RZA is a performer, actor recording producer, actor, and director best recognized as the founder of the hip-hop band Wu-Tang Clan. The cousin of two Wu-Tang Clan members, GZA and Ol’ Dirty Bastard and Ol’ Dirty Bastard, RZA is the one who produced all of Wu-Tang’s albums.
Furthermore, RZA has released solo albums under the Bobby Digital Bobby Digital, and has been in and scored scores for a variety of TV and film series.Early Beginnings of Life and Career
RZA The real name of RZA actually is Robert Fitzgerald Diggs, was born in 1969 in Brooklyn, New York City. The name is a reference to Robert Fitzgerald Diggs, one of the Kennedy Brothers Robert as well as John Fitzgerald, whom his mother was awed by.
Diggs is the older of two brothers who is named Mitchell and one younger brother called Terrance. When he was a child He spent his summers along with his father in North Carolina.
He later was exposed to hip hop music and began competing in rap battles around the age of eleven. As a teenager, Diggs formed the rap group Force of the Imperial Master along with two of his closest friends Russell Jones and Gary Grice.
At the same time Diggs created the DMD Posse along with other potential participants of Wu-Tang Clan, including Raekwon, Ghostface Killah, and Method Man. The year was 1989.
Diggs became an individual artist by Tommy Boy Records, and released his debut album “Ooh I Love You Rakeem” under the name of Prince Rakeem.
In the year 1990, Diggs moved to Steubenville, Ohio to live with his mother. He went to Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania with his father. While living in the former city Diggs was involved in drug dealing and other crimes. He was charged with attempted murder.
The year was 1992. Diggs created a brand new band, Wu-Tang Clan, with two of his cousins as well as five of his childhood buddies. Every member picked the name they wanted to use for themselves. Diggs was changed to RZA as well as his other members were GZA, Ol’ Dirty Bastard, Method Man, U-God Masta Killa Raekwon, Inspectah Deck And Ghostface Killah.
After signing with the record label Loud Records, the group launched their debut record “Enter the Wu-Tang (36 Chambers),” which is widely believed to be one of the most influential hip hop albums ever.
The second album, “Wu-Tang Forever,” was released in 1997. making it the first album to debut at number one on the Billboard 200, it went onto receive an Grammy Award nomination for Best Rap Album.
From 1994 until 1996, RZA produced almost everything Wu-Tang released, directing and directing the entire production process. Later albums from Wu-Tang Clan include “The W,” “Iron Flag,” “8 Diagrams,” and “A Better Tomorrow.” in 2015 Wu-Tang Clan released a single version of “Once Upon a Time in Shaolin,” that was purchased in the amount of $2.5 million purchased by the hedge fund criminal Martin Shkreli.
After Shkreli’s conviction on securities fraud the album was confiscated from the US government, and was sold to an unknown buyer.
After this, in the year 2017, Wu-Tang released the album “The Saga Continues,” that features all the founding members of the group , except U-God. It also includes guest appearances from such artists as Redman, Sean Price, and Streetlife.
Alongside Wu-Tang Clan, RZA helped to form the group called horrorcore Gravediggaz in 1994. The group’s members were Prince Paul, Frukwan, and Poetic.
The group was renowned for their dark humor and menacing sound that merged the gangsta rap genre and heavy metal with elements of horror.
Gravediggaz recorded three albums, including “6 Feet Deep,” “The Pick, the Sickle and the Shovel,” and “Nightmare in A-Minor.”
Bobby Digital Career and Solo career
As a solo artist Diggs releases a series of albums with the pseudonym Bobby Digital. The firstalbum “Bobby Digital in Stereo,” was released in 1998. The album was followed in 2001 by “Digital Bullet” and 2008’s “Digi Snacks.” Between these two releases, Diggs released the album “Birth of a Prince” under his normal RZA identity.
RZA has enjoyed a successful career as a composer of music for films. His first film was Jim Jarmusch’s crime movie “Ghost Dog: The Way of the Samurai,” which was released in 1999 to critical praise. Between 2003 and 2004, the composer earned greater recognition for his soundtracks for the Quentin Tarantino’s “Kill Bill” movies.
In the film’s first the soundtrack received an BAFTA award for Best Original Music. Other soundtracks RZA has composed include “Blade: Trinity,” “The Protector,” “Babylon A.D.,” and “Afro Samurai. “Acting and Director Career
As actor, RZA has made comeo roles in such films like “Funny People,” “Due Date,” and “Popstar: Never Stop Never Stopping.” RZA has also played as a supporting character on “Coffee and Cigarettes,” “Derailed,” “American Gangster,” “The Box,” “G.I. Joe: Retaliation,” “Repo Men,” “Mr. Right,”” along with “The Dead Never Die.”
A larger role was from the 2014 film “Brick Mansions,” in which he was starring alongside Paul Walker and David Belle. RZA has also written and appeared in the martial arts movie “The Man with the Iron Fists,” that also included Russell Crowe, Lucy Liu and Dave Bautista. Other films he directed include “Love Beats Rhymes,” “Cut Throat City,” and “Blood Brothers.”
In the world of television, RZA had a recurring part in the role of Samurai Apocalypse in the show “Californication.” RZA was later in the main cast in the short-lived Fox show “Gang Related.” Other TV credits for RZA comprise “Robot Chicken,” “The Simpsons,” and “Snowfall.”
Personal Life and beliefs
Through his entire life, RZA has embraced a range of faith systems which include Taoism, Buddhism, Islam as well as Christianity.
Particularly, he’s an advocate for the Five-Percent Nation which is an Islam-inspired Black movement. Vegan, RZA promotes the vegan lifestyle.
RZA’s interests include playing chess, and watching martial arts films. RZA lives within Millstone Township, New Jersey.