Knowin' that a brother doesn't have much time these days, my human TV RSS feed NS Shorty hipped ol Ty to that recent HBO special: The Black List, Vol. 2 (Ironic no? Yeah - NS Shorty's cool like that, yo). The skinny on this joint is that it's an eclectic collection of segments of a number of southsiders - educators, artists, politicians - all riffin' on the unique experiences that make notable. Now when Rza's a$$ came on I'm like - what's this Wu Tang fool got to offer among the likes of Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick and entertainment producer Suzanne de Passe (who gave us Michael Jackson and the J5, y'all)? We'll y'all know ol Ty can be quick to judge sometimes and with respect to homeboy Rza I found that to be an understatement...
See, most times, ol Ty don't have time to suffer fools gladly and the hip-hop world has a way of hiding a lot of diamonds behind a lot of dusty a$$ coal (take that anyway you want to). So here comes Rza and he starts talkin' about Asian history, his love for and study of chess and the time he takes out to motivate kids. So I ease my finger off the fast forward button and listen to the brother. He says at one such talk that one kid in the front row challenged him about living outside the hood, askin', 'Why you not keepin' it real? Why you ain't in the hood?'
Rza dropped it like this, y'all. 'Hold on. You think people *want* to be in the hood? You think I want to be somewhere where I got someone living on top of me, beneath me and on both side of me? When I walk outside I got rapists, the guns the drugs all concentrated in a four block radius? I have five acres now - nah mean? Me and my son appreciate that. We walk to the mailbox yo and I can let him walk 100 feet in front of me, nah mean? Just being a boy. When I was growin' up in the hood I couldn't wait to be the f**k out of there.'
Now I know some of y'all will be all like, 'but Ty we can't abandon the hood'. Ol Ty contends, like Rza, that some parts of the hood do need to be abandoned, bulldozed and rebooted from scratch. Y'all know the spots of which I type. Don't front. So I can appreciate brother Rza all the more keepin' it real on that point. Now that aforementioned jibber-jabber would have been enough for ol Ty, but then Rza had to go get all philosophical and drop a strong a$$ closing that went something like, 'I've had a chance to see the Shoaling Temple in China, the Wu Tang Mountains in China, the Pyramids of Egypt, the Coliseum - many historical sites and I realized that we've always had a lot of scientific knowledge. Black Kings throughout history. My presence - our presence - has always been there. It's just been buried under a lot of sand.'
Rza - don't hurt 'em, homey! Got to give it up to brother Rza, y'all. Another brother I completely misjudged. Man, I may just have to tip on over to iTunes and cop me some Wu Tang...or at least some Chris Rock Pootie Tang. Anyway, if y'all missed it, you may want to go hunt down The Black List - both volumes 1 & 2, take a pause for the cause and appreciate your fam.