Hip Hop and the major motion picture industry have a very interesting history together. And that history is only bound to get even more interesting with the new RZA/Quentin Tarantino-directed movie bound for theaters in a few weeks, The Man With the Iron Fists.
RZA, the founder of the Wu-Tang Clan, as well as an author, master music producer, multi-instrumentalist, composer and actor, has been on a blitzing press junket for the last few months promoting to movie that he created with Tarantino, hoping that his many appearances and interviews (everywhere from The Huffington Post to The New York Times to Comicon) will conjure up support for the film on November 2. There’s even a free full album stream of the film’s soundtrack available right now on HipHopDX.com.
The RZA is no stranger to Hollywood at all. He has appeared in several big time movies with some of the biggest stars you know, from drug kingpin biopic American Gangster with Denzel Washington and Russell Crowe to semi-dark comedy Funny People with Adam Sandler and Seth Rogen. He even had his own movie creation with Forest Whitaker in Ghost Dog: The Way of the Samurai back in ’99. So along with all of his other accomplishments in the music and entertainment field, RZA’s acting resume is nothing to sneeze at either, as he’s been able to follow in the footsteps of other emcees turned successful actors including Common, Ice Cube and Queen Latifah.
But essentially, this project seems to be about much more than just making a movie for RZA. In several interviews on his press tour, he’s cited many of his inspirations from years past in making “Iron Fists”. In his interview with Huffington Post, he cites his many years of the study of martial arts as one of his main sources. “I saw my first martial arts film at 9 years old,” he tells Huffington Post entertainment editor Kia Makarechi. “I was in New York City, at the Saint George Theater in Staten Island. Later on, we used to go to 42nd Street, which we used to call “The Deuce,” in Manhattan, and I’d spend time there on weekends watching kung fu flicks.”
And that inspiration, paired with an admiration for gangster movies and the Five Percent Nation in his younger days, eventually helped lead him to create the idea for the Wu Tang Clan, as chronicled in his book The Wu Tang Manual from 2005. RZA eventually went on to publish another book, The Tao of Wu, in 2009.
So it seems only natural that the next frontier for RZA to conquer, having gained some degree of success in music, clothing with Wu Wear in the 1990s, and book publishing, is movies. And a vehicle like The Man With the Iron Fists is the perfect way for RZA to do so, having combined forces with the intricately curious, many times over-the-top cinematic genius that Quentin Tarantino brings. RZA was also quoted on an interview with Power 105.1’s The Breakfast Club morning show that he wanted to make this movie the same way that he and the members of Wu Tang created their debut album, Enter The Wu Tang: 36 Chambers nearly 20 years ago.
And judging from the trailer, RZA seems to have accomplished said goal. The Man With the Iron Fists, also starring Russell Crowe and Lucy Liu, looks like it will be an action-filled, violently good romp for many types of movie fans. The martial arts elements will certainly appeal to Bruce Lee fanatics, while there’s sure to be tons of smart, sarcastic and self-indulgent dialogue for Tarantino supporters. There seems to be tons of eye candy, with Liu and Jamie Chung providing much in the way of wet dream fodder, while Crowe and pro wrestler Bautista will give the ladies in the audience something to swoon over.
Simultaneously, the soundtrack features music from RZA himself, along with The Black Keys, Kanye West, Method Man, Freddie Gibbs, Wiz Khalifa, Corrine Bailey Rae, Kool G. Rap, Ghostface Killah and Pusha T, which should definitely get more than a few mouths watering in the Hip Hop consumer community. From Hip Hop heads to martial arts followers to comic book fiends, looks like more than a few different demographics will be pleased with the end result of this collaboration between RZA and Tarantino.
The Man With the Iron Fists hits theaters on November 2. Go on out and support Hip Hop Hollywood!
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