Wu-Tang Clan producer and legend RZA recently revealed that Brooklyn emcee Jay-Z once expressed that he was inspired by him while his 2001 platinum-certified album The Blueprint.
RZA is a representative of the early-1990s New York underground sound that birthed the likes of Nas and Mobb Deep and, according to the former Clan member, he had a significant impact on Jay-Z as he was crafting his sound at the turn of the millennium.
In a sit-down interview with Rolling Stone, the emcee and beatmaker was asked if he wished he had done anything different during his time as leader of the Wu-Tang Clan, to which he responded, “I think that what I did was necessary. I think that it was ordained. One day, Jay-Z told me, ‘Yo, I got [the idea for] The Blueprint from you.'”
During his conversation with the magazine, RZA explained his decision to enter the film industry, disclosing, “At that time, I was headed to Hollywood already. Now, here’s a path. Here’s a way it can work. And it continued to work in different regions of the country and with different crews.”
In the late 1980s and ’90s, many collectives across the US, including the likes of Def Squad and, previously N.W.A, had seen their members transition into acting, so RZA saw it as nothing out of the norm.
Although after he transitioned into Hollywood, RZA remained there, he still loves music and continuously checks out new talent in the culture. Earlier this year, the pioneer (real name Robert Diggs) praised the Nigerian superstar Burna Boy for his reinvention of old-school hip-hop tracks.
Diggs took to Twitter, writing, “Burna is carving out his own unique chamber. His new splash is something special.” When the singer and rapper posted a snippet of his song ‘Sittin’ on Top of the World’, the Clan producer also responded, “Burna love them Darkchild classics!” he wrote in the comments section.
A slew of other people also praised the artist G-Eazy showed his love, commenting, “[Fire emojis] outta here!” and Naomi Campbell praised the song, posting, “Yes BURNA & RODNEY [fire emojis].”