The RZA as Bobby Digital

The RZA is, of course, best-known for his innovative production work, primarily for the Wu-Tang Clan but also for his soundtrack work for Jim Jarmusch and Quentin Tarantino and his production for artists like Dr. Dre and MF Doom. His minimalist production—often just a simple drumbeat, a few creepy piano plinks and a kung-fu movie sample—played no small part in the timeless appeal of Enter the Wu-Tang (36 Chambers), one of the definitive hip-hop albums of the '90s. It's also probably not a coincidence that the Wu never put out a great album after Wu-Tang Forever, which marked the end of The RZA's "Five-Year Plan," during which, he admits in The Wu-Tang Manual, he ran the group like a dictator.

His leadership of the Clan and his mastery of beats may overshadow everything else he ever does, but he's certainly no slouch on the mic. On Wu records, he's the cotton-mouthed dude slurring indecipherable slang and cryptic Five-Percenter pseudoscience, adding an overarching mythical quality to the albums. Solo shows from Wu members are always iffy, but the fact that he's touring as Bobby Digital, his guns-, dope- and bitches-obsessed alter ego, this show is much more promising than, say, a U-God show. If nothing else, you know the beats are gonna be top-notch.


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