Rapper RZA (born Robert Diggs but alternately credited, at various junctures, as Prince Rakeem, Bobby Steels, The Rzarector, and The Abbott) initially rose to fame as a member of the rap group All in Together Now, then branched out into a career as a solo artist. Though he achieved tremendous commercial success in this capacity, RZA nonetheless made his most enduring musical impact not as a performer but as a producer, of the rap supergroup the Wu-Tang Clan. His spare, lean, and razor-sharp approach to rap production for the group laid the groundwork and set the bar for dozens of other rap acts throughout the 1990s.
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Cinematically, RZA placed his strongest emphasis on contributions to soundtracks, scoring and lending featured music to such opuses as the Jim Jarmusch-helmed crime drama Ghost Dog: The Way of the Samurai (1999), Quentin Tarantino's Kill Bill Vol. 1 (2003) and Kill Bill Vol. 2 (2004), and the urban farce Soul Plane (2004). Though RZA's acting roles officially began with a bit part in Jarmusch's Coffee and Cigarettes (2003), he went on to grace the supporting casts of films as diverse as Scary Movie 3 (2003), Derailed (2005), and The Take (2007). Also in 2007, RZA tackled a supporting role as Moses Jones in Ridley Scott's period crime drama American Gangster, starring Denzel Washington. ~ Nathan Southern, Rovi