RZA Birthday Celebration on The Hip Hop Show, July 6!
Friday morning on the Hip Hop Show, we will dedicate 4 hours to the RZA whose birthday falls a few hours prior on July 5th. RZA has created a distinct vocal style as well as production sound, serving as a precursor to J Dilla. Robert Diggs aka Bobby Digital aka the Abbott aka RZA recorded his first album as Prince Rakeem in 1991, releasing the 12" 'Oooh I Love You Rakeem'. In 1993 Prince Rakeem produced the 12" 'Protect Ya Neck' which was the first record by the Wu-Tang Clan. Later in 1993, the RZA brought stripped down, lo-fi samples, with off-kilter horns, and snaps for the production on the Wu-Tang Clans first album, 'Enter The Wu-Tang (36 Chambers)'. The nine stable members--a majority of the members from Staten Island, and Brooklyn--of Wu-Tang adopted kung-fu personalities, mixed with violent street tales. '36 Chambers' would become one of the most influential albums in hip hop through is focused narrative, martial arts clips, and distinct techniques of its numerous members. The RZA would go on to produce solo albums for Wu members Method Man, GZA, Ghostface Killah, Ol' Dirty Bastard, creating a vast production discography. RZA was also involved in the early recordings of New York group Gravediggaz, primarily in the role of rapper. RZA would only produce his first solo album after 'Rakeem' in 1998, 'Bobby Digital in Stereo'. Since 2000 RZA's influence has remained diverse, and ever prolific; working with Kanye West, writing books on the philosophy of Wu-Tang, and producing soundtracks. Friday's show will explore RZA's career as a producer and highlight his unique vocal style.