Wu Tang Clan’s new LP, “A Better Tomorrow,” is finally being released in one week’s time. And rapper RZA is promoting it in an unusual way: by coming out for a meatless lifestyle in a PETA video. “When I think of a better tomorrow, I think of veganism,” he says in the clip above, which contains some disturbing footage from the meat industry. Later he adds:
That “you are what you eat” line was already committed to the annals of hip hop back in 1990, when KRS-One railed against the FDA and the meat industry in “Beef,” which RZA references in the video. If it’s been a while, it’s worth another listen—there’s a lot of complex content wrapped up in that simple rhyme scheme—but the essential message is the same: the way we produce and consume meat does a disservice to the animals and ourselves.
RZA also muses that hip-hop, with its images of excess and overt drug and alcohol references, is slowly becoming more diet and health-conscious. Houston rapper Paul Wall‘s turnaround is a prime example; after losing 100 pounds in 2010, he threw his support behind Quincy Jones III’s Feel Rich organization, which he says aims to make “every ‘hood in the world healthier.”
While RZA isn’t the first rapper with a PSA about lifestyle and wellness, neither is he the first rapper to plug for PETA. In 2012, Wacka Flocka Flame bucked the aggressive machismo of the hip hop world to cuddle puppies on camera and school us on being responsible pet owners.
We’re 100% behind animal-friendly hip hop, especially if its results in more videos of rappers and cute canines sharing a frame. In the meantime, we’ll amuse ourselves with our favorite online game, Snoop Dogg or Real Dog?, and think about eating less meat.
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