Happy Birthday RZA!: 5 More Creative Outlets For the Wu-Tang Abbot

The Wu-Tang Clan is full of big personalities we know and love. And while Method Man may have had the most success away from the group, Ghostface Killah is the

most fun to parody online

, and Ol' Dirty Bastard is the most beloved, in terms of influence on hip hop as a whole the most important member of the group is and always will be Rza.

The man born Robert Diggs may go by many names -- Prince Rakeem, Bobby Digital, and Samuari Apocalypse to name a few -- but no matter what you call him his influence looms large. Whether it was being one of the first instances of a hip-hop group designing their own clothes or creating a style of production that Kanye West would later ride to the stratosphere, the simple truth is the man is a first ballot Hip Hop Hall of Famer if they ever decide to build one.

But he's not one to be content on just producing music. He's scored movies, done some acting, written a book, and later this year will be releasing The Man With The Iron Fists, a movie he wrote and directed.

So while he may turn 43 today, it's hard to imagine RZA slowing down any time soon. But what does a man who has done so much do next? We have a couple of suggestions.

5. Architect

When the Wu headed out west to start work on a new album, RZA took it upon himself to find the right location for the group to settle in and get to work. Dubbed the Wu Mansion, the house he chose ended up in the above clip from MTV's Cribs.

As a place to record an album it might have worked, but it doesn't look particularly Wu like. We'd like to see what kind of place the Rza would build given the means and opportunity. Would it feature a mediation garden? A kung-fu training facility? A bad-ass sound studio? Fancy toilets? There's only one way to find out.

Happy Birthday RZA!: 5 More Creative Outlets For the Wu-Tang Abbot

4. Museum Curator

RZAa is a man with many influences, be they musical, literary, spiritual, or philosophical. A while back he put out the The Wu-Tang Manual to further delve in to the various things that inspired his work. That's great and certainly appreciated, but even if you sat at your computer with the book in your lap doing further research it's still only words on a page/screen.

That's why we think a Wu-Tang Museum of Art could be a fascinating prospect. Martial-arts film retrospectives, comic book art galleries, Wu-Tang concert photography -- the possibilities are pretty broad. Add in some classes with a RZA-approved curriculum and you have a place to take your kids, because as we all know Wu-Tang is for the children.


Happy Birthday RZA!: 5 More Creative Outlets For the Wu-Tang Abbot

3. Haunted House Designer

Haunted houses have gotten awfully boring. The technology changes but the scares stay the same. If you like flashing lights and people jumping out at you while dressed up as a zombie you'll probably have a good time, but for most of us it's kind of an eye-rolling experience.

While The Man With The Iron Fists is an action movie at its core, it certainly has a violent streak. Combine a bit of blood with the general Wu aesthetic and you could have a fresh take on an idea drowning in a sea of zombies. Beyond that, the advertising writes itself: "Can you survive the 36 Chambers?"

2. Video-Game Writer

RZA is no stranger to video games. Back in 1999 the Wu partnered with Paradox Development and Activision for Wu-Tang: Shaolin Style, a fighting game that let players control the members of the Clan as they fought the evil Mong Zhu. It's pretty much exactly what you'd expect.

So why return to video games? For a man who has written guides, raps, movies, and a comic book it might be an interesting new way to tell a story. As video games get more complex and offer the user more options the ability to tell stories that with more depth become a real possibility.

A game where you have to decide between following the path of the Wu or the path of evil? I might go to Gamestop at midnight to check that out.


1. General Manager

RZA has always been fond of saying that the Wu-Tang Clan didn't have a leader or, more accurately, anyone could be a leader at any given moment. We like to think he was just being humble because in his role as The Abbot of the Clan, he was the one that people looked to for advice and to make decisions.

Sports teams have a lot of leaders as well. Owners, coaches, even players have to lead at different points in the operation. With so many egos things can go south pretty quick which explains why there are a lot of bad teams out there. It seems that if Rza can corral the egos and ids of the other eight members of the Wu being a general manager of a sports franchise couldn't be much more difficult.

If he can survive ODB, do you think Dwight Howard would really be a problem?

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