RZA Breaks Down 10 Kung Fu Films That Wu-Tang Clan Sampled (Video)
It’s on the introduction of Enter The Wu-Tang (36 Chambers) that listeners first hear a vocal sample that heeds a threat: “The Shaolin and the Wu-Tang could be dangerous.” The rough and unpolished sample, taken from the martial arts movie Ten Tigers from Kwangtung, presents a taste of cinematic flavor that the group chose to display first and foremost, just before Ghostface Killah explodes onto the track with an aggressive, unconventional delivery. For the Wu connoisseur, the moment presents like just another example of how the group made martial arts, and Kung Fu flicks their philosophical backbone.
Kung Fu has always injected cinematic flavor into the Wu-Tang Clan, from the collective’s group albums to their solo records, and it paved the way for Wu Abbott, The RZA, to build a particular mythos distinct to the group’s sound and personas.
The legendary producer, MC, and businessman sat down with Vanity Fair to shed more light on that. In a new video, RZA discussed 10 Kung Fu films that have made an impact on Wu-Tang Clan’s legacy by way of sampling. He explains how Ten Tigers of Kwangtung was sampled for “Bring Da Ruckus,” and nerds out by talking about a specific fight scene that stuck with him in which a man pulls out a gold statue to fight with after being defeated by a sword.
Bobby Digital also talks Master Of The Flying Guillotine and why its namesake is his weapon of choice. He discusses Executioners from Shaolin and its far-reaching sampling in “Wu-Tang Clan Ain’t Nuthing ta F’ Wit.'” He revisits The 36th Chamber and how it informed ninth member Masta Killa’s name. Other martial arts films including Five Deadly Venoms, The Mystery of Chess Boxing, Shaolin vs. Lama, Shaolin and Wutang, and The Eight Diagram Pole Fighter are profiled by the artist who helped give these 1970s and ’80s films new life.
Throughout the 12-minute video, he speaks in detail on specific scenes from each movie and the studios who produced them. He also talks a bit about his own film, The Man With The Iron Fists, which was released back in 2012.
There is no question the RZA is a huge martial arts film buff, especially since the rapper/producer teamed up with Quentin Tarantino to help score the epic martial arts revenge film, Kill Bill. It’s only right to hear the Wu-Tang master break down the biggest movies that helped make his crew feel cinematic, long before they were making their own movies and series.