The RZA – Mixtape (feat. The GZA, Raekwon, MF DOOM, DJ Muggs, Kool G Rap, Ghostface Killah…)

1. J-Love – U Used 2 Be 2 (feat. The RZA) 0:00
2. The RZA – Show U Love 1:23
3. The RZA & MF DOOM – Biochemical Equation 4:23
4. Pete Rock – Head Rush (feat. The RZA & The GZA) 8:18
5. DJ Muggs (feat. The RZA, Raekwon & Sen Dog) – Advance Pawns 10:19
6. Afu-Ra (feat. The RZA) – Big Acts Little Acts (Remix) 13:55
7. The RZA – I’m Back 17:26
8. The RZA – A Day To God Is 1,000 Years 21:06
9. AZ & Akinyele – Doe Or Die (The RZA Remix) (feat. Raekwon) 24:57
10. Ol’ Dirty Bastard – Back In The Air (feat. Ghostface Killah) (Prod. By The RZA) 27:30
11. Ras Kass – Constant Elevation (feat. The RZA) 31:29
12. Criminal Scientifik – As Long As You Know (Prod. By The RZA) 34:52
13. Wu-Tang & Killa Bees – G.A.T (feat. Black Knights, North Star, Solomon Childs, 12′ Clock, Shyheim & The RZA) 39:25
14. The RZA – NYC Crack 42:58
15. The RZA – Cakes (feat. Kool G Rap) 46:15
16. Bounty Killer (feat. Masta Killa) – Eyes A Bleed (The RZA Remix) 51:16
17. Arsenik & The RZA – Shaolin 55:56
18. The RZA (feat. IAM) – Seul face à lui 1:00:57

Robert Fitzgerald Diggs was born on July 5, 1969 in Brownsville, Brooklyn. He was named after the Kennedy brothers Robert and John Fitzgerald, both of whom his mother greatly admired. Diggs has called his given name an “honorable” name, given the legacy of both Robert and John. Diggs has a younger brother, Terrance Hamlin, better known as the rapper 9th Prince, and an older brother named Mitchell “Divine” Diggs.

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From ages three to seven, Diggs spent summers in North Carolina with his uncle, who encouraged him to read and study. Diggs was introduced to hip hop music at the age of nine, and by eleven, was competing in rap battles. He relocated to Steubenville, Ohio in 1990, to live with his mother. He spent weekends in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, where his father ran a convenience store in the city’s Hill District.

Diggs got involved with petty crime and drug-dealing, and was charged with attempted murder while in Steubenville. He was acquitted of the charge, giving him what he has called a “second chance”.

In 1984, Diggs formed a rap group with his cousins Russell Jones, then known as The Specialist, and Gary Grice, then known as Allah Justice, called “Force of the Imperial Master”, which they soon after renamed as “All in Together Now” in 1985. Around this time Diggs formed the DMD Posse which consisted of RZA, Raekwon, Ghostface Killah, U-God, Inspectah Deck, 4th Disciple and Method Man. Diggs and Grice then signed with Jamaica Records for management purposes and Jamaica convinced Tommy Boy Records to sign Diggs as a solo artist in 1989 under the name Prince Rakeem. He released the original Ooh I Love You Rakeem promotion version of the EP, but was forced to remix and rerelease the single when Tommy Boy failed to acquire the rights to the original sample. The rereleased version underperformed commercially, and Diggs was subsequently dropped by Tommy Boy.

After a shoot-out in Ohio in 1992, he faced eight years in jail. “When they said ‘not guilty’, my face stuck in a smile for three days,” he recalled. “I was just walking around town, thinking about my daughter and my wife. Right then I said goodbye to anything that would put me in that situation again. I was up on trial on an attempted murder charge. I was a motherfucking fool, with all that knowledge in my head and ending up there.” In 1992, Diggs formed a new group with his two cousins and five other childhood friends. They named the group Wu-Tang Clan, after the 1983 kung fu film Shaolin and Wu Tang. As part of the group’s formation, each member chose a new nickname for themselves. Diggs chose “RZA”, based on a nickname he had been given by fans of his music, “Rza Rza Rakeem”, which in turn was based on a song by All in Together Now, “Pza Pza Pumpin”, as well as Diggs’ graffiti tag, “Razor”. He created a backronym for “RZA”, stating that the name stood for “Ruler, Zig-Zag-Zig, Allah” which further translated into “Ruler, Knowledge-Wisdom-Understanding, Allah” when using the Supreme Alphabet.

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Wu-Tang Clan released its first single, “Protect Ya Neck”, in December 1992. Masta Killa then joined the group in 1993, becoming its ninth member. They released their debut album, Enter the Wu-Tang (36 Chambers) in November 1993. RZA operated as Wu-Tang Clan’s de facto leader, producing the group’s songs and deciding who would get placed on which tracks.

As each of the group’s members embarked on solo careers, RZA continued to produce nearly everything Wu-Tang released during the period 1994–1996, which included both composing and arranging the instrumental tracks as well as overseeing and directing the creative process. RZA’s rule over the Clan at this time is described in 2004’s Wu-Tang Manual book as “a dictatorship”.

 

 

 

 

 

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