(AllHipHop Features) The RZA, the leader of the seminal rap collective Wu-Tang Clan, has evolved at such a rapid rate over his lifetime, to call him a super-human would be an understatement. However, the producer, director, writer, rapper has not been selfish with his gifts or knowledge.
In a recent move, he has partnered with Tazo Tea to produce a unique event to help people tap into their hidden strengths, block bad energy, achieve their goals and more. This February, The RZA will guide a group at Camp TAZO right in the rap god’s hometown of Staten Island, NYC. Attendees will explore their mental, brew up some Zen tea and delve into “new levels of knowledge.” Opening creative powers await stands before a select group of individuals.
Here are the streaming links to the Guided Explorations By RZA:
AllHipHop’s Chuck “Jigsaw” Creekmur talks to the transcendent legend about getting unstuck and reaching one’s highest self. AllHipHop: Rza, it’s good to talk to you. I last saw you at the Wu-Tang American Saga premiere night. So it was good seeing you in the flesh at that point. I am doing a 21-day meditation series with Deepak Chopra and your partnership with Tazo reminded me of that and then it started to get into music and then I was like, “Oh okay this is a little bit different.” Can you talk just exactly what is this that you’re doing?
RZA: Yeah, let me break it down to you into two phases. We’re doing what we call a guided exploration. We’re taking five different positions such as, verbalization, right? Walking, power posing, journaling, and noting, right?Those five different things, we’re using to unlock the creative potential inside of people that’s attending this camp, but also we’re going to have a second phase which will happen on February 26th where we’re going to release the guided explorations on Spotify so we can listen to them. And we’re going to title them so like, for instance, one is called, “Kill the Noise.” That’s going to help listeners how to survive and thrive in the face of distraction.
Another one is called “Stand Your Flame.” “Stand your flame” is going to help listeners rediscover what was their early influence, what started their fire, and what sparked them and how they could, fan that fire, and make it continue to blaze.
RZA: And then we got one that’s more like, “If Not You, Then Who?” Right? That’s like “why not be the best you can be?” “Why not the most productive self?” Right? “Why let somebody else be great and you not watch yourself be great?” Then we got one called “Bite or Barking.” Right? So bite or barking, I mean that’s self-explanatory, right? But we’re trying to do, use that as a title because we want to guide our listeners to like set your goal. And then put action to follow that goal.
RZA: And the last one we call “Making Moves.” You got people making moves in Hip-Hop, but making moves is also using movement mediation. We’re taking the listener through a walk that they should go through. You’re walking to your bodega, you’re walking to the store, what do you see, yo? You know what I’m saying? Like think about a guy like Jimmy Buffett (who wrote the song) “you like Pina Colada?” That song, that simple song is describing a moment right? So our main goal is to unlock your creative potential.
But, since we’re dealing with Zen (also the flavor of RZA’s favorite Tazo Tea), there are so many other potentials that should be unlocked while going through this exploration with us.
AllHipHop: How important is it to bring this to your home of Staten Island?
RZA: We’re taking it back to Staten Island, because that’s the foundation for where I discovered Zen. I discovered meditation. The first time I started meditating, I was in my grandmother’s garage. It was a garage slash basement. But underneath everybody upstairs, doing what they’re doing, the crowded house. It probably, it was like 19 people living in that house, bro.
AllHipHop: Yeah, right, right.
RZA: So, everybody upstairs fighting for the TV or whatever they going for. I would go down there, and I would sit still and meditate, or try to do some Kung Fu stances, or maybe curl some barbells, whatever. You know what I mean? So, that was a foundation, and also what I kind of decided and figured out that, what to do with the Wu-Tang and come with that five-year plan. I basically walked through my community and walked from one project to the other, then walked up to New Brighton, walked to my school, and it’s like a path that I would walk many times in my life. And I still do that walk. Like I walk, I didn’t walk it last time, but when I did W-Tang: An American Saga, I took Chris Robinson with me. And we just drove the van through that same walk. I actually, I told him to pull over one minute. I need the two blocks in, you know what I mean?
RZA: Because Staten Island means a lot in my developing stages of creativity and success. And it’s the home of Wu-Tang Clan. Even though some of us migrated from Brooklyn and some of us came from Brooklyn to that Temple. Staten Island is that foundation.
AllHipHop: Was there any time in your life, when you would say you lost your focus, or when you fell out of Zen?
RZA: Yeah. Of course, of course. For me, I think in the year 2000, when my mother passed away. It kind, of you know. Yeah you can’t really… that’s something you can’t really describe to people until somebody else feel it then they understand. Because that’s something you understand through experience. But what I can say is that yeah, it took a few years for me to snap back into it. If you noticed, if you’ll notice, I mean you can notice this from my output. I went from there. I ended up in California, Hollywood. And had to regurgitate my energy on the other side of the country, you know in reality.
AllHipHop: You mentioned power posing, is that, I read about this in magazine or something, is that when you physically pose, like say a superhero, something that? Is that what you mean?
RZA: I mean, you know, it’s whatever for you, right? In Shaolin Kung Fu, they what you call the 18 Luohan’s. These 8 Luohan’s are different poses that are different stances. Of course in yoga you have varies stances, front dog. Face the moon, or you know, all these different stances. So those are all power poses. But yeah, whatever pose that you can put yourself into that builds up your chi and your energy.
So me, you know I’m a student, I’m more of a simple horse stance – that is good for me. Maybe cat stance is good for me. You know what I mean? It’s simple things like that. You see me in some of my pictures.
AllHipHop: Yeah I know. Yeah I took a picture with you at the premiere night, and yeah I also interviewed Shyheim, the Rugged Child the other day. I saw a picture of you and him, and you have a very powerful pose in that picture as well. So I think I know exactly what you mean. Now hidden powers, I find that to be interesting and I think a lot of people don’t realize that they have any powers at all. Obviously, music is one of your powers, but have you found any hidden ones, that you didn’t know about?
RZA: Power comes in so many forms So, even the voice of power, right? You think about some of the great orators. Like think about, let’s go totally negative: think about the power of Hitler’s voice to move a nation of people to follow evil. That’s still power, right?
RZA: Think about the power of Martin Luther King’s voice that moved a nation of people to strive towards positivity. But at the end of the day though, think about Bruce Lee who weighed 130 pounds at most, maybe 120. But at the end of the day knocking people 8-feet away from a one-inch punch right? So, the power we saying hidden is only hidden because…it’s hiding in plain sight.
RZA: Most people don’t realize how much they got in them. I know how much power I got in me because I know for an actual fact in every atom there’s power. In my stomach, I got enough, I got acid strong enough that could burn through wood, maybe even metal. So it’s like your body is nothing but moving power. Your heart is probably one of the best engines ever created. It’s pumping blood through about 66,000 miles of blood vessels. 66K at the average pulse of 70 times a minute, yo. Your blood is just running through like it ain’t nothing.
AllHipHop: That’s crazy.
RZA: So power is all in us, and my theory, and I don’t think it’s a far-fetched theory, I’m quite sure some other scientist wrote it in some form in a different description but I think your whole body is a nuclear reactor, bro. You know what I mean?
RZA: Now, when you’re aware of that, how do you use that energy? So it radiates things. You know ice radiates cold, fire radiates heat, what do you radiate? And you got to kind of protect that so, when we go through these explorations with the people in the camp and as well as those who are listening to the audio version of it, we tap into these things, and we’re going to tap into them, and hopefully, it will just make, the person realize their potential and get over the stagnation that’s blocking them right?
It’s like fine-tuning the radio station. You go to fine-tune it. Remember back in the day you had to like turn that knob to get that signal. But the signal was always there, you just wasn’t tuned into it.
AllHipHop: Absolutely. People are flooded with distractions. In fact, the reason why we didn’t get on this call as quickly as we usually would’ve because I have a feature on my phone, I turn it off all calls that I don’t know and robo calls. Or they go straight to voicemail. I’m like, I got to focus it’s driving me nuts. `So I think the phone is probably an obvious one but distractions are pretty present, notifications, I mean Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, I mean everything is pulling you from things that might be goals or dreams even. Do you have any, special recommendations?
RZA: Yeah well we talk about distractions but the best analogy we give for that, is look at the sun. This entire solar system is pulling, right? Pulling at the sun, comets, asteroids, planets all in motion all around us, but the sun appears to sit still. And does all its function in the midst of all this chaos. So, that was one of the things I said about Wu-Tang in the beginning. I said Wu-Tang has organized confusion.
RZA: Because it’s definitely confusion, but it’s in an organized [manner] it has a parameter. So, go back to our body – your body is the same. All these things that we just finished talking about. These blood vessels and your intestines being three times the height of your body, but yet it just sits right there in the middle. You know what I mean? Just flapped on top of each other. Your hair is growing all over you, but it’s organized. But under the microscope, some of that s### looks confusing.
In our exploration, we say that we’re not saying you’re going to be able to get rid of the distractions. We’re just saying you got to learn how to use them. If you go back to my music, bro, you hear all types of f*cking sounds popping in my sh*t.
It’s a part on [Wu-Tang’s] “Bring The Ruckus,” right? If you ever hear the Wu-Tang song, Bring the Ruckus right? There’s a part of song, at the end of the song, there’s a part that goes after we do all the rapping where it goes [makes repeated horn sound] that little horn break.
AllHipHop: Of course.
RZA: What happened was I was trying to sample something and the CD start skipping. So I sampled the skipping of CD and used it for a horn break.
AllHipHop: Wow. I love that break too by the way. It gets me hype.
RZA: Exactly. That’s the point I’m making.
AllHipHop: The visuals in the Tazo ad for the campaign and the camp are interesting. Are you evolving into a Guru of sorts, or are you already there?
RZA: I think the visuals actually tie into how I’ve been walking with many characters over the course of my career, from The RZA, to Bobby Digital. But the Wu called me The Abbot (head of a monastery, typically Buddism). And I am actually in real life. Right? Because it’s all real life. But many people that don’t, can’t discern what’s real, what’s music, what’s film, they see me doing Kung Fu movies now. Maybe they don’t know if I’m acting or what, how serious I am. But in real life, bro, I’ve been taken all the way to Shaolin Temples in China. And I’ve been ordained a 35th generation Shaolin Monk. So I’m an official monk. I can actually teach it. You know what I mean?