Kanye West produced much of his full-length collaboration with Jay-Z, Watch the Throne, by himself – but he reached out to old-school vets such as Q-Tip and RZA for a few key assists. "I'm really honored to be a part of the project," RZA, who produced the grimy "New Day," tells Rolling Stone. "These two are obviously very capable in their own right, so to include me in this classic project is a testament of how much respect we share for one another."
RZA was in China on the set of The Man With the Iron Fists, the Russell Crowe-starring martial arts movie he's directing, when he heard from West last December. "Kanye asked me to send tracks while they were in Australia," says the Wu-Tang Clan master. "I just thought I would send some shit that would be rugged. I know they can find the poppy, hip-hop places, but I wanted to send them some real edgy shit. Apparently they thought they were great – Kanye said, 'Send some more of that Wu shit!'"
While RZA hasn't yet heard the completed Watch the Throne (due August 8th), his expectations are high. "In the past, when Jay-Z did Best of Both Worlds with R. Kelly, I thought it was a great album but the campaign went south because of personalities," he says. "With this project, it's the best of many worlds. These two guys have a great chemistry and a great relationship. I'm excited."