Cheat Sheet: RZA's Cinematic Soul Shines in This 18-Hour Playlist of Samples
Celebrating the Wu-Tang architect’s 48th birthday
Whether behind the boards or behind the lens, Staten Island’s visionary son, RZA, has been a constant and eccentric presence in hip-hop and film for the better part of thirty years now. He’s helmed classics for both his crew (Wu-Tang) and the gamut of fellow rugged-and-raw luminaries.
Bobby Digital’s catalog spans the studio, the screen, the page and virtually every medium known to us mere mortals. But today, on the legend’s 48th birthday, we celebrate the sonic bridges built by way of sampling in another gem-packed installment of our Cheat Sheet series. Like contemporaries J Dilla, Pete Rock, Prince Paul and Dr. Dre, RZA built out from the breakbeat, but instead of relying mostly on those notorious loops from Apache, Skull Snaps and The Honeydrippers (though he wasn’t shy about touching tried and true drums) the Wu-Tang architect scraped psychedelic and prog rock records for breaks, muddying up soulful strings and cinematic suites from some of film’s most acclaimed arrangers. Early signs of the other paths he’d explore in a dynamic and impactful career in the arts at large.
Spotify’s a little slim on the kung-fu flick soundbites (and scores, in general) but we’ve compiled every sample used by RZA that’s available on the streaming platform into one 271-song, near 19-hour playlist for your historical reference. Stream it down below and hit the link to subscribe to our Spotify channel for even trips into the sample packs of hip-hop’s most acclaimed producers.