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“Hip-hop Has Become One-Sided: RZA Speaks Out About Violence Concerns In Hip-Hop

While promoting his forthcoming collaboration album with DJ Scratch, RZA spoke with Financial Times about rising death tolls in hip-hop.

RZA has kept his eye on hip-hop fatalities over the past year. While promoting collaborative album with DJ Scratch, Saturday Afternoon Kung-Fu Theater, the Wu-Tang Clan legend spoke with Financial Times about the violent trend.

“Growing up in the golden age of hip-hop, we lost maybe like a couple of artists but not a dozen artists or more. “Sometimes hip-hop music glamorizes certain things. It glamorizes prison life, it glamorizes gangsters and thugs. I understand that, because I grew out of that,” RZA said. “But it doesn’t give you the total tragedy of what that can end up being, nor are we being represented with a lot of alternatives. The point being made is there was more bounce, there was more substance. Hip-hop has become one-sided.”

As February wraps up, RZA is just weeks away from the release of his DJ Scratch-joined album Saturday Morning Kung-Fu Theater. Earlier this month, RZA unveiled a visual for the album’s titular song, but on Thursday night, he also dropped a visual for the album’s second single “Fate of the World”.

“Lyrically the hip-hop part of me had a chance to re-emerge during quarantine,” RZA said in a press release for the album. “Giving Scratch the reins as a producer and me taking the reins as an MC, that’s what frees me up creatively and lets me play more with lyrical gags and lyrical flows because I don’t have to be focused on everything.”

Saturday Afternoon Kung-Fu Theater is scheduled to arrive on March 4th.

Jaelani Turner-Williams

Jaelani Turner-Williams is a contributing news writer for Okayplayer with bylines at Billboard, MTV News, NYLON, Recording Academy and more. Read her mind on Twitter at @hernameisjae.

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