RZA likely knew that his attire would immediately raise eyebrows. As he sat beside Wu-Tang producer Mathematics for a joint interview on the latest episode of MASS APPEAL’s “Open Space,” the Police DCCCD patch below the left breast pocket of his jacket was in plain view. So that’s how things got started.
“I’m here to serve and protect my community,” said RZA, seconds into the interview. “That’s what the police is supposed to do: serve and protect. Not swerve and disrespect.” Then, he couldn’t help himself—he’s RZA, after all. “With a thousand guys on the curb, in the projects,” went his grand finale.
In the latest episode of “Open Space,” RZA and Mathematics reminisced on their early beginnings, the ‘Wu-Tang Clan: The Saga Continues’ album released earlier this month, their thoughts on “hip hop supervillain” Martin Shkreli, and how Math came to create the first-ever Wu-Tang “W.”
After linking up with RZA by way of GZA, for whom Mathematics was DJing in the mid-’90s, Math and RZA put their heads together to bring the Wu-Tang vision to life. “We said, ‘Let’s take the W, put it on a book, and put a sword underneath so that our message is, ‘You could choose the book or the sword,’” said RZA. “But one way or the other you’ve got to make that choice when it comes to us. And that was really the first rendition of the Wu W, done by [Math’s] hands.”
“Yeah, RZA, Ghost, Power and Divine came rolling up on the scene,” added Mathematics about the day RZA and the Wu showed up to his job, anticipating their new logo. “We saw it, looked at it. Yeah, this is the one.”
Elsewhere, the pair touched on Shkreli, and the Saga Continues track featuring Redman and Inspectah Deck, “Lesson Learn’d,” in which he’s mentioned.
“They call him the hip hop supervillain now, and I think that’s cool. That’s what hip hop does,” said RZA. “He’s a fan of the music, and he wants to be a part of the history. But then it’s like, hold on. Don’t forget what he did now.”
After mentioning Inspectah Deck’s verse on the song, Math passed the baton back to RZA, who added that Redman’s verse was aimed at dismissing the rivalry. “There’s a simple shot, but you know. Wu-Tang don’t need a whole song on you,” he said. “At 40, [Red] ain’t trying to be competing, battling and flipping on you at 40. I don’t got to do that, I’m a man.”
Watch the full episode of “Open Space” above.
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What started as a humble graffiti ‘zine in 1996 would soon grow to be one of the most trusted outlets for youth-spawned urban culture. Today, Mass Appeal is a media collective led by authentic voices and inspired minds. We are a platform for radical creatives who are transforming culture.
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