Album: 6 Feet Deep

Label: Gee Street

Prince Paul: “I don't even remember recording that. I remember one thing, I don’t remember song by song, but I remember really pushing Poetic a lot. I’d keep tell him, ‘Yo, you’re better than that. Your style is better than that.’ Until he came up with this weird, quirky, sing-songy stuff he would do. I remember pushing him to that. And I also remember telling RZA that Poetic is better than him [Laughs.], which made RZA even better.

 

I’ve had no problem teaching people. Just like how I dealt with De La. I liked RZA. He was a good guy. The Gravediggaz just helped him a whole lot because he saw my techniques. He’d watch a lot, he’d ask questions.

 

“I remember when we were starting on the Gravediggaz album, RZA telling me, ‘Yo, I got these guys. They all have different styles. We’re going to put a single out on our own. I’m going to see what happens.’ And then he added, ‘Maybe, I’m going to try and get some meetings. Can I use your name to try and get up with some people?’ And I said, ‘Yeah, if my name still got juice, go ahead.’ [Laughs.] And he put out ‘Protect Your Neck,’ around the time we finished the demos for Gravediggaz, and when I was shopping them around. That’s when ‘Protect Your Neck’ started to take off.

“Me and RZA first met in the late ’80s, first doing the demos way before the project with the Gravediggaz. That’s when I did the most explaining. I’ve had no problem teaching people. Just like how I dealt with De La. I liked RZA. He was a good guy.

"The Gravediggaz just helped him a whole lot because he saw my techniques. He’d watch a lot, he’d ask questions, he used a lot of the same places I would record at, use sound effects, which definitely helped him with Enter the Wu-Tang (36 Chambers), because he was able to take all the karate pieces off, and create connectors before the songs. Like the bit, ‘Where my Killer tape at, God?’He recorded that stuff where I recorded the Gravediggaz materials.

 

It was nice because he really respected a whole lot of what I did. So that gave me a lot of time and opportunity to sit through a lot of those Wu-Tang sessions. I’d be in the back, and he would ask, ‘What do you think, Paul?’ I said, ‘It’s hot! A little distorted, but it’s hot!’

 

“RZA would just be like, ‘Yo, who should I get? How should I do this?’ He pieced a lot of that together. It wasn’t like I said, ‘Hey, son, take a seat so I can show you how this works. Go grab an MPC.’ It was more or less just giving him suggestions.

"It was nice because he really respected a whole lot of what I did. So that gave me a lot of time and opportunity to sit through a lot of those Wu-Tang sessions. I’d be in the back, and he would ask, ‘What do you think, Paul?’ I said, ‘It’s hot! A little distorted, but it’s hot!’

“I was there when they recorded “Method Man” at the Paradise Studio. Everybody was hungry, these guys were straight off the streets, and they were just happy to be there. And the beautiful thing was that they had so much respect for the RZA. It was weird, because RZA had a lot of respect for me. So I was kind of like that dude during those sessions. So it was even more amusing for me to see RZA being that dude amongst the Wu-Tang.

"Whatever he said, you can see that the rest of the guys had a look of adulation for the Abbot’s words. And you can see that they really respected and loved this dude. RZA would say, ‘Yo, yo, yo, yo, yo, we’re going to, this, this, and this, it’s going to work, and bong, we’ll make it.’ And the rest of the guys and their faces were like a group of kids. They were like, ‘Really?’ [Laughs.]

 

RZA always spoke with sort of a stutter, and his pronunciation was always unique. Like I remember back then, he would say something. Some people would later ask me, ‘Yo, what did he just say?’ Like they needed subtitles or something.

 

“RZA always spoke with sort of a stutter, and his pronunciation was always unique. Like I remember back then, he would say something. Some people would later ask me, ‘Yo, what did he just say?’ Like they needed subtitles or something. He wasn’t that bad, but he always spoke like that. He’s a funny dude, man.

"The reason why we’re still friends until this day, but on a different level, it’s because I’ve always had respect for him. Even when he was at his lowest point, when people were laughing at him, when he did “Ooh, we love you Rakeem.” I still had the utmost respect for him, when I was at the peak of my career. And I always treated him as an equal.

"So even today, we can get on the phone and talk about anything that’s everything. I can snap at him, and he snaps back. As brilliant as [RZA] is, he just makes me smile. And mad people love him. They worship him. I’m just looking at it like, ‘Man, this is incredible.’”