I love the Wu-Tang Clan. Most importantly, I never forget that Old Dirty Bastard and Wu-Tang is for the children.
I won't categorize this clip under hip hop as cliche by virtue of RZA's appearing on PBS (but it is pretty close...maybe I am just biased). From the RZA's musings on speed chess, innovations in musical production and distribution, as well as his habitus--that is fancy, academic speak for the RZA's style, energy, and sense of place--Mr. Robert Diggs clearly possesses a philosopher's soul. Who else would so carefully parse Ol Dirty's final words, so poignant, that "I don't understand." Damn indeed, I never have seen a man cry, till I seen a man die.
Some quick questions: Is there such a thing as hip hop philosophy? Or is philosophy so laden by the Western canon (and its Eurocentric baggage) that hip hop has its own unique system of thinking about, reflecting upon, and generating knowledge? Is RZA's philosophical vision some version of Africana philosophy? If you are giving a book to a young adult as his or her life manual, which would you choose? The Tao of Pooh or The Tao of Wu? Bobby Digital? Artistic genius? or piece of garbage conveniently forgotten and justifiably consigned to the dustbin of music history.
Bonus clip: let us not forget that Ghostface Killah is also a philosopher...a philosopher of the mysteries of love--