Wu-Tang Clan rapper defends his comments in series of tweets
Wu Tang Clan de-facto leader RZA has been forced to defend comments he made when discussing instances of police brutality against black youths, specifically when he appeared to criticise victims for “not looking properly dressed”.
RZA made the controversial remarks when speaking to Bloomberg in interview recently. He was quoted as saying: “When you think about some of the brothers who are being brutalised by the police, you also got to have them take a look, and us take a look, in the mirror, at the image we portray. If I’m a cop and every time I see a young black youth, whether I watch them on TV, movies, or just see them hanging out, and they’re not looking properly dressed, properly refined, you know, carrying himself, conducting himself proper hours of the day—things that a man does, you’re going to have a certain fear and stereotype of them.”
He continued: “I tell my sons, I say, if you’re going somewhere, you don’t have to wear a hoodie–we live in New York, so a hoodie and all that is all good. But sometimes, you know, button up your shirt. Clean up. Look like a young man. You’re not a little kid, you know what I mean? I think that’s another big issue we gotta pay attention to. Is the image that we portray that could invoke a fear into a white officer, or any officer.”
Following a negative reaction to his comments, RZA took to Twitter to respond to his critics. “I could never condone police brutality or any form of injustice and oppression,” he wrote. See his tweets in full below.
Elsewhere in the interview, RZA also said that Martin Shkreli “can do what he wants” after he bought the hip-hop group’s one-of-a-kind album ‘Once Upon A Time In Shaolin’ for $2m.
“What we’ve done is historical, and you can’t remove that. [Shkreli] bought it, he can do what he wants,” RZA said. “The beautiful thing about art, from my standpoint, is that it has no discrimination.”
“If Mr. Shkreli feels philanthropic, he has the power to do something really cool, you know what I mean?” he added. “He could do something that would allow more people to hear the record.”
Shkreli originally made headlines after he purchased the rights to life-saving drug Daraprim and raised the price from $13 a pill to £750.