What Music Does a Genius of Rap Like? GZA Explains (Video)

For more than 20 years, Wu-Tang Clan’s GZA has been viewed as a genius of Rap, literally and figuratively. But, what does he listen to in his spare time? When he’s not advancing Hip-Hop culture with his mind-expanding rhymes, GZA’s tastes in music are decidedly retro and diverse. He recently went shopping for music, for the first time in 40 years, on Fader‘s dime, and he gave a lot of insight into the sonics that shaped him and continue to play a vital role in his life.

With $150 in hand, GZA steps into the store noting that the last record he bought was probably in 1976. These days, he still listens to quite a bit of music but consumes it mostly on his iPad. He says that he grew up on Soul, R&B and 70s Pop, and did not start listening to Hip-Hop until the 80s. Artists who where key for him include Bill Withers, Mother Popcorn, 5th Dimension, Ashford & Simpson, Cyndi Lauper, Dr. Buzzard’s Original “Savannah Band” and more. He talks about the richness of music back then and, in contrast, says Hip-Hop today “sounds like Old School pinball machines mixed with video arcade games.”

While browsing, he also stumbles upon Wu-Tang Clan vs. The Beatles: Enter the Magical Mystery Chamber, a mashup of Wu and The Beatles, that piques his interest. After flipping through a few more titles, he makes his choices. Watch the video to see how his collection expanded.

Oh…and here’s that Wu-Tang Clan vs. The Beatles: Enter the Magical Mystery Chamber mixtape.

Related: GZA’s Liquid Swords Stays Sharp After 20 Years & This Rare 1995 TV Appearance Is Genius. (Video)