23 Faces of RZA
  • TUESDAY, SEPTEMBER 02, 2014

  • Posted by: Baeble Staff

Life imitates art, and art imitates Dr Pepper. Art brings together the disparate to create something new and distinct in the same way that Dr Pepper brings together everything you love about other soft drinks while tasting only exactly like itself. And with its secret combination of 23 flavors, it's got some mysterious allure going for it, too. All the same can be said of Robert Fitzgerald Diggs - you might know him better as RZA. Since his start with the Wu Tang Clan, RZA has worn countless hats-he's been a producer, an actor, an author, and a director. And each project he works on is distinctly his. In collaboration with Dr Pepper, we've selected 23 aspects of RZA's career that highlight his versatility, from his musical endeavors to his search for enlightenment.

Once you've read through our list, be sure to check out the latest sessions from Dr Pepper's One of a Kind Studio Sessions.

1. Rapper
RZA is perhaps best known as an MC and rapper.


2. Leader of the Wu Tang Clan
Having founded the hip-hop group in 1992, the RZA's been producer and de facto leader of the Wu Tang Clan from its inception.

3. Music producer
The RZA's known for his experimental and innovative style of music production, and his techniques have been adopted by other popular producers, most notably Kanye West.

4. Actor (Showtime's Californication)
RZA's acting career outside of his music has been extensive. In addition to a number of cameos in movies like Funny People, Due Date, and Ghost Dog, he's also had larger roles in Showtime's Californication, and films like Coffee and Cigarettes.


5. Director (The Man With the Iron Fists)
RZA fulfilled a longtime interest in directing in 2011, with the release of The Man with the Iron Fists, a film he directed and wrote. The movie starred Lucy Liu, with director and close friend Quentin Tarantino involved in production.


6. Film score composer (Ghost Dog: The Way of the Samurai)
RZA began composing film scores in 1999, his first work being the critically acclaimed soundtrack for Jim Jarmusch's Ghost Dog: The Way of the Samurai.


7. Television score composer (Afro Samurai)
In 2007, RZA composed the score for the anime Afro Samurai, which starred Samuel L. Jackson in the titular role.


8. Instrumentalist
The RZA showed off his instrumental prowess with the low-key 2007 instrumental album The RZAInstrumental Experience.


9. Musical collaborator (Kanye, JAY-Z)
Musical titan that he is, RZA's had enormous influence on younger artists, including Kanye West, with whom he collaborated for the rapper's fifth album, My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy.


10. Founder of horrorcore group Gravediggaz
In 1993, RZA founded the horrorcore supergroup Gravediggaz, known for their dark humor and macabre sound.

11. Rock band member (Achozen w/ System of a Down)
In 2006, RZA teamed up with Kinetic 9 and System of a Down's Shavo Odadjian to form the Chicago experimental hip-hop band Achozen.


12. Alter egoist / solo artist (Bobby Digital)
Known for having multiple aliases for his different creative modes, the RZA's released solo albums under his alter-ego moniker 'Bobby Digital.'


13. Author (The Wu Tang Manual, The Tao of Wu)
In 2005, RZA published his Wu-Tang Manual, a guide to the group's members, merchandise, inspirations, and dialects. He followed it up with a second book, The Tao of Wu, in 2009, detailing his "own personal path towards enlightenment" via hip-hop and spiritualism.

14. Martial arts film connoisseur
A favorite hobby of RZA's is watching martial arts movies-his knowledge of the genre is so vast that he's been called an 'encyclopedia of martial arts films.' His favorites include Fist of the North Star and the Kill Bill-influence Five Deadly Venoms.

15. Chess player
Another hobby of RZA's is the game of chess. He's Director of Development for (and champion of) the Hip-Hop Chess Federation.

16. Spiritualist
On top of being a member of the Harlem-based Nation of Gods and Earths, the RZA's also got an interest in Buddhism, Taoism, and other Eastern religions as tools toward spiritual growth. His three favorite books are the Qur'an, The Bible, and the Lotus Sutra.

17. Geek
A former video game 'addict', RZA's a self-identifying geek.

18. Vegetarian
Like many of the members of Wu Tang, RZA abstains from eating meat. He's been a vegetarian since 1995.

19. Screenwriter
RZA wrote, as well as directed, his 2011 martial arts film, The Man with the Iron Fists.

20. Clothing designer
Beginning with Wu Tang's '90s clothing line Wu-Wear, RZA's repeatedly showcased an interest in fashion and aesthetics, his most recent endeavor being his 'Chambers' line of custom headphones.

21. Father
Despite his countless professional projects, RZA still manages to make time for a family. As of 2008, he had four kids, and was living with his fianc and their son, splitting time between California, New Jersey, and Ohio.

22. Entrepreneur
In addition to his endeavors in fashion, RZA seems to be quite business savvy in general. On the potential of his alter-ego, Bobby Digital, to develop into a franchise, he said: "I see Bobby Digital as being a potential franchise for hip-hop. He ain't too watered-down. He ain't too soft. He ain't too good. He's got a little bit of everything in him that people can relate to."

23. Comedian
RZA broadened his dramatic repertoire with a supporting role in the Judd Apatow comedy Funny People alongside Seth Rogen. He had this to say about the similarities between rapping and improve: "Cause I'm an MC and artist, I came [off script] a couple of times. [Apatow and Rogen] were like, 'You did good.'"

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