Welcome to Kronick Magazine
Covering Hip Hop, Skateboarding, and other facets of Urban Life start gallery archives guestbook links



GZA
PHONETIC INTELLECT
page 2

KRON:
OK, switching reels to another topic and subject, is there a mystery to your style of Chessboxin'? In other words, how many moves does it take for you to destroy a kingdom?
GZA:
That all depends.
KRON:
What's the shortest amount of moves you've taken one out in?
GZA:
A fool's mate. What's that? Five moves? Four moves? It's called a fool's mate `cause you gotta be a fool in order to get caught like that. Or just startin' to play. I think that's like four or five moves. That could either be with the horse and the queen, or the bishop and the queen. It's like four moves to the king of chess. Some chess games could go on for three hundred fuckin' moves! I don't know. I mean, we play on a timer. We time the moves. So the average game could be anywhere from thirty-five to seventy, sixty moves. Some shit like that.
KRON:
OK, good.
GZA:
I can't just… I don't sit down at a board and say, "I'ma take this cat out in 12 moves", because it's not like that with chess. Maybe in boxing if your skills is up like that, you can go in like Ali and call a round, or call the second round. Not with chess because for each move there's a counter move, and that's how everything works, an' shit. Like, when I play him [pointing to Arabian Knight], it's like I might move and he moves real fast, but I might sit back and think for a minute. Then he moves fast again because he already countered those moves ahead of time.
KRON:
But you're on that clock.
GZA:
And we on that clock. Now when it gets to the point where he gets stuck, and he starts thinkin' now, and I got him thinkin', then it's back to normal again. It's like, for each move there's a counter move. That's the whole thing about it. And when shit starts to unfold is when somebody slip-up, or make that wrong combination, and then start getting' had. The GAME of chess is like a sword fight; you must think first before you move.
KRON:
Do your roots in chess go back to your childhood? And is it something that was given to you by your father?
GZA:
Yes and no. My roots of chess go back to my childhood because I learned how to play as a child. I learned when I was about 9 years old. But I only learned how the pieces moved and what was the names of the pieces. And what kind of power each one of `em had according to how they moved. And I never played again `til like years later in `92 again when I started playin' with the Clan Brothers. `Cause a lot of us play. And at that time I started playin' again, I remembered how the pieces moved. I remembered all that and I just had to just move on from there. So yes and no. My father, he don't play chess. I think he plays checkers. I like Chess better.
KRON:
In the Natural Wu Order there's the often pairing of Rae & Ghost. But after that, the most noted association is between yourself and Masta Killa. Can you build on this kinetic connection?
GZA:
Well we from Brooklyn. That's how it is; Brooklyn move with Brooklyn, Shaolin move with Shaolin. We all family, but that's the association right there. When we first put the Wu shit out, we was doin' shows an' shit, and we probably didn't have too many vehicles at that time and we had to pick up other Brothers. That's how we moved. It was like Killa & GZA is in Brooklyn with Dirty, so… Even though Dirty was doin' his own thing on the other side of the town. But that's how it was; Ghost was with Rae. You know, they moved together; they did the album together. Deck was always with Meth. I mean, it's like that anyway; it's good to roll in pairs or however you roll. But that's how most Clicks move anyway. If I'm not alone, I'm at least with one person. Not with a whole Click of people, but that's how we move. When we first started doin' shows, we would come out in twos. I don't know if anyone remembers that, but when we first started that's how we used to come out. It would probably be me and Dirty `cause we did a couple of songs. Then it would be Rae & Ghost. And it would be
KRON:
I remember Deck & Meth.
GZA:
And RZA too because they would do Wu Ain't Nothin' To Fuck Wit'. And you know how RZA set it off, and then Meth is on there and Deck. So that's how that went. But we all close, you know?
KRON:
On some other shit, just yesterday some Brothas we were chillin' with had mentioned this whole "chip in your head theory" comin' outta movies like Gatica and Enemy Of The State. And also, when you and the Wu Brothers was on the Station Zero joint for MTV, one of the characters touched on conspiracy theories with you. Do you have a general opinion related to that topic?
GZA:
It's a lotta conspiracy theories in the air. As far as the thing with the chips and all that… I don't really have to see `em and I don't watch movies too much. I see the previews, but I can catch a commercial and catch the same message that was sent in the movie. It's no mystery, Man. It's like, we know the science behind technology and all that. We know that technology has advanced. It's no problem to put a chip in a muh'fucka. They got lo-jack, they got tags for dogs. That's how it started, with the dogs, like in `92. But I don't know anyone personally who may have chips in `em, whatever-whatever. I don't really try to get deep into that and say I know what's goin' on. I know it's on out there. I don't know what level they tryin' to take it to. I don't try to really get caught up and break the whole shit down. But it's nothin' to put a chip in someone for whatever purpose. I'm not surprised by that. They got chips in all kinda shit.
KRON:
Without me takin' your answer personal to this next question, do you have a feelin' or opinion about the way that the overall Hip Hop Press in particular, can be more effective and authentic in reporting?
GZA:
First of all, most of the writers can do a lot more research. Not come in and ask a muh'fucka questions if you don't really know shit about him. Or anything about where he come from, or his songs. Or they can be more authentic and effective in that way. They can ask more intriguing questions outside of Hip Hop, like what makes me write the shit I write. Or what makes me do the things I do outside of Hip Hop. It all relates so I don't mean to say outside of it. But not what kind of car you drive, or simple shit. A lot of writers ask the same old simple shit. Like what are your plans, or all this role model shit. All this bullshit. It's all bullshit, Man. Like if two people have beef and one Nigga get killed, he got killed `cause they had beef. You can't throw no event to try to say what are we gonna do to stop this. In the case where the thing that happened to Heavy D's dancer: now that's somethin' we can all come together and say there's plenty of different things we can do. We can make the stage like this, we can fix this, we can stop clownin'. I don't know exactly what happened, but those are things you can work on improving. But when it comes to regular shit, especially when you got people dyin' in this shit. If you not really involved with that, you don't really know what happened. But you got people tryin' to hold conferences and the whole shit is just fake-phony shit. And it goes back to the media and it goes back to the writers with these simple-ass fuckin' questions who don't really know shit. You know, it's all connected Man. A lot of it is fake, but it's gon' be like that. So it's up to the individual themselves to make the change; make your articles more factual. Some people go out and lose they lives to do this shit. You got some writers overseas who Love to do this shit who fuck around and get killed. But they was Real with they shit.
KRON:
Well like how Jerry Springer would do it on a Final Thought tip, I would like to take the opportunity to ask you that intriguing question and say it like John Coltrane; what are some of your favorite things that inspire and motivate your lyrics?
GZA:
Anything. It could be anything. It could be this interview. It could be walkin' to a park takin' those fuckin' pictures, bein' on a rock. I can get motivated and inspired by anything negative or positive. Don't take it in a wrong way; I mean, it could be some negative shit that just help me take somethin' to a whole `notha level just from lookin' at it. I mean. Anything can inspire me depending on what it is, whether it's good or bad. `Cause if it's bad it can inspire me to make sure I don't go nowhere near no shit like that. You know? And if it's good I can only be attracted to it.

<< PREVIOUS PAGE



ABOUT KRONICK
CONTENT © KRONICK MAGAZINE, All Rights Reserved