The RZA has enjoyed a career that spans across music, film, and fashion while leaving a heavy influence across the Hip-Hop landscape as a whole. In a wide-ranging interview with The Guardian, the Wu-Tang Clan‘s Abbot dishes on “Pharma Bro” Martin Shkreli‘s sale of the Once Upon A Time In Shaolin LP, his crew’s nicknames, and more.
The Guardian writes:
Hello, RZA! When members of the Wu-Tang Clan are together, do you call each other by your Wu names or your given names?
Most of the time we’re with each other, we’ll call each other by one of our nicknames, and no telling which nickname is going to be used that day. For instance, I’m hanging with Meth (1). He had some new friends with him, and they’d known him for two years, maybe. And I’m calling: “Hey, Johnny, everything good?” “Ah, doin’ good, Bobby (2).” And they’re: “Why you calling him Johnny?” And I say: “It’s Johnny Blaze, from the Cuban Linx album.” And when I see Ghost, I call him Tony (3). When I see Raekwon, I call him Chef (4). They call me Abbot. Cos I’m the Abbot. U-God had Golden Arms, call him Goldie (5). But whatever name you call one of us, we respond. I know when they say Steels, that’s me.
Does it please you that Martin Shkreli could only get half what he paid for Once Upon a Time in Shaolin (9)?
No. I didn’t like the idea of him putting it on eBay. I think he could have got more than what he paid. I was actually impressed that within eight days he got up to $1m in bidding. [Album producer] Cilvaringz heard my complaints for many years about music and the way it’s being devalued, and he came up with the idea of how to put value back in music – the idea was to use the art world. And we did it. And Shkreli, when he put it on eBay, he had a great paragraph to me. He said: “I bought this record from Wu-Tang Clan as a gift to them.” I’m paraphrasing. “Now I want to see who else values music the way I do.” And when it came in at 10 grand, 35 grand, I was like, “Ohhhhhhhh.” But within four days it was up into the half a mils, and before he got locked up, it was over a million dollars. We proved the theory. If it had been left a bit longer, no telling how far it would have gone. He didn’t have the right to do that, though.
Read the entire Guardian interview with the RZA by following this link.