Even before hip-hop hit me full force, I had crazy love for The RZA, mainly because he had his hands in so many different, disparate, interesting things. Hip-hop can be narrow at times; those in the scene can have a tendency to focus on their role in hip-hop and ONLY their role in hip-hop. But RZA has extended himself far beyond his identity with Wu-Tang. An author, screenwriter, actor and movie producer, student of martial arts, and (what really endeared him to me) chess aficionado, the man once known as Robert Fitzgerald Diggs is mad interesting, and getting more so.
To celebrate the 20th anniversary of his entrance into the hip-hop industry, Ruler Zig-Zag-Zig Allah will be unveiling his first visual art project on January 1st, 2010. Working in collaboration with When Art Imitates Life (an MTV-sponsored group that encourages art work by cultural icons), RZA has apparently produced a large-canvas piece called “Victory or Death.” Details about the project are pretty under wraps, but I, for one, am excited to see what Prince Rakeem comes up with – he’s done some interesting things in the past, so why would we expect anything less?