Staten Island's RZA is the producer, leader, and all-around mastermind behind the Wu-Tang Clan's revolutionary emergence in the 1990s. Appearing as an MC on all of the Wu's group albums as well as numerous Wu solo albums, RZA also released his own solo albums in 1998 and 2003 (the brilliant BIRTH OF A PRINCE). A modern Renaissance man and a true hip-hop innovator, RZA parlayed his production skills into a successful career as a soundtrack composer, most notably for the KILL BILL movies and Jim Jarmusch's GHOST DOG.
Unlike their predecessors, who each released about an album a year, Master P and the Wu-Tang Clan dominated the mid to late 1990s with a hailstorm of discs that saturated the rap marketplace. RZA, the Wu''s über-producer, added to the storm with Bobby Digital in Stereo, the soundtrack for a straight-to-video film directed, produced, and written by RZA under the alter ego Bobby Digital. Whether he''s able to compete with Master P on the cinematic front remains to be seen, but the project surely confirms RZA''s mastery of the production studio and of the hip-hop domain in general. Without sounding too threatening or gangsta, RZA--er, Digital--lays down street-lethal beats and rhythms that resonate with a futuristic cyberpunk theme. And while the songs are fairly free of melody, there are plenty of atmospheric keyboard noises, sound effects, and samples to keep things pumping. --Jon Wiederhorn
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