Watch RZA's 'Parks and Recreation' Screen Test in a Funny or Die Video With Questlove - Rolling Stone
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Watch RZA’s ‘Parks and Rec’ Screen Test

In a Funny or Die video, the Roots’ Questlove sees a connection between Wu-Tang Clan and TV show

Part-time television critic Questlove – who works his day gig playing in the Roots on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon – recently spotted a parallel between another show on his network, Parks and Recreation, and one of his favorite groups, the Wu-Tang Clan. In a new Funny or Die bit, “?uestlove on: Television,” the drummer and bandleader explained, “Both Wu-Tang and Parks are true ensembles.” So, curious, he went to NBC’s archives and found “some very interesting archival footage of screen tests done by the producers of Parks and Rec for the character of Leslie Knope (played on the show by Amy Poehler).” As satirically revised fate would have it, RZA wanted the role.

A Peek at Pawnee: Behind the Scenes of ‘Parks and Recreation’

A brief clip of the screen test shows RZA holding hands with actress Rashida Jones in a scene with them both saying, “girl power.” When it was done, Jones says, “Wow, RZA, that was amazing.”

The rapper said, “I was gonna kiss you and shit, but I didn’t wanna fuck it all. . .”

“No, that wouldn’t have been right,” Jones countered.

“Girls kiss, no shit. . .” he tried, but apparently there was a bigger problem looming. “The character of Leslie Knope is a 34-year-old woman from Indiana,” a producer tells RZA, “And you are a six-foot, two-inch tall black guy who is the leader of the Wu-Tang Clan.” Needless to say, RZA fights for the role and in walks Poehler for a dramatic interchange between the two.

RZA, of course, is no stranger to dramatic interchanges. On Thursday, another Wu member, Raekwon, blasted the producer in an interview with Rolling Stone. “RZA’s the type of dude where, in the Nineties, he ruled,” Raekwon said. “Now it’s a new day. You’re not attached no more. It’s like being a coach and you won rings back in the day, but now your team is in ninth place. It’s time for a new fucking game plan. I sit here with integrity all the time.” Raekwon also said he was “on strike” and would not appear on the forthcoming Wu-Tang album, A Better Tomorrow.

In the meantime, RZA has been flaunting a Wu-Tang album The Wu – Once Upon a Time in Shaolin, of which he’s selling only one copy. In early April, he claimed that he had gotten a $5 million bid for the extravagant release.


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