Last Thursday, former South African president Nelson Mandela passed away at the age of 95; which many people across the world have shown appreciation for his contributions to society, while he was here with us. One of those admirers of Mandela is the leader of the Wu-Tang Clan RZA, who took time to give him a special tribute track entitled “Gift Of Hope” with help from singer Will Wells. Listen to the track, then check after the jump for his breakdown on the tribute.
This song, entitled “Destiny Bends” was written last night after hearing the tragic news of the loss of a good man named Paul Walker. I met Paul on the set of the film Brick Mansion, where we talked, laughed, and exchanged ideas of life and fatherhood. I only knew him personally for less than a year, but we knew each other through our work and art. We saw in each other a kindred spirit of men coming from unlikely circumstances, and rising to be the light and beacon of our family and loved ones. Men who learned the joy and pains of love in life, and success, while coming to realize that nothing is more important than family, friendship, and the brotherhood of humanity. Millions of people get to know an artist or movie star through their work, but few are allowed to cross each others’ paths and see through the veil of stardom and find the common denominator that we share. As all physical things will decay and wither away, film, art, and music remain longer than the vessel that delivered them. In this vein, the one thing we can’t take away or give back is time. So, thus, time is the most precious gift. I dedicated my time to compose this song with my two sons and new friend Will Wells, who was kind enough to sing and perform it for me. We dedicate it to Paul Walker. A good man. We had plans to continue working with each other in the future. It seemed destined, but “destiny bends”.
Click image to watch RZA on “The Arsenio Hall Show”
With the recent disagreement of brothers (see: RZA and Raekwon on the Wu-Tang Clan reunion), it was time to clear things up and RZA got his side of the story out on “The Arsenio Hall Show.” He was put on the spot, but still stuck behind his story that everyone in the Wu was with the reunion album, except for Raekwon. There’s no bad blood, he just wants everyone to get together and make it happen.
Aside from that, RZA also speaks on all the street knowledge he acquired growing up and how that translated to the film The Man With The Iron Fists and other artistic ventures that he’s been a part of throughout the years.
Not one to shy away from working with alternative UK acts (see: James Blake), RZA decides to put his production skills to perfect use with a surprising remix. Having had some of the better contributions to music in recent years, the Wu-Tang member has chosen to put his own interpretation of sound towards Alt-J‘s popular indie single, “Breezeblocks.” Although the collaboration is rather unexpected, there’s simply no denying how much we anticipated an interesting final product.
With plenty of talk surrounding Wu-Tang’s 20th anniversary, it all culminated last Sunday night as they hit the stage live at Summer Jam. Now it’s time to give the people new music, and “Family Reunion” is what they’ve blessed us with. Backed by a soulful beat, the entire crew kicks it on wax like the old days. We were expecting something a little harder, but this will do for the moment. Like the outro says, “It’s Wu-Tang forever.”
We’ve been really enjoying the music release the last few months with RZA’s “The Man with the Iron Fists” OST, and most recently the highly-praised Ghostface concept album, “Twelve Reasons to Die.” It’s crazy to think they’ve already been in the game for over two decades with the 20th anniversary of their debut album “Enter the Wu-Tang: 36 Chambers” set for this November, but the 8-man crew from Shaolin have had longevity in the game and show why they continue as legends.
Tonight, Soul Temple Music releases some unreleased Wu-Tang material out of the vault titled “Execution In Autumn.” Listen to the track above for some real hip-hop, then head over to bandcamp and purchase the single.
Talib Kweli’s “Prisoner of Conscious” has been a long-time coming with its process of completion, but we’re finally nearing the release of the BK emcee’s fifth studio album. For the latest single release for the project, we get the Busta Rhymes-featured, “Rocket Ships.”
On paper we would expect the track to sound decent but upon listening, it exceeded our expectations with the two delivering some quality rhymes over classic RZA production.
Prisoner of Conscious, which has features from Miguel, Currensy, Ryan Leslie, Kendrick Lamar, Marsha Ambrosius to name a few; will be available in stores and iTunes this Tuesday, May 7th.
It’s Yourz, Double LP from Wu-Tang Clan! Taking it back to 1997, we can never forget the greatest talented bunch of artist of assembled across the boroughs in them New York City streets as we had to dedicate our flashback honors to Killa Bees banger “It’s Yourz / Older Gods” visual. Serving as the second single from the group’s sophomore album “Wu-Tang Forever,” this video continued the wave for the clan set from their first single “Triumph” which led to this album becoming their most successful one to date selling over 4 million copies in its first four months of release.
Although Wu-Tang hasn’t released a full length studio album in over 5 years, the B’s have been in the kitchen cooking up their sixth studio as we can expect nothing but some more classic music from the Clan. We would also recommend you checking out “The Man With The Iron Fists OST” serving as a brief entrée before we get the groups next project.
Carson Daly invited RZA to Last Call.. as The Man With The Iron Fists hit theaters nationwide last week. In one of the best interviews we’ve seen from RZA during his film run, he tells Carson which movies impacted him as a teenager and how nervous he was on the set directing some people he looked up to. He also explained how much patience it took to listen to the advice of others during the set, coming form the director’s chair.
Quentin Tarantino Presents The Man With The Iron Fists directed by RZA and Eli Roth is in theaters now, and the Original Motion Picture Soundtrack is available on iTunes.
Wahid from Karmaloop talks to RZA about watching martial arts movies with Ol Dirty Bastard, to what it felt like working with Quentin Tarantino on The Man With The Iron Fists, losing all his beats in a flood and the origin of the Wu-Tang logo.