Hip-hop god RZA, has always had an infatuation with consciousness. Hence, that is most likely why he is responsible for some of the genre’s most influential and impactful material. RZA has exemplified his strong interest in the game of chess from creating songs like the 1993 release “Da Mystery of Chessboxin” accompanied by very vivid and precise visuals that pinpoint his interest, to the 2012 Liquid Swords special edition chess set bundle. To expose his interest even further, RZA gave an extremely generous donation to the Hip-Hop Chess Federation (HHCF). The donation fortified the development of the program that will help teach the mind-challenging game to juvenile inmates. RZA’s involvement with the organization surpassed the donation; he also serves a member of the board.
Before the donation, speaking to over 400 students in the St. Louis area (most of which reside in Ferguson) Bobby Digital took the time to play chess with some of the incarcerated youth. Feeling inspired, RZA made the donation directly to the founder of HHCF to develop a program that will help the youth of St. Louis.
RZA spoke to those gathered in a juvenile hall saying, “Y’all are in here for not controlling your energy, yo.” He related to them by acknowledging his flaws, his mistakes at an early age, and growing up in a rough neighborhood in New York City. He told the students that his ability to indulge in literature and chess allowed him to be more conscious of his actions. His new interest offered a more developed sense of self-reflection and better decision-making skills.
RZA’s involvement with HHCF is a powerful combination to create consciousness amongst troubled youth, in better decision making. With RZA’s position of power, you can only perceive it as inspiration. You aspire to be in the position of your role models, and the interests of role models become your interests.The Hip-Hop Chess Federation couldn’t have asked for a more effective co-sign.
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