RZA’s love for cinema is well-known — in fact, it’s the core of the entire Wu-Tang brand. After launching his Saturday Afternoon Kung Fu Theater event this spring to announce his upcoming solo album, today, he shared a new single with the same title to further promote the return of his alter ego Bobby Digital. The high-concept album finds RZA verbally sparring with Bobby Digital over throwback production courtesy of longtime collaborator and friend DJ Scratch.
The concept posits Bobby Digital as a more outgoing version of the rapper inspired more by exploitation flicks like Shaft and The Mack (just check out the original RZA As Bobby Digital In Stereo album cover from 1998, inspired by classic movie posters). Meanwhile, the “RZA” persona is the more contemplative aspect of himself, influenced by the aged kung-fu masters in the Shaw Brothers films from which he borrowed the Wu-Tang ethos.
DJ Scratch, whose career credits include albums from the likes of Busta Rhymes, EPMD, Flipmode Squad, The Roots, and Talib Kweli, is executive producing RZA Vs. Bobby Digital, prompting RZA to say in a statement, “He delivered tracks that resonated and brought me back to a sound that I felt was missing. For me, it was really natural for me to flow and write to these songs.”
Listen to RZA’s new single “Saturday Afternoon Kung Fu Theater Part 1” above.
RZA Vs. Bobby Digital is slated to drop 8/6.