If you live in New York City and set foot outside your apartment in the last couple weeks, you probably noticed it’s very cold outside. A simple three-block trek from your door to the subway station is painful. Hefting two big bags of groceries home? Forget it.
Fortunately for us, the RZA has a razor-sharp suggestion to battle the elements while running from the cops, busting off shots, deep on the block, picking up dry cleaning, what-have-you. The all-wise leader of the Wu-Tang Clan had NYC’s bitter cold in mind during the production of two of the finest solo albums to come out of a founding Wu member, or anyone in hip-hop for that matter.
From RZA’s 2005 paperback The Wu-Tang Manual:
I used to make certain albums hoping they’d come out in winter — like [Return to the] 36 Chambers or Liquid Swords. The only album I waned to come out in the summer was [Only Built 4] Cuban Linx. It’s like directing, and I directed those first ones to have a wintertime vibe. It’s more inside-your-car, more intimate with the music. Whereas in the summer, it’s more out in the world with it. So with Cuban Linx it’s more an out-in-the-world type of album, Liquid Swords, 36 Chambers — those are winter-time, up-in-your-face joints. You really feel it. Songs like “Cold World” with the wind blowing, I want people to be in their cars, just … shivering.
New York is a tough place in the winter. Everybody’s got big jackets, you don’t know what kind of gun they’re carrying underneath … That’s how it is with me making music. I’m creating a whole atmosphere, a whole world.
I’m plugging this one into iTunes before going to the library today: