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

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.

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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.

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