Jay-Z Once Told RZA He Inspired "The Blueprint," The Wu-Tang Clan Legend Says

The Wu and the Roc are some of the most important pillars of New York hip-hop; how could they not be linked in some way?

BYGabriel Bras Nevares
RZA Jay Z Inspired The Blueprint

Rihanna and A$AP Rocky aren't the only rap-adjacent stars who have honored the great RZA. Moreover, the Wu-Tang Clan legend sat down for an interview with Rolling Stone on Monday (August 7) and revealed quite the interesting story. Apparently, fellow New York hip-hop titan Jay-Z once told him that he was the inspiration for his classic album The Blueprint. Furthermore, the 54-year-old was answering a question about whether he would do anything different when looking back at his career. While this is a commendable and important point of inspiration, it's also a small part of his massive artistic legacy; what could he have changed?

"I think that what I did was necessary,” RZA expressed, "I think that it was ordained. One day, Jay-Z told me, 'Yo, I got [the idea for] The Blueprint from you.' At that time, I was headed to Hollywood already. Now, here’s a path, here’s a way it can work. And it continued to work in different regions of the country and with different crews." The Brownsville-born MC and producer certainly isn't wrong in having paved a way for future rappers. After all, 36 Chambers alone was impactful and boundary-pushing enough to cement the Wu as one of the all-time groups in the genre.

Read More: Joey Bada$$ Reveals How Meeting With Jay-Z Changed His Life

Jay-Z With Wu-Tang's Own Ghostface Killah

Jay-Z and Ghostface Killah during Ne-Yo Album Pre-Release Party - February 27, 2006 at Hiro in New York City, New York, United States. (Photo by Johnny Nunez/WireImage/Getty Images)

In addition, it shouldn't be too surprising that Hov feels inspired by RZA, either as a music mogul in his own right or as an avid Wu-Tang Clan listener. For example, earlier this year at the Grammys, Jay-Z passionately rapped along to Method Man's performance of his self-titled track. That was for the celebration of hip-hop's 50th anniversary that took place at the awards ceremony, and it made for an incredible moment. Whenever you see MCs become fans again, it's always a wholesome treat.

Meanwhile, many would argue that the Roc Nation billionaire would be nothing without the Wu's contributions. Even though they're decidedly different strains of East Coast rap, there's a hardcore and street-oriented lineage that can't fall under the radar. Regardless, they're both incredibly important, and will probably inspire each other for years to come. For more news and the latest updates on the RZA and Jay-Z, log back into HNHH.

Read More: RZA Net Worth 2023: What Is The Wu-Tang Legend Worth?


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About The Author
Gabriel Bras Nevares is a music and pop culture news writer for HotNewHipHop. He started in 2022 as a weekend writer and, since joining the team full-time, has developed a strong knowledge in hip-hop news and releases. Whether it’s regular coverage or occasional interviews and album reviews, he continues to search for the most relevant news for his audience and find the best new releases in the genre. What excites him the most is finding pop culture stories of interest, as well as a deeper passion for the art form of hip-hop and its contemporary output. Specifically, Gabriel enjoys the fringes of rap music: the experimental, boundary-pushing, and raw alternatives to the mainstream sound. As a proud native of San Juan, Puerto Rico, he also stays up-to-date with the archipelago’s local scene and its biggest musical exponents in reggaetón, salsa, indie, and beyond. Before working at HotNewHipHop, Gabriel produced multiple short documentaries, artist interviews, venue spotlights, and audio podcasts on a variety of genres and musical figures. Hardcore punk and Go-go music defined much of his coverage during his time at the George Washington University in D.C. His favorite hip-hop artists working today are Tyler, The Creator, Boldy James, JPEGMAFIA, and Earl Sweatshirt.