Fifty years have passed since the birth of hip-hop in the Bronx. The genre’s influence has transcended borders and cultures, becoming a powerful force that unites communities through the universal language of music. A significant player in the story of hip-hop is RZA: visionary rapper, producer and mastermind behind Wu-Tang Clan.
Beyond RZA’s musical prowess, over the course of his career the Staten Island legend has become a kung-fu master, an actor and filmmaker, and even a chess champion. He’s always thought outside the box. It’s no wonder Rihanna and Rocky named their baby in his honour.
Coinciding with the 30th anniversary of Wu-Tang’s seminal debut album Enter the 36 Chambers, RZA has released a collaboration with Ballantine’s Scotch whisky, which gives us a good reason to raise our glasses even higher.
As part of the collab, there’s a limited edition Crosley record player up for grabs. The C6 player comes with a Montero Bluetooth speaker, and it was designed by RZA himself. The record player features the iconic “Wu” hand sign – something you’ll see thousands of fans throwing up at any Wu-Tang show. The turntable was an essential tool in the early days of hip-hop. Legend has it that DJ Kool Herc invented the hip-hop turntablism style at a party in the Bronx in 1973, laying the foundation for DJing, scratching, looping, and sampling – all of which were instrumental in shaping the genre now loved worldwide.
The foundation of this collaboration is rooted in the shared love for music. RZA has said this partnership with Ballantine’s was a “natural fit”, noting their long-standing tradition of supporting musical creatives. During his visit to the Scottish Highlands, RZA found a parallel between the art of whiskey-making and music composition. “The whisky making process is very similar to making a song,” he said. “You need the right amount of sweetness to make a good blend. When the elements come together, it’s a harmony.”
For more info about this collab, you can head over to Ballantine’s website