Right, you EQ it a certain way.

Exactly. He sounds different on other people’s records. I have a compressor with his name on it. I found the parameters and left that forever. He come over to my house and hit the button, and it’ll always sound like you. They don’t make those anymore but that’s me.

That’s a quality of me that I don’t mind being. I don’t mind being in my own world, but if I can share my world with others, let me share it officially and properly on how I’d like to share it. To me, that’s what I did with these headphones.

 

They have the wrong inches of the planet in [my book]. [The correct number] is 12 trillion, 478 billion, 418 million, 400 thousand square inches. But they got it wrong and I’m like, “What the fuck is that?” That made me realize, we read the Bible and it’s 2000 years old and we don’t think something is typed up wrong? I even said to my brother, “If I wrote this myself and I sent it in this way, and it came back this way, imagine what happened with Moses.” [Laughs.]

 

These are great but to me, there’s a small thing that’s missing that’ll be in the next [line of headphones]. I’m like, “Yeah they’re great, but hold on guys. Can I [add] this one thing?” And they’re like, “Yeah you can [add] it on the next one.” Well then I want to [add] it.

The same thing happened with my book. I had a book called The Wu-Tang Manual out and it had the wrong number! Some numbers in there are not accurate numbers. I was like, ‘Who the fuck did that?!’ I can tell you the number right now out my mouth and prove to you that it wasn’t me.

They had to print the next 50,000 copies with a little cardboard in it that had the right numbers. They’re supposed to fix the rest of them, but who knows, I don’t print the books up. If anybody asks me the number, I’ll have to correct them personally.

They have the wrong inches of the planet in [my book]. [The correct number] is 12 trillion, 478 billion, 418 million, 400 thousand square inches. But they got it wrong and I’m like, “What the fuck is that?” I know the answer, so don’t send the wrong answer out as if the RZA gave the wrong answer.

That made me realize, we read the Bible and it’s 2000 years old and we don’t think something is typed up wrong? If I’m still living right on Earth, my book dropped five years ago, and something is wrong in that shit. Come on, man. To me, that was the living proof. I even said to my brother, “If I wrote this myself and I sent it in this way, and it came back this way, imagine what happened with Moses.” [Laughs.]

You mentioned being in China working on your film, The Man With The Iron Fists. What is the release of that looking like?

With movies you never know because it’s controlled by studios, but everybody that’s working with me seems to be really excited about it. They know when to put movies out; I don’t. That’s a science that they’ve mastered. It was a great experience for me.

I’m still in post-production. Special effects are still not done. It takes a long fucking time. I’m learning a lot about movie-making. Maybe I’ll tell people about it or maybe I won’t. One thing about movie-making is this: Sometimes knowing is not as good as not knowing.

For instance, I love kung-fu movies. I sample them and one of my favorite movies is Shaolin vs. Wu-Tang. Now, I watched that movie to [the point where] I almost know the English dubbed version by heart. I’m able to cross-reference that movie to 36 Chambers, Death Chambers, Five Masters Of Death—many movies I can cross-reference to. You’ll see the white eyebrow priest pop up in many movies [like] White Lotus, and he’s in Kill Bill.

 

When I went to the real Wu-Tang mountains, I met [the real] Abbot and he told me it’s a book that was written. The book is pretty old, maybe 500 or a thousans years old, but it’s not what happened. It’s just literature. It’s like us reading Shakespeare and thinking King Lear [was real].

 

I honestly believed that because of all the movies, references, and being that it was based on a historical moment, I believed it to be historically true. It has some reality to it. I can discuss that with you and give you logic on it.

When I went to the real Wu-Tang mountains, I met [the real] Abbot and he told me it’s a book that was written. The book is pretty old, maybe 500 or a thousans years old, but it’s not what happened. It’s just literature. It’s like us reading Shakespeare and thinking King Lear [was real]. These are stories based on a time period. It may be true that at that time there was a Black Plague or silver was the monetary system, but it’s still fiction.

People may read the Da Vinci Code years later and think that Jesus did fuck Mary. That fucked my head up a little bit. [The Abbot] was like, “Nah man, that Shaolin vs. Wu-Tang is a story, but it is true that Zhang Sanfeng did start as a Shaolin monk. He did leave Shaolin and founded his own school, but it wasn’t no kung-fu fighting like the movie.”

With Zhang Sanfeng, out of the three histories of the temple, there’s three different potential histories. He’s one of them and is the most popular. It’s like the brother of Jesus. You have a story about him in the Quran and a story about him in the Bible. It’s different events.

Was that disheartening for you to find that out?

No. It was awakening for me, actually. It bugged me out, though. But I said, “Wait a minute?” There’s nothing like the truth. The truth sets you free. So I was free. I told you that story, just to go back to movies, I’m seeing all the things I’ve got to do to make a movie happen. I’m seeing it’s magic.

When it’s magic, there’s a magician performing, and if you don’t know the trick, it’s magic. But if you know the trick, it’s just a trick. When you’re the director, you are a magician. So you have to dedicate yourself to that from now on.

My wife and I go to movies every Wednesday. While I’m doing my movie we continue to go, and I’m like, “But baby, I know what’s going to happen.” [Laughs] That’s how it goes. I’m starting to see the edits in this motherfucker.

 

I had to censor Only Built 4 Cuban Linx. They were saying worse shit than that. I said, “You can’t say that. You can’t say that, G. You can’t say it.” They were like, “Man, come on.” I’m like, “Nah. You’re going to do that to her? Nah. See, you don’t do that.” As time went on, they started saying whatever the fuck they wanted to say.

 

So that’s what I mean, you’ve got to be careful. I’m smart enough to pull back, though. I’m smart enough to know to enjoy, but like I said, I don’t want to tell people too much about that process. I’d rather they go and enjoy the movie and enjoy the world that we’ve created.

Have you seen Star Wars? I loved it. Now that you look at Mark Hamill, you see that he’s really not a great actor. But you didn’t know that as a kid. As a kid, he was the greatest actor.

It’s funny what you were saying about the monks and the stories. When I was growing up listening to Rae and Ghost talk about drug-dealing, I thought all of it was real. I thought that was exactly what their life was like but it wasn’t like that.

Hell no. Hell no. It’s a song. We did live a wild...actually, I don’t rap about that. I’d rather keep it personal and shit. I mean, I had to censor that album. They were saying worse shit than that.

On Only Built 4 Cuban Linx?

Yeah. I said, “You can’t say that. You can’t say that, G. You can’t say it.” They were like, “Man, come on.” I’m like, “Nah. You’re going to do that to her? Nah. See, you don’t do that.” As time went on, they started saying whatever the fuck they wanted to say, but when I was there in the studio, I wasn’t going to let just anything be said. I know the attraction power.

After Cuban Linx came out, I already knew how many thugs and gangsters were born and that it would make. I knew how many people would be glorified by it. If I knew that when the movie Scarfacecame out, we all wanted to sell drugs. I knew I had the same power with that album. I didn’t want to be responsible for it, but I did want those kinds of people to listen to me.

 

After Cuban Linx came out, I already knew how many thugs and gangsters were born and that it would make. I knew how many people would be glorified by it. If I knew that when the movie Scarface came out, we all wanted to sell drugs. I knew I had the same power with that album. I didn’t want to be responsible for it, but I did want those kinds of people to listen to me.

 

So after Cuban Linx, I did GZA’s Liquid Swords, I did want college kids to get into it, and they did. As a producer and the captain of the team, I planned the audience. I knew Gravediggaz could fit white boys. I knew it. I said I’d get all the fucking rock and this and that. I went on tour with Biohazard just to get them, because I wanted everybody to come back to Wu-Tang on the next one.

I went out and attracted everybody, so that when Wu-Tang Forever came out—boom. It had all those elements but there was some real important messages in there; “You can’t party your life away/Drink your life away/Smoke your life away...Cause your seeds grow up the same way.” I wanted that to be known.

I wanted people to realize the propagation of school. They teach us lies, and we have to grow up as adults and unlearn them. [Laughs.] Unlearn the shit you’ve been taught to be real. I was on a mission and I succeed actually. When Wu-Tang Forever came out, it was a number-one album. I promised number one in five years, and in five years, we were number one.

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