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.
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