Wu Wisdom: Cinematic Sparks

The following is an excerpt from RZA's Wutang Manual.

I can still remember the first four movies I ever saw, in order. It went Tom Sawyer, then Rocky, then Star Wars, then The Swarm. Straight up, that was it. You can see the influence of those first movies throughout the Wu-Tang and my career. The Star Wars and Rocky movies you can definitely hear in the music.

Star Wars had a super impact on me. Of course it had a super impact on a whole generation. To me, Star Wars is actually based on the myths of the Teutonic knights, and there's some old Kurosawa influence in there—like Seven Samurai and The Hidden Fortress. But I didn't look at it like that until later. At the time, it was just a fascination with the story and the drama.

As far as the impact of The Swarm, you saw that with the Wu-Tang idea of killer bees. The idea of the Wu-Tang killer bees came early, even before we did "Clan in da Front"—"Wu-Tang killa bees—we on a swarm." The Swarm was one of my first movies, but part of the song was inspired by the news at the time.

Everyone had been talking about this lethal force of killer bees that were supposed to hit America. There was some panic about it and all sorts of stories in the papers and on the news about them. But those killer bees from Africa, they never hit. Instead, we hit. We were the killer bees.

Additional material: Clan In Da Front Music Video