RZA

The producer, rapper, and actor known as RZA was born Robert Fitzgerald Diggs in 1969 in Brooklyn. Long before RZA rose to fame as the leader of the group Wu-Tang Clan, he grew up in North Carolina during his early childhood, and was highly influenced by his uncle’s love of music. By the time he was a teenager, RZA was competing in rap battles and so when he moved to live with his mother in Ohio in the early 1990’s, he formed a rap group with his cousins and began performing around the local neighborhood.

RZA’s first record deal was as a solo artist, but it wasn’t long before he established Wu-Tang Clan with five of his childhood friends. With Wu-Tang Clan, RZA quickly slipped into the role of the group’s producer, and nearly everything between 1994 and 1996 was the result of his composing, arranging, and overseeing the entire creative process for each track. During this time, the group experienced significant success, but by 1998, RZA stepped back from his function as producer and began to pursue solo work in addition to his work with Wu-Tang Clan.

In 1999, RZA scored the music for the film Ghost Dog: The Way of the Samurai, which earned him significant acclaim. The venture launched RZA’s foray into film,  as both composer and actor, appearing in: Derailed (2005), American Gangster (2007), Gospel Hill (2008), Repo Man (2010), Due Date (2010), Brick Mansions (2014), and The Man with the Iron Fists (2012), which he also directed. His film scores include The Kill Bill series (Vol. 1 and 2; 2003 and 2004); Soul Plane (2004), Blade: Trinity (2004), The Protector (2005), Blood of a Champion (2006), Babylon A.D. (2008), and The Man with the Iron Fists (2012.)

RZA has continued his solo career for the last two decades, while still contributing with Wu-Tang Clan and his film career. Solo albums released by RZA include: Bobby Digital in Stereo (1998), Digital Bullet (2001), Birth of a Prince (2003), and Digi Snacks (2008.) RZA is considered to be one of the greatest hip-hop producers of our era, and he continues to write, perform, and record.