RZA is one of the founding members of hip-hop collective the Wu Tang Clan. These days, he pays the bills by composing scores for movies and TV shows.
Born Robert Diggs in Brownsville to a family of 11 kids, RZA spent his childhood skipping school and hanging out in Times Square watching Kung Fu movies. He recorded his first album in the early '90s as part of the rap group All In Together Now, which he formed with two cousins, the late Ol' Dirty Bastard (Russell Jones) and Genius/GZA (Gary Grice). After recording a solo album under the moniker Prince Rakeem in 1991, RZA got back together with ODB and GZA and added another half-dozen members—including Method Man and Ghostface Killah—to form the Wu Tang Clan. Combining martial arts movie imagery and heavy sampling, the group released the influential Enter the Wu Tang (36 Chambers) in 1993, with RZA serving as the collective's quasi-general manager—although when ODB died of a drug overdose in 2004, the group's output naturally slowed.
RZA has produced several solo albums, including 1998's Bobby Digital in Stereo, which he released under the alter-ego Bobby Digital. He's also composed music for films, including Jim Jarmusch's Ghost Dog, Quentin Tarantino's Kill Bill films, and Afro Samurai, an anime series on Spike TV starring Samuel L. Jackson. RZA's acted in a few other movies, too: He had tiny parts in Derailed, the silver screen version of Miami Vice, and American Gangster. [Image via Getty]