*As a member of one of the most lyrical and influential rap groups of all time, RZA’s name on that alone carries weight.
Yet the Wu-Tang Clan rhymesayer finds himself responding to criticism from Martin Shkreli, the controversial pharmaceutical CEO who shelled out $2 million to buy the only copy of his collective’s album, “Once Upon a Time In Shaolin.”
In mid-December, Shkreli, who caught a lot of hate for raising the price of AIDS drug, Daraprim, from $13.50 a pill to $750, was arrested for securities fraud. As a result, members of the Clan started distancing themselves from Shkreli, who didn’t hold back on how he felt about RZA.
“I bought the most expensive album in the history of mankind and f**king RZA is talking s**t behind my back and online in plain sight. If I hand you $2 million, f**king show me some respect,” Shkreli, told an interviewer as he called the rapper-actor-producer “arrogant.”
Taking note of Shkreli’s criticism about the album’s plan falling into his hands, RZA weighed in on the situation, during an interview with Bloomberg Politics.
“What could backfire from creating a piece of art, having an idea and to see it grow into fruition?,” he asked. “He has the power to do something really cool. If he wants to be philanthropic, he can do something that could allow more people to hear the record.”
“As far as me being arrogant, depends on what day you catch me, baby,” RZA added with a laugh.
Shifting gears from Shkreli, RZA addressed police brutality towards young black males as well as the Black Lives Matter movement.
“Of course black lives matter,” RZA said about Black Lives Matter. “All lives matter. I stopped eating meat because their lives matter to me. I don’t think it’s necessary for us to grow a cow to kill it.”
As for the situation with young black men being “brutalized” by police, RZA voiced his support for law enforcement while sharing over the way he feels officers have been portrayed.
“In the old days, a cop, you’d let him in your house and give him a cookie and milk,” RZA stated. “Now that there’s been so much police brutality, a lot of the young people are scared of the cops.”
From there, the entertainer spoke on the black men who have been victimized. In his eyes, it comes down to how the young black men are dressed, which can result in them being treated like a stereotype if they dress as such.
“When you think about some of the brothers who are being brutalized by the police, you also got to have them take a look, and us take a look, in the mirror, at the image we portray,” RZA said. “If I’m a cop and every time I see a young black youth, whether I watch them on TV, movies, or just see them hanging out, and they’re not looking properly dressed, properly refined, you know, carrying himself, conducting himself proper hours of the day — things that a man does, you’re going to have a certain fear and stereotype of them.”
Wow. Interesting, huh?