Wu-Tang Clan leader RZA recently opened up about his relationship with Kanye West and how the Grammy-winning rapper/producer’s determination and focus have elevated his career.
Having worked with Ye on Watch the Throne and last year’s My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy albums, RZA said the hip-hop star places high emphasis on keeping his crew close.
“I’ma tell you something this young man does,” RZA said referencing Ye. “[He and his crew] get up every morning to eat breakfast together, his whole crew. They talk about yesterday and the next day and the present. They plan, all over breakfast. They sit there and they talk about what they gonna do, what they did and how to make the music better. Then, they go exercise together. They go to the YMCA. They play basketball, lift weights. Focus, get the energy out. … The way everything happened was like focused energy, yo. Actually, I’ve never seen that from a rapper before. I come from Wu-Tang Clan. Y’all know us. Five of us show up for the concert, the other three late, some ain’t doin’ it, some are sleeping. It’s not only his talent that took him to the top. I’ve gotta say, it’s his focus, y’all.” (Red Bull Academy)
In 2010, Ye’s “Power” producer Symbolyc One talked to SOHH about his daily routine around the G.O.O.D. Music leader during My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy‘s recording process.
“I ate breakfast with him every morning, played basketball with him everyday and would be in the studio with him all night. It was more than just the music. We really got to connect on all those types of levels. It was incredible. Kanye can actually hoop. He actually has game. He can handle the rock, he can shoot, he can really hoop. It kinda caught me by surprise, he gets down.” (SOHH Guest Star)
Last year, RZA hit up SOHH to discuss contributing to Ye’s platinum-selling solo album.
“What made me come out to Hawaii when he invited me wasn’t really about making music. I wanted to go and build with a brother and share [my knowledge]. I thought I might be able to share some things that he’s not really heard from around other people he’s been around. The secrets we keep from each other and try to stay secluded from each other because we’re like crabs in a barrel, everybody’s trying to get out and so we keep pushing each other down some times.” (SOHH Guest Star)
The Wu’s Raekwon also spoke to SOHH in 2010 about recording “Gorgeous” alongside Yeezy.
“The first thing I can tell you about Kanye West is that he’s a hard worker. When you look at him, you can tell that he still has that whole hip-hop thing in his bones. When I was around him, I could definitely feel the energy that this guy is really taking things serious and he’s not trying to give [you] no watered down album. Listening to what was being made, you could hear and know that you were feeling it. So for the most part, I can say the music is great as far as him being creative and brilliant and he makes sure to keep those things around him. Everybody that says he’s bringing this album back to the 1990’s, [but] I think it’s more about him being creative.” (SOHH Guest Star)
Check out RZA’s interview below: