RZA Believes ODB’s Death Could Have Been Prevented & Regrets Not Doing More To Save Him (Video)
RZA stopped by the brand new Touré Show this week in what inevitably evolved into one of the more transparent and insightful discussions of the iconic Wu-Tang Abbott’s recent past. Touré’s podcast, which just launched on November 15, focuses on diving into the mindsets and paths of accomplishment of various celebrated and successful individuals. As the show’s second guest (following R&B and Neo-Soul artist Maxwell) RZA’s 59-minute conversation with Touré covered a multitude of fascinating subjects.
RZA initially touches on early days with music, explaining that he is self-taught, began writing lyrics at nine years old, and learned how to DJ at 11 years old. The conversation then moves to RZA recognizing and embracing his natural leadership abilities, emphatically expressing, “Everybody is good, but there is always one amongst you who is the best ‘Noah,'” and “No general is a general if he’s not willing to fight. I’m the type of guy that charges with my army.”
However, the most captivating portion of the nearly hour-long dialogue is when the pair transitions into talking about The RZArector’s brotherhood with his cousin, Ol’ Dirty Bastard, and ultimately some of the sobering details and lasting guilt surrounding Dirt McGirt’s tragic 2004 death.
Near the 25:00 mark, recounting the troubling last moments with O.D.B., RZA explains that the Brooklyn, New York MC had forced both his son (Bar-Son Jones) and RZA to watch him get high on crack cocaine. It was just 12 hours before the “Got Your Money” star passed. Amplifying the difficult topic at hand, Touré asks RZA, “There is nothing different that you could have done, is there?” As vulnerable as you’ll ever hear Bobby Steels, the Hip-Hop legend responds, “I wouldn’t say that…I think that, in the case of Ason, he blew a fuse, but we could have avoided it. I do think [there was] something we could have done. I think it was part of our negligence.”
RZA expands, “When your family and your people are seeing you go through a struggle, they should have enough strength, love, and courage to warn you. To give you that warning. You know what I mean? To say, ‘Yo kid, no, don’t do that, stop that!’” RZA goes on to add that “I think Dirt would have had more time with us if, not only myself, but all the other cousins in my family, his wife, the Wu brothers [had done more].”
RZA addresses his feelings on the subject up by quoting lyrics from Wu-Tang’s 2007 O.D.B. tribute track, “Life Changes.” He references Inspectah Deck’s line, “Should’ve, would’ve, could’ve, had the time, I was selfish.” He expresses to Touré that “I was worried about my own self, and things I’m going through. I didn’t take the time to hear your cry. I think we should take the time to hear each other’s cries, especially when it’s someone we love and someone that’s important to our community.”
In the final 30 minutes of the interview, RZA speaks about his friendship with Quentin Tarantino, crediting the director for talking him out of killing a man who had taken the life of one of RZA’s friends. He also touches on Wu-Tang’s flexibility within their record labels, his love for chess, spirituality, and finally some of his book recommendations.