Nardwuar The Human Serviette vs Wu-Tang Clan
Nardwuar: Who are you?
RZA: I’m me, yo. The zig zag zane, born the zig zag zig a law, the RZA, aka Bobby Steels, Bobby Digital, you know what I’m saying? RFD, know what I mean, the scientist, the Rzarector, the Abbott, you know what I mean? They say there is 99 names of a law, right, I’ve got 16 so far baby, I’m working on it.
Nardwuar: Wu-Tang Clan, live in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. And who is beside you? Can you introduce, who do we have in the room right now, RZA?
RZA: Well, we’ve got a lot of people in the room, you know what I mean? Can I curse? Alright, cool. I like this. Okay the first of all, come on.
Ghostface Killah: You know me. You know me. You know me.
Nardwuar: Who are you?
Ghostface: Tony Stark. Ghostface, baby. We in the building.
Nardwuar: And who else is in the room right now?
RZA: If you really want to get ninja, if you want to get ninja, if you go right here to the left corner over there, you got Raekwon the Chef.
Nardwuar: Hello, Raekwon the Chef!
Raekwon the Chef: Don’t you believe it.
Nardwuar: RZA, Wu-Tang Clan, I have a gift for you here, a special poster. What can you tell the people about this poster right here? It a movie you have sampled from, Shaolin versus…
[Nardwuar hands Shaolin vs Lama poster]
RZA: Hold on, hold on. Oh Shaolin vs the Lama, oh this is one of my favourite kung-fu flicks right here .We find beauty in things that has been neglected, we find beauty in things, like, like, like Buddha said. He said, “a lotus, it grows on mud,” but yet it’s the symbol of their whole religion. So even in mud, beauty can grow. So we find things in the most unpredictable…that’s why it’s witty, unpredictable, it’s talent here. But we will find something, and we will make something better out of it. Maybe only, maybe only 15,000 people in the whole world seen this movie, but now 1 million knows about it, you know what I’m saying?
Nardwuar: Now when you watched these movies years ago you saw them in theatres. How dirty were the theatres, were they ex-porno theatres?
RZA: No, they became pornos. They were so dirty that they couldn’t, they went down to porno theatres, you know what I’m saying? [laughter; laughs] Right?
Nardwuar: What about Channel 5, you could watch them on Channel 5, right?
RZA: Yeah, you know what I’m sayin’? This guy knows a lot, man. Hey Nard, you’re starting, you know what I mean, you’re starting to surprise me. [laughs] You’re starting to surprise me, kid. [laughter] You know what I mean?
Nardwuar: RZA, I wanted to ask you, going way back, Prince Rakeem, what can you tell the people about Prince Rakeem. [Nardwuar hands RZA a Prince Rakeem LP]
RZA: Wah, wah, wah. Lemme…[laughs]
Nardwuar: Ghost, what can you tell the people about your Prince Rakeem LP?
Ghostface: Yo, you’re genius, you’re genius. That’s my brother, yo.
RZA: Let me just talk about this, I can finally talk about this, I never got a chance to talk about this. This is back when, I think, MC Hammer and the Fresh Prince was, like the biggest, and Young MC were the biggest rappers, and so the labels were trying to make everybody be a certain way. So they decided to draw a character, thinking that it would be cool. It kind of looked more like a West Coast, what’s my man, Humpty Hump and them. Yeah.
Nardwuar: The Digital Underground.
RZA: Yeah, The Digital Underground, that’s my man, I like Shock G and them. But it’s kind of, that seems more the inspiration, but if you look on the back of this thing, I want to show you all something, if you zoom in here on the back of the record, what it says there – “Wu-Tang Mix.” I was already ready, they just wasn’t ready. [Laughter] They wasn’t ready, son. Then we also had the DMD, yes another crew, Dick ‘Em Down, talk about the Dick ‘Em Down, you come around, we dick ‘em down. Ladies, they ain’t getting away from us, you know what I mean? Back then, like I said, we was young, supporting our brothers, and we also wanted to be seen. So that is how it is. But now, I duck cameras, you know what I mean? They had to ask me 15 times to do this interview with you.
Nardwuar: Thank you.
RZA: I got emails, texts all the way up to the last day like you’re gonna do it, you’re gonna do it? I’m like, fuck it, I’m going to do it, you know what I mean?
Nardwuar: And also I had heard Raekwon, I heard that you believe that Wu Tan Clan could have invented Facebook and Twitter, is that true?
Raekwon: Where do you get them slacks from, B?
Nardwuar: Tiger of London.
Raekwon: [Pointing to Nardwuar’s pants] This snake got the illest fit on in the world, B.
RZA: Hey Nard, come back, come back, come back, come back, come back. Let me tell you something, let me tell you something. Wanna hear something? Ready, son? Music inspires, and over the years I’ve met doctors, screenwriters, scientists, I mean, even you know, you know, billionaires, you know, have told me Wu-Tang has inspired them to do certain things, you know? One guy told me that the internet itself, the modem, was invented listening to Wu-Tang.
Nardwuar: Now there’s a guy out there that calls you the “Poon Tang Clan.”
RZA: I don’t know where you are coming from.
Nardwuar: And you have sampled him. In fact, he has a new album out. Blowfly calls you the “Poon Tang Clan. “
[Nardwuar shows RZA Blowfly record]
RZA: Well now Blowfly, there’s a funny dude right there now.
Nardwuar: And you sampled him on ‘Uzi’.
RZA: I sampled…listen. First of all, Blowfly has been around since we was kids, he’s a dude like Richard Prior, he make dirty jokes, Blowfly Zodiac, that was my joint. We did sample him on one of the songs before. But no, Blowfly is a great musician. He also wrote songs like Cleanup Woman from Betty Wright, you know him. You know I know that.
Nardwuar: Clarence Reid.
RZA: Clarence. Blowfly is Clarence Reid, for those who don’t know. Check it.
Nardwuar: Ceral Killa sampled the Rub.
RZA: Exactly. The point I’m making though is, he said the Poon Tang Clan. How come he always thinks about pussy?
Nardwuar: He calls you the “Poon Tang Clan,” but he actually also said ODB was incredible because ODB sampled him for 36 Chambers, Return to the 36 Chambers.
RZA: Yeah, sampled him. He parodied him. What happened was, like I said, we used to listen to this dude’s record, we used to listen to his records and say his shit, then Dirty did a version of that, he was like [sings] ‘the first time ever you sucked my…’ That was someone else. [laughter]
Nardwuar: What’s cool though is Blowfly has said ODB sent him a cheque for $6,000 just because he loved him so much. Have you ever heard of stuff like that happening? Do you know if ODB actually did that?
RZA: Let me tell you something. You want to talk history? You know we sampled a song, there’s a song called Different Strokes, when the song plays, when it starts going off on a 45, like the last fade-out when you can hardly hear anything, I sampled that one part. I had to normalize it over and over on my sampler just to get that loop, aiyt? And that became one of the top hip hop songs in history, sampled by Syl Johnson. And you know what I did? Syl Johnson was not being respected at the time by the music industry and not, you know, getting what he was getting. And we sent him a cheque between $60-100k, put him back on his feet. We told him we were going to use more of his music, I loved what he does. He was underrated in his time, and he got back on his feet after some energy like that, you know what I mean? And think about Sonny Carson, you know what I mean, The Education of Sonny Carson, a movie you had never heard of until Ghostface used it on the Ironman album, you know what I mean? We went and built a studio for his family at the Brooklyn Restoration, where many kids was able to come and make music. You know, Wu-Tang always give back. We don’t get out there and talk about it, actually I shouldn’t be talking about it anyway, we’re not talking about it for merit, but it’s no surprise for Ol’ Dirty to send six grand to Blowfly. Wu-Tang, we are giving back so much because we gained much, you know what I mean? At the same time, you got some people who don’t even deserve nothing trying to come take from us, you know?
Ghostface: You Ready? We gotta go, baby.
RZA: Yeah, that’s it. That’s it.
Nardwuar: And lastly, I have another poster, another gift here for you, Wu-Tang Clan, from Run Run Shaw’s greatest movie from me, Nardwuar the Human Serviette, to you. His greatest movie that he ever produced.
RZA: This is his greatest movie you got?
Nardwuar:: Run Run Shaw?
RZA: Run Run Shaw, his greatest movie was Eight Diagram Pole Fighter.
[Nardwuar hands RZA a Dirty Ho movie poster]
Nardwuar: This is his greatest movie, from me to you, a gift. The name of the movie?
RZA: Dirty Ho right here. Dirty Ho. Yeah.
Nardwuar: What can you tell the people about Dirty Ho, I was curious.
RZA: Well first of all, Dirty Ho, classic movie, got Gordon Liu, you know what I mean, Wong Yue, it’s a very, very, directed by Lau Kar-leung. And we also had a homie that was down with us named Dirty Ho who hanged with ODB. ODB loved that movie, Dirty Ho, he gave that name, Dirty Ho to his man.
Nardwuar: Well thanks so much Wu-Tang Clan, really appreciate your time. Anything else you want to add to the people out there at all?
RZA: Man! [laughs] Yo, thank you. Oh yeah, anyway, my name is RZA, you’re with the Wu-Tang Clan. Also you can check us out…just check us out, man.
Nardwuar: Well thanks very much Wu-Tang Clan, keep on rocking in the free world, and Doot Doola Doot Doo…
RZA: Doot Doo!