The best thing about ’70s and ’80s hip hop is how accessible it was. The music was easily accessible and you didn’t necessarily have to find the next big thing. People could listen to their favorite records on the stereo and just really groove to them.
RZA: When I think back to when I first came into this business, [Back to the Future Part II] was the first album that I thought was really hip-hop. It had a beat that came on and was catchy, and the music itself was really good. I heard Back to the Future in 1988, and my friends at school were like, “It’s too early for that shit.” And I was like, “You’re right! We have to wait, but it’s hip-hop!”
I’m proud to be an example of the music that I love. Hip-hop was a really important part of where I came from growing up.
“Snoop Dogg is the king of the late ’80s and early ’90s.”
“Biggie Smalls was a big part of getting to know hip hop in Atlanta, but they had a bigger impact on me, which goes back to when I was a kid growing up in Atlanta. I’m a proud to be an example of the music that I love. Hip-hop was a really important part of where I came from growing up.”
You’re now in a place to show the world things like these. It’s exciting, like the hip-hop world is finally on the table.
RZA: [Laughs] It’s exciting to the point where I would be happy just sitting in my apartment. And I would literally say, “I’m not going to play this fucking game.”
You don’t wanna be like an athlete, where all these people are lining up for the next big thing. No, you wanna be like Snoop. You want people to like something like that – someone who could stand on the street corner with his whole ass waving, and it might just be good music. That’s the kind of vibe that we have right now. If one single person can get something like what we make, that’s the type of music that we’ll have. When you’ve got a community like ours, with all these different types of beats, and people are willing to be open – we have that in abundance right now.
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