The Moment: RZA, Rings
RZA photographed outside of MTV Studios in 1996.
The afternoon I shot RZA Rings, De La Soul & Wutang Clan were scheduled to tape a live performance at one of MTV’s studio near 43rd St/9th Ave in Manhattan. The two groups were performing their songs that were on the soundtrack of Red Hot + Cool: America is Dying Slowly.
The Photographed Moment
At the time, 1996, WuTang Clan was big, but they weren’t yet iconic. Meanwhile, De La Soul was by then a legendary group, having been been out since 1988, still putting out good music.
By that time WuTang Clan dropped their album, “Enter the 36 Chambers,” various members of the group had released solo projects: Method Man, Ol’ Dirty, Raekwon & Ghostface, and RZA, the mastermind behind WuTang, was in the group Grave Diggers (with Prince Paul), and soon after would be releasing his solo record as Bobby Digital.
The afternoon of the taping at MTV studios I remember hanging out on the sidewalk by the entrance with Pos (De La Soul) and his daughter while he waited for the other members of the group to arrive. Shortly after, all the members of De La Soul arrived and went inside.
A few minutes later, RZA walked up the sidewalk. I remember seeing the rings on his hand from a distance. As RZA approached the MTV studio doors, I stood in the sidewalk, greeted RZA with “Peace,” and asked him if I could take a picture of his rings.
He raised his fist to show the pointed rings, held a pose. I manually focused my camera, took two pictures and thanked him for the opportunity.