RZA pays tribute to Bruce Lee on the rapper’s new song “Be Like Water,” which features in ESPN’s upcoming “30 for 30” special about the iconic martial artist.
“Bruce Lee’s teachings extended beyond physical martial arts. He was full of philosophy and mindfulness,” RZA said in a statement.
“His quote ‘Be Water my friend’ is profound and multi-tiered in definition. It inspires the idea that in adapting to life situations, sometimes we have to flow smoothly as a stream, while other times we have to crash like a Tsunami.”
RZA has long been influenced by Lee and the kung fu films of that era, often sampling the movies as well as repurposing their titles: The Wu-Tang Clan’s debut album Enter the Wu-Tang (36 Chambers) was a nod to Lee’s final film before his death, 1973’s Enter the Dragon, as well as the Shaw Brothers’ The 36th Chamber of Shaolin.
“Those films together were pivotal sources of inspirations for me,” RZA told the Undefeated in an interview revolving around Be Water, ESPN’s special about Lee that airs June 7th.
“Think about it. [In Enter the Dragon], there’s an incorporation of the white karate guy with John Saxon, the black martial arts brother with Jim Kelly and Asian with Bruce Lee. They were all working together against the oppressor who was poisoning the people. If you add in a few other elements, that’s our country, bro!”