RZA has responded to criticism over his comments regarding police brutality.
RZA's recent interview with Bloomberg resulted in an uproar on social media, with many taking issue with what sounded like an argument for black men to "clean up" their look in order to avoid harassment. An excerpt from the rapper's statement can be found below.
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. 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.
The Wu-Tang leader has become aware of the criticism, and has decided to speak out about it on Twitter. While he makes it clear that does not "condone police brutality or any form of injustice and oppression," he -- for the most part -- sticks by his statements about how black men should dress. "I'm not condemning the kids for their garments. We live we should learn and evolve. When are we men at 21 or 41?... Yea yea mon. Enough Rza badgering for the day. Add a button up shirt to your wardrobe."
He wraps it up by declaring that "Black Lives Matter," but then uses the controversial phrase "All Lives Matter," quoting his words from the Bloomberg interview.
View his tweets below.
How can a original black man be a coon &sell out? You best look deep into my words &make an assessment. Do you still think pork is healthy?— RZA! (@RZA) January 8, 2016
I don't expect agreement with everything I say. I speak honestly from my own perspective &evaluation from my space time experience.— RZA! (@RZA) January 8, 2016
I'm not condemning the kids for their garments. We live we should learn and evolve. When are we men at 21 or 41?— RZA! (@RZA) January 8, 2016
Yea yea mon. Enough Rza badgering for the day. Add a button up shirt to your wardrobe.— RZA! (@RZA) January 8, 2016
"Of course Black lives matter.. All lives matter"— RZA! (@RZA) January 8, 2016