RZA as Bobby Digital Digi Snacks

RZA as Bobby Digital Digi Snacks
On the heels of last winter’s chillily received Wu-Tang reunion album (do you ever hear people bumping8 Diagrams?), the Clan’s ruler Zig-Zag-Zig Allah dons the mask of his alter ego (read: id), Bobby Digital, for Digi Snacks. Never lacking creativity and forever ignoring current rap trends — sonic, lyrical, fashion and otherwise — RZA makes the occasional misstep but his song structuring and diatribes are never predictable. Rapping may be the thing RZA is third best at, behind producing and directing (his new passion), but this third instalment of the Digital series assaults the imagination with compositions that play out long after the rhymes have ceased ("Drama”), with hypnotic repetition ("Try Yi Yi Yi”) and our hero’s jagged flow, which cuts through his own gothic tracks like pinking shears — awkward yet forceful. Inspectah Deck, the only original Wu swordsman to appear on an album hindered by second-stringers like Crisis and Dexter Wiggles, adds a verse to "You Can’t Stop Me Now,” a smart lead single because of its recognisable sample (previously looped up by MF Doom for his alter-ego, King Geedorah, on "Anti-Matter”) and assertive mission statement. Less effective is "Goodnight Kiss.” Over female moans, RZA’s robotic cadence gets laughably graphic: "Edible panties — no need for the hamper,” and then even more explicit — something about pollinating a flower. It makes the listener miss the subtle swagger Method Man flexed on Bobby’s last love song, "La Rumba.”

How easy is it for you to switch into Bobby Digital mode? It’s seasonal. It might not happen every year but it happens. Last time I was in Bobby Digital mode was five years ago but [in the meantime] I did a RZA album [2003’s Birth of a Prince], I did soundtracks, commercials, all this other shit. But now Bobby’s back on the scene, back having some fun. I’ve been doing a few gigs lately and I’ve been having a great time. And the weird thing is, when I do Bobby Digital, there are more girls in the audience than when I do Wu-Tang.

What’s your greatest challenge these days?
Continuing to live out truth, live healthy and represent the positive side of life in this big negative environment we live in. We live in a world of capitalism. Not everybody’s taking care of everybody; everybody gotta dog everybody out. So much lies and fabrications, so much bullshit. So just trying to stay a focused man and trying to have fun in a mud field is not easy, but it’s possible. I believe in the Most High, I believe in Allah, I believe in God. Allah says there’s no boulder man can’t handle. So I know that no matter what burden is on my shoulder it can be handled.

Your son is 11 years old. How interested in your music is he?
He’s very into it. There are some of my verses that he remembers and shit. On the song I did with GZA and DJ Muggs ["Advanced Pawns”], one day I caught my son saying a verse to his friend and shit. I was like, "Oh, shit! That’s not an easy verse to remember.” (Koch)