A lot of times...the the purest reality comes from something presented as fiction. Some old myths and old stories have reality inside them. They drop deep truth you can't get in a news report or a history book.
For me, the Bible was the first thing that got me interested in finding the real truth in stories. When I was little, I spent a few years down South, where I was raised Baptist. I went to church, learned about Jesus. But when I got to be about seven, I moved back to Brooklyn, and my mother gave me a kids' version of Bible stories. I must have read that over fifty times. It sparked something in me.
The Old Testament is where all the magic happens. Joseph, Moses, Noah - they're all magical stories. But it's also about murders, wars, violence - it's real. They're all real stories about a couple of mighty niggas against a lot of odds.
Right away, I was sucked in. Solomon, how he's going to cut the baby in half to solve a dispute? Samson, how his hair was the source of his strength? When I read about Samson, I wanted braids because I felt I had something in common with him. As a man, I realize it wasn't really his hair; it was what it represented. It was his true self.
As I get older, I read the Bible and I get something different out of it each time. I read it now and I think about cities that were destroyed by falling rocks, like Sodom and Gomorrah. That's a funny story. They were so fucked up that shit had to fall from the sky on these niggas.
- The RZA (excerpted from The Wu-Tang Manual)