RZA versus GZA

28 May

Two of the biggest names in Hip Hop have announced plans to launch a reunion tour tor legendary Wu-Tang Clan, performing the “Enter the 36 Chambers” in its entirety as part of the Rock The Bells tour to hit the west and east coast cities. We sat down with RZA and GZA to get their thoughts on the tour.

First, up — the RZA

How important is to have this tour promoted by an independent promoter like Chang Weisberg and Guerilla Union.

Well, first of all,  promoters come in all shapes and sizes. It ain’t only the fact that Chang is an independent promoter, it’s that Chang Weisberg is a good promoter. He’s able to communicate with the artist, the talent, the managers. He’s able to keep a comfortable environment for us when we’re doing the shows and the gigs. He’s also able to put it on, for a lot of hip-hop artists, they don’t experience festivals. They don’t know about lunch time and dinner time and the things that a festival does. I know that because I’ve been around the world. But he makes you feel that right here in America. Right here in L.A. or right here in San Bernadino or New York. He brings this festival thing that only Europe would have. He’s got this together right here in America. He’s a good promoter and a good guy. Chang comes to my house.

Oh yeah? You guys hang out?

Not like that.  I consider him a buddy. But even on the business side. He’ll come to my house, we’ll have lunch and we’ll talk about it. We may not always agree; but we’ll talk about it. And that’s what makes a good promoter. Somebody that’s able to come and communicate with the artists or management and talk about the future and the plans ahead.

Did he shoot some of these reunion ideas or some album concept ideas by you?

Yeah, we bounce off of each other. I have some ideas, he has some ideas. He has some wishes. Once I get going I get going. I have some dreams I want. The most important thing that he said to me was “36 Chambers.” And I was like, good idea. I always wanted to do that, but I never had the platform for it. I never got nobody to second the notion for me. And, by him being someone that’s leading the pack on it. I was like, Yo. I didn’t go talk to the rest of the Clan about it—Chang did. That’s what made it special for me. I didn’t have to sell the idea. It’s a great idea, you go talk about it.

You see a lot of these tours where they use a lot of staging: LED screens, use video montage to tell the story of the album. Are you gonna do that?

I don’t know how the production is gonna be. We haven’t gotten that deep into the production of it and stuff. But for “36 Chambers” you don’t really need it. All you need is the whole Clan. That’s all you really need.

Not even pyro? Who doesn’t like to blow shit up?

He may have something up his sleeve. Chang, every time Wu-Tang was on Rock The Bells he had something up his sleeve where we had good props and he always had something to make it really special. I don’t know what he got in mind for this year. But the only thing I want to see no matter what is every member there doing their job to the best of the ability.

Do you get emotional watching that first Rock The Bells video with Ole Dirty Bastard?

Yeah, yeah. Where he’s on the speaker. That’s classic, baby. That’s classic.

What do you think about having Slick Rick on tour?

I love Slick. I love Slick Rick, man. I’ve had a chance to become friends with him over the years. He used to come to my studio in New York and have a drink of champagne with me and we would laugh. I love that kid, man. He’s a mentor. He’s older than me. He’s farther on the path than me. He’s a unique guy, man, a very unique guy. To have him come rock that album, “The Great Adventures of Slick Rick,” which, a lot of guys in the Clan… I remember when Raekwon and Method and everybody had that Slick Rick album playing it throughout Park Hill. So, a lot of us in the Clan are gonna be hyped up watching these guys do their thing too. This is gonna be a thing that’s good for every body there.

And now, the GZA


How do you keep in touch with the Wu Tang fans and keep them up to date with your solo projects?

It depends on how you reach out, and your ways of getting the message out there. As long as you have Internet, you have an outlet of trying to promote on an international level, even if you’re an independent person. I think it’s important to just get the message out. Very important.

Obviously you’re a big user of the internet. What, right now, is your favorite medium for getting the message out there?

Facebook is the number one social network. But I go online to play Chess.

How about  Scrabble?

I played Scrabble on a plane the other day. I don’t really do go online. I play Chess online or I search for information.

Do you read all of the hip-hop blogs?

No, man. I don’t. Every now and then I do.

Do you feel like you have to keep above the fray of that?

I wouldn’t say I got above it because I would like to start blogging. Sometimes I have some stuff I wanna say and let out. I usually share it in interviews and other mediums.

Did you consider any other Wu-Tang albums as doing the album concept or did “36” just seem so obvious?

Not for Rock The Bells. I’ve considered, because I’ve been doing Liquid Swords show since 2007. I threw it out there for Rae to do “Cuban Linx” and other things, but as far as Wu-Tang, yeah, I’ve also  thought about “Wu-Tang Forever.”

“Wu-Tang Forever,” that would be a really long show.

Yeah. It would be. I mean, a show’s usually like an hour and a half, anyway. Two hours long.

So I went to the original Wu-Tang reunion show with Rage Against the Machine. There were a lot of people on stage. How do you decide who to let on stage with you?

You know, one of the things I told the guy that was interviewing me over there by the bar, he said, “what is one of your first memories that you think of when you think of Rock the Bells?” I think of Wu-Tang on stage with about 150 people behind us.

Doesn’t that get a little chaotic for you?

Well, I don’t really care. They’re not actually in your way when you’re performing. But it can be a distraction. It can also be, not an obstacle… but a focusing point for the crowd. Like, one big class picture.

It can be hard to know where to look.

I don’t think so. Just look for the dude with the mic

Do you ever watch the old Rock the Bells movie and get a little nostalgic for that first one when ODB was there?

I only watched it once.

It was pretty chaotic.

It is chaotic.

Did that make it hard to watch?

Not really. I mean, I grew up with ODB. He’s my family. It’s just a moment in time.


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