RZA, Say What?!

Let’s rewind time and visit the Wu-Tang Clan circa the ’90s.

There, you will see a younger RZA and his hip-hop crew dressed in what would be classified as “urban streetwear” by the mainstream market.


Fast forward to now. RZA has since transitioned his status from just a Wu-Tang member to a film director, actor, oh and vegan. And when it comes to the countless acts of police harassment and the lives of colored people, the dude suggests that we take a look at the way we dress.

In his mind, it could limit the alleged posed “threat” cops feel when in the presence of Black men or hell…Black people for all that matters. At least that’s what he implied during an interview with Bloomberg’s All Due Respect series.

You’re probably shaking your head and dismissing his perspective. But there’s more.

The entertainer went on record with his thoughts on the Black Lives Matter movement, acknowledging its importance but also citing #AllLivesMatter and his admiration for law enforcement.

“When you think about some of the brothers who are being brutalized by the police, you also got to have them take a look, and us take a look, in the mirror, at the image we portray,” he said. “If I’m a cop and every time I see a young black youth, whether I watch them on TV, movies, or just see them hanging out, and they’re not looking properly dressed, properly refined, you know, carrying himself, conducting himself proper hours of the day—things that a man does, you’re going to have a certain fear and stereotype of them.”

Er…um…define “properly refined”, please.

I’m all for self-responsibility and checking “me” when I’m out of line, but come on. You also have to take into account the environment in which people grow up. Not everyone is fortunate enough to progress from the hood to Wall Street or anything near it. That doesn’t necessarily mean their mindset is locked into criminal activity, and it most certainly doesn’t elicit an officer to approach with a “shoot first” mentality.

News Flash RZA: The police could care less if you’re wearing “streetwear” or “corporate gear.” Some are looking at skin color first. Mark Zuckerberg could stand in the company of the most respected people and an entire police force wearing a three-day old T-shirt and ripped jeans, and not once would an officer feel “threatened” or question what he’s doing.

If interested to hear his full commentary, check it out here.