The Game inked a giant tattoo of him on his torso. Jay Z dedicated his show-closing “Young Forever” to him at show in Los Angeles earlier this week. And on Wednesday (December 11), RZA sent his own heartfelt “thank you” to the late Nelson Mandela with a brand-new track, “Gift of Hope.”
The Wu-Tang Clan rapper and producer recruited singer Will Wells for a stirring track that asks “Will you ever realize a smile is worth a million cries a million tries?/ Will you ever realize the gift of hope could save a hurting soul?” Before becoming South Africa’s first democratically elected black president, Mandela (often known by his clan name, Madiba) had been imprisoned for 27 years for his efforts to end to his country’s apartheid.
In a note accompanied by the track, RZA mirrored Mandela’s dreams of a world that works together, “One that depends highly on collaboration. One where the big fish success depends heavily on the little fish. One where race creed and sexuality will eventually be superseded by need and demand to get the job done on time and on budget. One where the end product will become a entity of its own, appearing to be singular and independent of the multicultural multi-ethnic bodies that created it, yet as the end title credits will show this is no ’one man horse and pony.’
“In this vein greater men have put down their individual strife in the interest of building the collective,” RZA continued. “Thus great men are known by the mark they left on their country masses…hard working mothers and fathers see the results when the children raise their family to higher heights.”
RZA and Wells linked up earlier this month for the equally heartfelt “Destiny Blends,” a tribute to Paul Walker. “Gift of Hope” was also dedicated to the cast of “Gang Related,” RZA’s upcoming television drama about a gang member who infiltrates the San Francisco Police Department.