The O.D.: A Mixtape Daily Exclusive
Jay Electronica got people heated — namely DJ Kay Slay — when he said some Southern MCs, such as Andre 3000 and Bun B, could roast cats from up North during an interview with TheMostInfluential.com last month. Electronica, ever the outspoken warrior, was very candid with the outlet.
A few minutes into the topic, the conversation shifted to Wu-Tang Clan’s RZA. We all know Jay has the utmost respect for the clan from Shaolin; he shouts them out on his mixtape banger “The Ghost of Christopher Wallace.” But he admitted that he took exception to some comments from the Abbot he read years ago. “He said some real ridiculously stupid, ignorant things about some South people,” Jay said.
Jay, who is from New Orleans, said he was offended when RZA was quoted questioning the intelligence of some Southern MCs while talking about the quality of lyricism. “I don’t like that,” Jay explained. “That would be like me coming to New York or another place and saying you’re of a lesser intelligence because you’re not knowledgeable about my circumstance or environment.
“I took offense with RZA in that,” he added. “Peace unto RZA. That’s my brother, and RZA had a great effect on me. I wouldn’t be who I am if it wasn’t for RZA and the music he made with Wu-Tang Clan. But also RZA, you said some crazy, wild sh–. At that time, we might have had a physical altercation how I really felt about it. … Going around thinking people are slow. I just wanted to say that. Again, peace to RZA, he’s a beautiful black man. He’s done a lot for our culture, a lot for humanity in general with his music and his contribution.”
Well, the RZA recently sat down and talked with MTV News’ Sway and was asked about Jay Electronica’s comments. The Wu founder wasn’t aware of Jay’s comments or his music, for that matter. RZA did have a very clear recollection of some things he said in the past about the South.
“I know I said a few things about the South throughout my career in different periods,” RZA told Sway. “I don’t know the exact comment, but I remember I did an article in Rap Pages years ago, ’cause me and Master P had a talk about this years ago. I was speaking on the education level in the South, how brothers drop out … in the sixth grade — some of them because they have to go to work, some of them because of the poverty, some because they’re not interested in the education system … just a lot of crazy things that people from up North had evolved from. When I was doing this article, I was taking about my own family at first. My family comes from the South. They frying fat back in the kitchen, Grandpops didn’t have more than a sixth-grade reading level. My grandma was a welfare mom.
“The truth is the truth, first of all. The South has evolved later than us,” RZA added. “Based upon where we are around. You can get a book in Harlem off the streets. Books like ‘Stolen Legacy’ the ‘Isis Paper,’ you can find this stuff in the streets of Harlem. Just walking around in Manhattan. In the South, they won’t find that in the bookstores nor the streets; they have to research it. With Internet knowledge, there’s a better chance for education for all. I felt and I seen. I got cousins out there that still live in the South. They have not picked up on the wavelength of where their mind should be. But hip-hop has helped it all evolve. Hip-hop, to me, is a blessing and a mercy for the black community first. Then I’ll say for the urban community, then I’ll say for American culture.”
Also while talking to Sway, RZA noted that hip-hop doesn’t belong to just one region. The entire world has embraced it and has partial ownership.
“If anybody got a question of what I say, they can ask me. I fear no man. I fear no MC’s talent,” he said. “But I definitely know when you young, you feel a certain way. At one point, we as Wu-Tang was like, ‘The whole industry is wack besides Wu-Tang.’ That was our energy, our spirit. That’s how we felt until we learned, ‘Wait a minute, hold on. That’s why they talking about that.’ Hip-hop, to me, is more a unifying force than a separating force.”