From Publishers Weekly
This hodgepodge of memoir, spiritual advice and poetry is a sincere attempt by the RZA, Wu Tang Clan founder and producer, to impart his accumulated life wisdom through the lens of hip-hop and idiosyncratic personal religion. To this end, the book opens with a series of paragraphs defining wisdom (Wisdom is woman, Woman is the word) and continues with the full Webster's Dictionary definition of wisdom. Repetition and generalization are problems, but serious fans of the Wu-Tang Clan, who surely are all of the potential readers for this book, will find some interesting stories of the RZA's early days through some diligent skimming. He writes about saving Method Man's life at the scene of a drug deal gone bad on Staten Island, the emotional connections shared in the projects over viewings of kung-fu movies and the marathon home production sessions during which he created the backing tracks for years' worth of albums for his cohorts. The spiritual message of the book can be hard to parse: the RZA embraces 5 Percent Nation Muslim teachings as well as Zen Buddhism—the latter is the basis for a mind-numbing section of Hip-Hop Koans that includes Don't hate the player; hate the game. Chess tips and a case for vegetarianism also factor into this singular work. (Oct.)
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"RZA is a towering artist and deep thinker who has much to teach us. I salute his courageous vision and compassionate witness-as manifest in this book and his life!"
"I congratulate the world for this beautiful gift, wisdom from the life and travels of RZA, wisdom I truly believe draws from the deepest pools of human thought and spirit...When a wise monk passes away, the monastery builds a pagoda in his memory. Some pagodas get one floor, some get two or three. But if the man was known as the wisest and most enlightened of all monks, his pagoda gets seven. I believe the seven pillars of wisdom in this book are like the seven floors of an exalted monk's pagoda. They represent the wisdom, knowledge, and enlightenment of a soul that has never stopped training, never stopped learning."
-Sifu Shi Yan Ming, thirty-fourth generation Shaolin Temple warrior monk
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