Wu-Tang Clan: An Interview with Hell Razah on The Wasteland Magazine

by Pakarchavyadhi · April 17, 2017 – Source: http://www.dystopsy.in

Brain of a hardcore emcee is like a motherboard hardwired to work on high processing capacity. After rearranging & stacking all those words in right order strong enough to make an influence on those who eat it through ears, the head must be boiling in a normal condition. But let’s talk about a man who suffered a brain aneurysm, went into coma & had a near death experience; can the word manufacturing be done in those circumstances? I bet so, hard to believe. Because we know a man, who is still working on that heat inside cranium to the full extent despite what has happened physically. Something that can be done by only a true warrior of the game; as the hiphop world knows him.

We’re talking about none other than Hell Razah, one of the most prolific emcees in Wu-Tang Clan & Sunz of Man. The man who crafted some of the signature verses in the joints of one of the greatest hiphop groups ever. Razah’s lyricism went blending & fusing in with beats of RZA, True Master, 4th Disciple, Bronze Nazareth etc to create instant classics alongside artists who belonged to the same generation & shared the equal caliber; like Tragedy Khadafi, R.A. the Rugged Man, Talib Kweli, MF DOOM, Killah Priest, Ras Kass, Crooked I, Ill Bill, Dead Prez, The Last Poets etc. On the way solidifying his legacy through various Wu-Tang projects, Sunz of Man albums & his solo albums, Razah crossed paths with ill fate; he went into a coma caused by a fatal brain aneurysm. But he came back strongly with a will to live & cross the tough terrain, to regain his health & put albums on shelves with a new perspective of thoughts, which resulted in the evolution of Heaven Razah.

The inspirational story of Razah is being filmed in form of a documentary called “Risen”, directed by Frank Meyer, produced by Paul Harb (The Expendables, Rambo, Rocky Balboa). It features Razah’s family, friends & artists including RZA, Cappadonna, Popa Wu, R.A. the Rugged Man, Ras Kass, Killah Priest, Prodigal Sunn, 60-Second Assassin etc. Being long time followers of Wu-Tang Clan/Sunz of Man, we know how much important it is to write about one of the pillars of golden age hiphop. Thanks to his time & patience, Razah was kind enough to talk to us, even being on a road to recovery. Salute god, Wings up.

Razah, the much awaited autobiographical documentary “Risen” is on the roll. What kind of perspective we’re about to witness in it?; Since there is a lot to talk about from Sunz of Man, Wu-Tang, to your solo albums & your recovery.

Risen is my life story on film prior to my survival from a brain aneurysm that i suffered from in 2010 and let you look into my life struggles going through my recovery to get better from not able to talk or speak too. Speaking again like nothing never happened to me who stood with me, by my side to help me with my recovery today to get better, who was there with me throughout my hardest times of my life and let you see the hard working. It took for me to get myself back to normal again my first stage performance in years ever since my brain surgery.

Early Sunz of Man/Da Last Future started off with an in-depth vision & conscious lyricism, as we listen to joints like Deep in the Water, Psychic Hotline, Elements etc. What brought you, Killah Priest & Prodigal Sunn together?

We all had things in common coming. From different parts of Brooklyn and would study and create new music.

Being with Wu-Tang/Priority was s big deal at that time. Despite the buzz that singles like Soldiers of Darkness, Bloody Choices etc created, “Nothing New Under the Sun” got shelved. What made you look up to make an another album “The Last Shall Be First” under Red Ant, which still remains rare & a cult classic.

We worked really hard on our own independently and learned about things in the music industry.

How did the Wu-Tang sound provided by RZA, True Master, 4th Disciple influence what you wrote? At that point of time everyone was looking upto Wu-Elements. Your sophomore solo “Freedom of Speech” with 4th Disciple solidified the chemistry between you Wu sounds.

The influence from they productions inspired everything, plus made you write more hardbody.

“Renaissance Child” was even more wide. With artists like MF DOOM, RA the Rugged Man, Talib Kweli, Ras Kass, Tragedy Khadafi on board it is regarded as one of your finest. How was it while working with all of them? MF & Rugged are quite some characters. Don’t you think MF DOOM could’ve easily be a part of Wu-Tang comparing the style?

Yes, i learned that from when we did work together for my first solo album, on the song Project Jazz with Talib Kweli that MF DOOM productions for the song on my Renaissance Child album.

“Razah’s Ladder” had a totally unexpected approach. Nobody thought Razah would release an album with uplifting ambience. How did Blue Sky Black Death, Crooked I, Ill Bill & Sunz of Man joined in together to craft that elevating music, which can be truly compared to a ladder? What inspired you to climb from Hell to Heaven through this LP?

We all came up around the same era in hiphop. After i started running my record label, i begin to focus and handle my business more seriously than i ever did before.

“Heaven Razah” was it. It was so homely & earthly, staying as a contradiction to the title. By the vibes, we can clearly say you built a heaven in the grounds of hell. We can clearly see Bronze Nazareth, 4th Disciple & Mathematics understood what you meant to say. Can this album be referred as a destination where you as an artist wanted to be?

The writing i did for the Heaven Razah album project was the hardest work i did ever on a album and was the most spiritual side of me and my music content.

Do you think the positive approach that you achieved as Heaven Razah helped you to overcome a medical condition which could’ve been worse? Or was it the will to say more through your records?

It helped me to see things clearly from another perspective. It was premonitions i was having in my music on my albums before anything ever happened.

As a great inspiration to the fans & artists worldwide, what does Heaven Razah have to say about hiphop saving lives, from personal experiences?

Hiphop have major influence on your lifestyle. So be careful with what you feed your mind and entertain your spirit with these days. It will have some impacts on your future reality in life afterward.