RZA was a master of sampling, and the production mastermind behind Wu-Tang Clan's storied career brought his signature style to the medium. He was one of the first to use audio from non-musical sources, using clips from movies and television to create a unique sound that would impact three generations of hip-hop artists.
Here's a look at some of RZA's most iconic samples and how they were used on Wu-Tang albums.
This classic sample is a testament to the power of the bare bones approach to hip-hop production. Rather than fill the track with gimmicky beats, RZA relied on a simple piano line to drive the track's mood and ambiance. The result is a timeless, ode to the city of New York that captures its soul in just a few bars.
The classic Wu-Tang sound was defined by its sense of place and time, and this sample is a perfect example. It's an ode to the gritty city streets, and the way that they can be both beautiful and a trap for the unfortunate.
This song is a perfect example of how RZA's use of samples can tell an enthralling and complex story. The track is a haunting reminder of the brutality of low-income life, and the ways that it can lead to both personal and social degradation. The song also serves as a warning against blind faith, and is a timeless condemnation of zealotry.