstances do influence music. Especially if you are naive to music theory. But once you know music theory, you actually can influence circumstances.

The biggest effects on my life have been my wife and children.

Although I have much success in different fields, and Wu-Tang literally saved my family from poverty, it's the joy of watching them grow in a better situation that really inspires my life.

I could write volumes on what was gained and traded between me and Quentin when it comes to art and culture. Many times when we left each other presences, we both thanked each other for the enlightenment that we shared when it came to art. As a student of his, I'm forever grateful for his teaching and sparking me on a path to become a director.

My_Public_Profile17 karma

You're asked to select one hip hop album to represent the genre to an alien race...

What's that album?

authenticRZA49 karma

I would send Wu-Tang Forever. If I could send 3, I would send King of Rock and The Chronic.

themidnightkillah15 karma

Hey RZA, i'm a big Wu fan from Portugal and an aspiring rapper. I would like to know what you think is most essencial when writing a verse Thanks man!

authenticRZA44 karma

Try to be original. That's the most important.

duckmunch14 karma

Hey RZA,

Huge fan of you and the Wu.

Are you still using the Roland MV-8000?

Thanks for doing this AMA

authenticRZA33 karma

Yes, I still play around with that one. I still have the yellow & black one that was designed by Forat. And I got it hooked up to my Newmark serrato set. Looking to make some crazy breakbeat loops yo.

BowserBandit8 karma

Who were your biggest musical inspirations when you were just starting out as an artist? I'd really like to know.

authenticRZA37 karma

Hiphop itself. And funnily, the GZA was a guy I looked up to. And I can also say the pioneers of hiphop beats such as Marley Marl, and Scott La Rock.

milfsdoingyoga6 karma

Rza, what's your favorite place in New York City?

authenticRZA16 karma

It changes all the time. Recently, one of my most relaxing and coolest moments was simply riding the Staten Island Ferry.

stevland824 karma

Mr. RZA, good day, I would like to say thanks for doing this AMA, also big fan of your work, Grits- Birth of a Prince and I can't go to sleep on The W where you used Isaac Hayes was gold for me, I probably listened to those songs until the cd broke.

My questions is though, have you ever considered a collaboration with a philharmonic or orchestra for an opera type of production? If so when, and what theme?

authenticRZA32 karma

Not actually. Working as a composer I have been in front of orchestras as large as 80 pieces, and I've actually written out 36 Chambers in orchestra form. Now all I gotta do is one day get it played!

jtuk20003 karma

Did you get to spend a lot of time with Paul Walker while filming Brick Mansions? What was that like?

authenticRZA5 karma

Yeah, we did get a chance to spend time together, as well as break bread. He wasn't a constant vegetarian, but he ate vegetarian with me. Overall, Paul was a great guy. And spending time with him was actually a joyous part of making the film.

Killahills2 karma

Which track are you most proud of lyrically...for me it would be Sunshowers.....that shit is relentless.

authenticRZA12 karma

Hmm. Hmm. I guess that could tie with Impossible. But some lyrics that have never been said to the public that are in my cure book that may exceed anything I said to-date. Hey - don't forget to check out Brick Mansions this weekend!

CoolHandHazard2 karma


Who are your influences?

What is your favorite rap album ever?

Your favorite song on 36 Chambers?

Favorite beat from any song ever?


authenticRZA10 karma

My main influence is life itself. As a producer, I was a big fan of Marley Marl, and famous soul producers such as Isaac Hayes, David Porter, Willie Mitchell, and we can't forget the great songwriters from Motown.

My favorite song on 36 Chambers always changes. For today, I'm going to say Seventh Chamber.

That is a question that remains unanswered, even to myself.

VinnydaSaint2 karma

RZA - you now have one of the most recognized sounds in the industry is there anyone that you want to collaborate with? Either music or acting...

authenticRZA10 karma

On the acting level there are so many people I would like to work with. Because I have such an acting bug in me right now. Musically, I never got a chance to work with Stevie Wonder. Or Lauren Hill.

101VaultDweller2 karma

Wu Tang sparked my interest in kung-fu movies as a kid. Have you ever caught ,Death Mask of the Ninja?

authenticRZA3 karma

Yes. Cool film.

jcm2themax2 karma

How was it like working with Tony Jaa? Can you just feel the badassness emanating from him?

authenticRZA8 karma

Yeah, Tony is an incredible martial artist. But also an incredible spirit. He shared with me some movements of muay thai that date back hundreds of years. We became good friends, and we stay in touch nowadays. It was fun going to Thailand, and getting my ass whipped by him.

bigtice2 karma

Hey RZA, considering I’ve got a massive crush on Meagan Good and am a fan of the show in general, I really enjoyed Season 5 of Californication with you on it. How was it working on the show? What was your most memorable moment from working with the cast?

authenticRZA7 karma

I had a great time working on that show. David Duchovny is a cool guy in real life. The cast was great because they already knew each other for 5 previous seasons, so they were like family to each other, but I will admit when I came to set, they allowed me to be part of that family. My favorite thing, though, was getting to kiss Meagan Good.

johnadams04141 karma

What's your favorite game boy color game?

authenticRZA2 karma

Chessmaster. The one with Josh Waitzkin.

hyde97981 karma

What did you think of David Belle when you first saw him? What is your opinion on parkour in general?

authenticRZA3 karma

David is cool. His physicality is incredible. I watched him do his own stunts on that movie set. Parkour is a fascinating art. It's like Tony Jaa, Jackie Chan, and breakdancing rolled into one. I hope the American public enjoys the film and gives Parkour the respect it deserves. I wouldn't be surprised if Parkour ends up in the Xtreme games.

EngineerThis211 karma

I'm a huge Wu fan and admire all the work you have done in movies. Has your acting career pulled you away from the music scene at all?

PS. Saw you guys live at the Chameleon Club in Lancaster, PA and it was by far the greatest concert I've ever been to.

authenticRZA5 karma

It's pulled me away somewhat, but music always pulls me back. Thanks for being a fan. Check out Brick Mansions this weekend in a theater near you.

dhruv4941 karma

RZA I've loved all of your work for years. You're a huge inspiration to me in terms of work ethic, spirituality, focus, and dedication.

As somebody who wants to learn and improve his acting, I have to ask: how do you combine and apply your knowledge of music, martial arts, meditation, etc. when making movies and acting?

authenticRZA4 karma

Sometimes your other hobbies come into play, sometimes they don't. I will give you a bit of advice: the best thing to do when trying to find somewhere is to get a map. A good book in acting is like a map.

HailToTheThieves1 karma

With your busy schedule nowadays how do you get yourself inspired to set time aside for composing beats/songs or just focusing on music in general?

Was the Blakroc album created through being friends or did you/the black keys contact the other about wanting involvement?

Do you listen to many of the rappers coming out of NYC scene? If you have the time for that who would you say are your favorites?

Thank you so much for your work and passion towards different expressions of art over the years!

authenticRZA5 karma

Nowadays, you actually can have beat machines that work on airplanes. And guess what I have…

Beat machines that work on airplanes.

We met through Damon Dash, and we hung out a few times and liked each other's energy, they actually told me that Liquid Sword was one of their favorite albums. I think our respect for each other made us record together.

I mean, right now, ASAP and his crew are holding weight. Flatbush Zombies, Joey Badass from Brooklyn, you also have Troy Avenue, you got Action Bronson from Queens, Core from Long Island / Brooklyn, New York will always have great MCs. It's just will they get their chance to surface or rise to the top is yet to be told.

Bong bong. Thank you for listening. Check out Brick Mansions this weekend.

Thundershield_1 karma

I read your book Tao of the Wu, And alot of your ideas and views were interesting and ones ive never heard of. My question would be what books on the heavenly jewles, mathmatics, chess ect.. do you recommend?

Also with your love of martial arts what do you think of the UFC?

authenticRZA3 karma

There are really no books on the Jewels or mathematics. There are many books on chess. I would suggest Bobby Fisher. I love the UFC. Pissed off when Anderson lost and broke his own leg! But the fight goes on.

daman11991 karma

How was it working with the great Paul Walker? I heard he was nice to everyone, even extras

authenticRZA2 karma

He was a very nice guy. And very focused actor. Didn't see him around too many extras. But I wasn't on set every day on his scenes, because we played enemies in the movie.

TYLERonepointO1 karma

First things first, that you are the man!! I loved the iron firsts movie! What are your projects coming up?

authenticRZA2 karma

Brick Mansions will be in theaters this weekend. And after that, you will be able to catch me on a tv show called Gang Related, which starts airing May 22nd on FOX network… Wu-Tang forever.

ragehorse1 karma

RZA, I'm a film major and a huge Wu-Tang fan. What are some of your favourite films?

authenticRZA2 karma

Since you're a film major, I don't need to speak on martial arts films, but I would suggest you spend time studying films from Asia, not just martial arts but also Wong Kar-Wai. On a normal basis, some of my favorite films are the Godfather, The Good, The Bad and the Ugly, West Side Story, and On The Waterfront. And Cat on a Hot Tin Roof.

TurboPoggs1 karma

You've worked with Jim Jarmusch a couple times now. What's your take on the guy?

authenticRZA2 karma

Jim: very smart guy. Really got his act together.I like him a lot. I have to credit him with sparking my career in film. I went from a cameo in Ghost Dog to now a top billing position in Brick Mansions alongside Paul Walker and David Belle. Don't forget to check it out this weekend.

pi0t3r1 karma

I had the pleasure of meeting you last year when you spoke at the Cleveland Public Library. I was wondering, how did you come into contact with great directors like Quentin Tarantino, Jim Jarmusch, and Eli Roth?

authenticRZA2 karma

Well, Jim sought me out. Quentin and his company hired me to promote a film once, and we became friends after that. And after becoming Quentin's student, I would see Eli at Quentin's house, where we both as students watched a lot of movies.