The Tao of Wu [Rza Writes a Wu Chronicle]

The Tao of Wu
By The RZA, with Chris Norris
Riverhead, 226 pp., $24.95, Oct. 15

Robert Diggs, aka The RZA, is a modern marvel. A multimedia giant before Apple ruled the universe, RZA’s street savvy and artistic agility have made him something of a 21st-century renaissance figure. From his assembly of hip-hop’s eminent crew, The Wu-Tang Clan, to his own clothing line, to his oft-allegiances with the likes of everyone from Jim Jarmusch to Quentin Tarantino, RZA has mastered New York and Hollywood alike with evident aplomb. The writer comes off as alternately wistful in his gritty recollections of his rags-to-riches Staten Island days and circularly didactic in his attempts to reconcile his numerous interests and influences. RZA does well to make his citizen-of-the-world life philosophy both intriguing and poignant. He is known as the Abbot, after all, a teacher with a curriculum that incorporates Islam, numerology, chess theory and Judeo-Christian extrapolations, usually disseminated by hip-hop rubrics and classic kung fu flicks. Not required reading, but a good companion piece to the mystique of Wu.

—M.F. DiBella

Leave a Reply