Kyle T. Webster

In a lot of the interviews for the first Bobby Digital record, you talked about how you were really blacked out on that character for a long time, that you were really lost in it. Do you feel like that's been the case with the subsequent Bobby Digital records, or do you feel like you have a different relationship to that persona now?

Try Pick Up Farmers Markets - We’re on a mission to get more food, from more farmers, to more people.
Plan Ahead. Prepay. Pick Up. Locations in Columbia City, U District, Capitol Hill, & West Seattle.

I think I have more concise control of the character now. I always used the character as an outlet of other energies, you know what I mean? With the first Bobby Digital album I always talked about Robert De Niro—how he could be an actor in one movie and be the Godfather, the next movie he's a fucking psychopathic killer, na' mean? Cape Fear. I can use the character at will, and I think that's a good thing for me, but I think it's gotten better over time. I think in the beginning he was yellin' and flippin' and now he has more control over it.

I'll give you a little story about the [new] record [Digi Snacks]. It starts off with a little kid reading a scroll about a virtuous scientist in the 21st century experimenting with a potion called "Digital Elixir." And this transforms him into a powerful being, like a Jekyll and Hyde sort of thing. He struggles with the good and evil inside of himself, while saving the lives of others. Another classic tale of the dangers and benefits of drugs, [laughs] you know what I'm saying? And that's what it's all about. It's like, drugs are dangerous, and they're beneficiary. The same thing you use to kill a headache is the same shit niggas go to party with, which is fucking 'caine, na' mean? Codeine, cocaine, and all that shit, so there's a danger to it, and there's a benefit to it.

Do you feel like Bobby Digital is a format in which you're looking at the more serious value of things like Marvel Comics—things that people might be real deep on as kids and then come to greater understandings of later in life?

Definitely, definitely. Marvel, that's a great example because some of the shit in Marvel Comics came to life and shit. And the stuff that didn't come to life still resonated so much in the thread of our society that you got movies making $250 million, $300 million in a couple of months, based on childhood fantasies and childhood ideas, you know what I mean?

I was reading something yesterday—my son was actually reading it to me, looking at the news, and he comes across a story about Obama. First, he's looking at the entertainment news: He came across a story about Iron Man and Indiana Jones, and how they made $200 million or something like that in a couple of weeks. And then he went on to a story that said in the last 17 months, John McCain's campaign only raised $117 million; meanwhile, Obama's campaign had raised about $267 million in the last 16 months, which is less time, more money. That's big, right? Yeah, but look at this—fucking Indiana Jones made that in three weeks! Iron Man did it in a month! So it's like, yo, who's the real stars and powers and minds and movers of our fucking world, na' mean?

Do you think your whole career as solo recording dude since Wu-Tang blew up is always going to have something to do with Bobby Digital, that that character will always be an element?

Yeah, I think so, because like I said the character is a strange mixture of reality and fiction. The fiction is just from my comic-book background, my martial-arts background, science fiction, you know, so I used those elements for entertainment in my music and my lyrics. But the nonfiction of it is that, yo, I struggle like this in life. I struggle with certain decisions, certain mentalities. And I know that there's a lot of shit that, you know, I did wrong, and there's a lot of shit that I missed from not doing wrong.

Like, for me, being the RZA and being the Wu-Tang Abbot and being a father-figure type of individual, and not only for the Clan but for the fans—how I look doing some stupid shit? Like, I remember one day I was in Vegas with Raekwon, we was all in Vegas and this was like right after '97, so it's one of the first years I went outside, 'cause I didn't come outside for years, na' mean? So I was acting crazy, partying my ass off, grabbing bitches' asses, jumping onstage, took the mic from some other performer nigga, running through the crowd, grabbing liquor—I just was having a great old time, right? [Laughs] I mean, that night we wind up having girls in the hotel room, I remember having a blanket wrapped around me buck naked, you know what I mean, not giving a fuck, yo. And I'll never forget this time in Vegas because I was totally freaked out wild and Raekwon was like, "Yo, god, you can't be acting like that. You the Abbot! You can't be acting like that. You can't do that." Like I can't do that, and he's right, I can't do that. But I can do it, but I can't do it, because the Abbot can't do it.

Support The Stranger

But Bobby can do it, and so Bobby Digital was born. This was all the process of him being born, so about '98, '99, he came. Because, yo, I can't say this or act like this as RZA, so I got to put a character on it now. recommended

RZA as Bobby Digital plays Tues June 24, Showbox Sodo, 8 pm, $20 adv/$25 DOS, all ages. With Stone Mecca and the Saturday Knights.

Get Your Tickets To Another Savage Love Livestream!
Back by popular demand, Dan answers your burning relationship questions live on Zoom!