Saturday, May 31, 2008

RZA as Bobby Digital: You Can't Stop Me Now

Hip Hop artists and fictional comic book characters make an easier fit then one would think. Although Hip Hop since its inception has been steeped in rhetoric about reality and the importance of being authentic, there has always been an undertone of hyper reality or reality amplified teetering on the fantastic. This is why aliases are so paramount in the genre. The stage names are almost the MCs other identity when they take the mic. The most legendary MCs have made careers on boasting how dope they are with clever punch lines amplifying their abilities to almost super human characteristics. No one knows this better or has exploited it more than the legendary Wu Tang Clan. Part of the Clans mystique has been the incorporation of kung fu excerpts in their music and comic book characteristics in their persona. This clever tactic has allowed the group to make a balance between hardcore, gritty east coast rap and absurd fantasy as each MC takes on a new moniker and throw themselves into the character.

This past year has seen a bit of a rift in the legendary crew as a few of the top lyricists in the group have broken ranks and showed their distaste for last years' "8 Diagrams", most notably for the RZAs production on the album. Undaunted by the criticism RZA takes solace in his comic book persona; Bobby Digital to produce a new album entitled "Digi Snax" due later this summer. The first single "You Can’t Stop Me Now" has the instantly recognizable Wu sound with sampled guitar licks, dirty drum kicks and ominous chanting on the chorus complete with the late Ol Dirty Bastard's drunken crooning. The video is a comic book inspired visual acid trip. Lyrically the song finds RZA in a retrospective state contemplating his street days and his early career achievements. The subject matter of early Wu leads one to believe maybe he was affected a little more by the voices of dissent then he leads on. But, it's nothing a comic book hero can’t handle...

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