In this MMXLII YouTube feature, Wu-Tang’s RZA discusses how hip hop and the Chinese martial arts fused naturally for him as an urban youth. His fanaticism for Asian-Black fusion instilled in him a deep appreciation for multiculturalism, an aspect he believes is essential for good hip hop music. Specifically, he speaks on how the movie The 36th Chambers of Shaolin replaced traditional African American history in his view, and, in turn, dramatically influenced the WuTang Clan philosophy. This video feature seems fitting, for the RZA is set to drop his upcoming martial arts film The Man with the Iron Fists on November 2.
Around the age of 13, 14, I saw a film called 36TH Chambers, a Shaw Brothers film….. the story of this movie resonated with me more than American history, because here we had a man who was being oppressed by the government, they destroyed his schools for teaching philosophy, and he had to flee after they killed his family to a place to learn martial arts, Shaolin, to build himself up. And he comes back and becomes a man that teaches his philosophy of Shaolin to the regular people so that they could grow to be stronger. That was something, though, that I was going through in America at that time, when racism was strong in my neighborhood and the history of Blacks.. well there was no history. I didn’t think the black man existed past slavery. And then seeing history with another group of people going on with the same oppression and the same struggle that we’re fighting for- it resonated with me.
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[…] aesthetic with the tone of the track, which seems to feature a Chinese flute (maybe a dizi?).The fusion of Black culture and Kung-fu elements that the Wu is known for emerges throughout the album, unsurprisingly most notably on the Wu tracks […]