GZA = The Hard Hittin interview PROPS to Blogfork

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GZA, the hard-hitting interview
July 17th, 2007

The crowd gathered for Gza. “Really? with old ladies in it?” you ask. Yes. Really.

I’m basically the Jane Pauley of our generation folks, and you can tell from the hard-hitting questions I asked the Gza. I’m basically laying the foundation of a budding, genius lifetime of journalistic integrity - a NEW kind of journalism, a journalism that shines, a journalism, friends, that sternly looks the subject in the eye and lets that subject know at once that he or she will be receiving some tough love, and an interview that will not only teach America something about THEM, it will teach them something about THEMSELVES.

When we found Gza in the glamorous press tent, he was talking to someone about how if you don’t drink 8 glasses of water a day - say, if you drink 5, you’re basically losing three glasses of water. There’s a reason we’re recommended 8 glasses of water. And there’s a reason we’re always replacing it and isn’t it weird that the world is mostly water and so is our bodies, etc.

But I didn’t hear Gza’s entire water-conspiracy theory, because I was too busy throwing up in my mouth a little bit, hitting my husband in the face with the microphone for insisting that I interview Gza.

Gza brought us back to his trailer where there was a bunch of people sitting around on folding chairs and some stringy white kid was smoking a joint. Gza, who had seemed really positive and kind outside the trailer suddenly turned into a celebrity in that trailer, where he turned from a super-positive ball of sunshine into a man who had been awake for 28 hours and hadn’t eaten all day, a man who needed more chairs in his trailer, a man who was upset with the quality of his tour shirts (Raekwon got better quality for cheaper prices), a man who’s tofu and broccoli was not hot enough, a man who accidentally left his pals at the hotel on accident, and who was now taking shit for it.

This made for a weird interview, because outside in the sunny day, there weren’t a thousand distractions, but in his trailer, there were a gazillion. He texted some pals, took a cryptic phone call, and opened his thai food and got to business.

me: What do you think it means that you’re in a trailer next to sonic youth’s trailer?

gza: I think it’s a great thing. We were once label mates on Geffen Records back when I dropped the Liquid Swords album. Many years later, to do a venue together? I think it’s cool.

me: Have you worked with them, or been around them before, or no?

gza: No. Never.

me: What do you think it means for the album, Liquid Swords, and for you, that in 2007, that album is still relevant and you’re playing it again in front of a bunch of indie rock kids?

gza: I think it’s great. It just lets me know that the album must be very important to a lot of people. To be able to perform it and do it in it’s entirety, right now. I never did a show where I did the whole Liquid Swords album. So it’s like redoing the album or remaking it all over again.

me: What do you think about the album specifically is relevant right now?

gza: Everything. I mean, if you want to compare it to hip-hop right now, this album is like 15 years in advance compared to - I mean, what we know as hip hop, what we hear on the radio every day - is way behind. I mean I still have people that come up to me that just heard about the album, that just got on to it maybe 4 years ago. So I think it’s still very relevant to this day.

me: Ok. I went to a presbyterian high school in Tampa Florida, and even there we were listening to you in 1995. What about liquid swords can reach kids in Tampa Florida in a Presbyterian high school?

gza: I think its good. It just shows you the power of the word. The strength of music. I mean, even with Wu-tang - by the way - I’m missing a Wu-Tang show right now in Amsterdam to be here - that’s how much this means to me. But it’s like with Wu-Tang and even with certain members from the group, such as myself, it’s like, we have a strong power where we tap into other generations, which is very rare for hip-hop. I mean, we’re overseas doing shows, and every night thousands of people and the fans and the crowd is like 15 to 23 years old. So that answers your questions in itself. We don’t have only those that grew up with us, or with us off these albums that we put out over a decade ago, but we now have their children.

me: Who do you think today is being neglected by indie-rock or the indie hip-hop community?

gza: I can’t really say, cause I’ve been out of the loop with underground and the indie thing.

me: but you’ve had such a big influence on it.

gza: Because at one point I just shut myself away from it. I mean if it’s not in your face you really don’t hear it. And what’s in your face I don’t want to hear. That’s why I don’t really turn my TV on. That’s why I’m in my car in silence all the time. I don’t turn the radio on, because I’m not going to like what I’m going to hear. Sometimes I feel like my boy Dreddy, he’s more in tune, he’ll be all, “Oh, you’ve never heard of such and such? listen to this,” and then I may check it out, so. I need to get more in the loop about what’s going on in the indie thing. I mean there has to be some sort of album, because if it’s not directly in my face I won’t know about it. So I can’t really point out any particular artist.

me: so you’re here in Chicago, and you’re eating Thai food, when we’re known for our hot dogs.

gza: I don’t eat meat. No flesh.

me: How long have you been a vegetarian?

gza: 96.

me: What moved you to be a vegetarian?

gza: I stopped eating pork in 77. I stopped eating beef in 89. I stopped eating chicken and fish and turkey in 96 because I figured I don’t want to eat anything that’s dead. Meat is so contaminated. It’s so full of drugs and toxins and poisons - I’d rather not eat it. I think it was a piece of chicken that turned me off. It must have been really nasty looking.

Posted by Natalie

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