Music

RZA Embraces the Philosophical in Anthemic 'Fate of the World'

With the release of his long-delayed album, Saturday Afternoon Kung Fu Theater, just weeks away, RZA has dropped “Fate of the World” — his second single from the DJ Scratch-produced record.

Saturday Afternoon Kung Fu Theater, which is available for pre-order starting today and is slated for release on March 4, is a concept album which finds RZA pitted against his aggressive alter-ego, Bobby Digital — a persona the rapper first adopted with the release of Bobby Digital In Stereo in 1998.

Produced by RZA and Danny Hastings, the “Fate of the World” video is a thematic continuation of the story told in the music video for the album’s title track, which was released earlier this month. Here, RZA reprises the role of The Abbot, leading a group of kung fu students in learning the Tao of Wu while also serving as a mysterious spiritual guide for the same young boy featured in “Saturday Afternoon Kung Fu Theater.”

In the stirring track, the socially conscious rapper invokes Allah, God and other spiritual forces as he describes what he sees as the current state of human society. “Despotism, capitalism, socialism/Forgot the wisdom, now we sitting in a rotten system,” he says.

Anchored by a forceful hook — “The fate of the world is in your hand” — RZA leads a rousing, chant-like call to action throughout the song: “Left, right, come together/Put your hands up/The Wu-Tang is forever”

“Lyrically the hip-hop part of me had a chance to re-emerge during quarantine,” RZA said in a release announcing the album. “Giving Scratch the reins as a producer and me taking the reins as an MC, that’s what frees me up creatively and lets me play more with lyrical gags and lyrical flows because I don’t have to be focused on everything.”

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