The RZA sits down with The Breakfast Club to discuss the Wu-Tang Clan’s humble beginnings and much more.
It goes without saying that the RZA is a legend in the game, and the Wu-Tang Clan mastermind has no shortage of wisdom to share and stories to tell.
With the second season of Wu-Tang: An American Saga currently airing on Hulu, RZA took a moment to sit down with the Breakfast Club to chop it up with Charlamagne, Angela Yee, and DJ Envy.
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Taking a stroll down memory lane to the Clan’s formative days, RZA recalls a time when they were paid one hundred dollars to perform in Texas. “We were just taking the van, going wherever we were going,” he remembers. “The show was a hundred dollars. First of all, it was a wild Texas crew. It turned into a whole big fight, guns, all that. We hit the road on that one. Like ‘get to the van!’ It was on. We got back to the hotel, and the hundred dollars was fake.” He laughs. “That’s humble beginnings.”
“Our first show we did was at the Showboat in Brooklyn, that was two hundred dollars,” he continues. “They booked us, same thing. Club ended in a shootout. What are we going to do with two hundred dollars. Most of the brothers gave it to ODB, cause he had the children. For him, that’s some pampers, that’ll keep it moving.”
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When Yee asks RZA about when he was facing potential prison time during the early Wu-Tang years — which has been depicted on the ongoing season of Wu-Tang: An American Saga — Bobby provides an insightful answer. “Being young, being caught up,” he recalls. “You don’t realize how much violence comes out of fear. If you did a psychological survey of all the homies locked up for busting somebody — of course, money will do it. Drugs will get you to do it. But fear…If it’s fear for your life, fear for your pride.”
“We used a line in the series where the lawyer asks the character Bobby ‘why do you carry a gun,” he continues. “The answer is, in my neighborhood, more people carry guns than ID…He was like, but why. At the end of the day, it’s a symbol of respect. Protects you from losing a fight…Fear has a lot to do with a lot of our actions, especially in our youth. Not knowing the long-term repercussions of their actions.”
For much more wisdom from The RZA, check out his full conversation with The Breakfast Club below.
WATCH: RZA hits The Breakfast Club