by Damian Bradley
Thanks to a friend at Belvedere Vodka (sponsors of Rza aka Bobby Digital’s Digi Snacks tour) I was able to check out Rza, Stone Mecca and The Saturday Knights at the Showbox Sodo this Tuesday. The music was stellar (BIG props to Stone Mecca for a seriously funky set and for providing the live music accompaniment to Bobby Digital) but the highlight of my night was definitely meeting Divine Diggs, Rza’s brother and the business executive mastermind behind the Wu-Tang Empire. Friendly and unassuming, Divine graciously offered up a seat on the backstage couch.
I asked about the influence of growing up in Pittsburg on Rza’s artistic development as a hip hop lyricist and producer. Divine quickly rooted the conversation in New York. “The Diggs family’s move from Brooklyn to Staten Island was a major turning point in the career development of Rza and the Wu.” Staten Island provided the space “where you could get your thoughts together” but also allowed Divine and his brother to be “thugs among the suburbs.”
In reference to RZA incredible resume as a producer, from Wu-Tang albums to crew members’ solo projects, and film score to Ghost Dog: The Way of the Samurai, Divine offered, “Rza never had a one track mind but rather a universal sense of music and art that allowed me to take his talents in many directions. With that level of talent in the family, my job was easier.”
They’ve been on the road touring so hard, Divine barely remembers where they’ve been or where they’re going. He did offer his perspective on Seattle though: “Seattle, you are pretty much out in the boondocks.” I pointed out KEXP is now programming independent music in New York City but to no response. I mentioned we’d hosted an in-studio performance by Darc Mind and he smiled and raised an eyebrow. KEXP and Wu-Tang? I can only dream.