Hip-hop’s finest producer and rapper, RZA, has joined forces with Grammy Award-winning hip-hop producer DJ Scratch to release a full-length album, Saturday Afternoon Kung Fu Theater. In the meantime, the artists have shared a new video for the title track.
The video begins with a young boy sitting on the floor with action figures and watching TV on a Saturday afternoon. Viewers then see RZA meditating and preparing for a battle against his alter ego, Bobby Digital. RZA raps in his rugged and vigorous style and surely incorporates the visual aesthetics of Kung fu. The video includes dancers dressed in Kung fu uniforms with the Wu-Tang Clan logo imprinted on the sleeves. Kung fu fighters break bricks with their hands and DJ Scratch marvelously handles the turntable.
Saturday Afternoon Kung Fu Theater is a love letter to the kung fu movies that aired on Saturdays on local TV channels. The kung fu films inspired the imaginations of young people who tuned in every Saturday, including the members of the Wu-Tang Clan. The album features an interesting battle between RZA and Bobby Digital, who is his more aggressive alter-ego, as they exchange lyrical punches over classic 1990s style production laced with kung fu movie samples. The album is exclusively produced by DJ Scratch, which gives RZA the chance to sit back from producing, as he has done with songs like “Quentin Tarantino”, and focus on MC-ing.
Despite this being the first time that the two artists have worked together in an official capacity, they both have long admired each other’s work. Created during quarantine, RZA states, “Lyrically the hip-hop part of me had a chance to re-emerge during quarantine. Giving Scratch the reins as a producer and me taking the reins as an MC, that’s what frees me up creatively and lets me play more with lyrical gags and lyrical flows because I don’t have to be focused on everything.” To DJ Scratch, he states, “It was an honor to produce and executive produce an entire album for a legendary MC, who happens to be one of the greatest hip hop producers of all time.”
The album is set to release on March 4 via 36 Chambers ALC/MNRK Music Group.
Photo Credit: Owen Ela