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04 Jan 2024

RZA Makes History: First Hip-Hop Artist to Receive 2024 NAMM TEC Innovation Award

by | News



Renowned hip-hop producer and Wu-Tang Clan visionary RZA, also known as Robert Diggs, is set to make history as the first hip-hop artist to receive the prestigious TEC Innovation Award at the 2024 NAMM TEC Awards. The ceremony, recognizing excellence in the creative application of recording technology, will take place on January 27 at The NAMM Show in Anaheim, California.


NAMM President and CEO John Mlynczak lauds RZA's "formidable body of work and talent" in a statement, highlighting the artist's enduring impact on music that transcends the boundaries of hip-hop. The TEC Innovation Award, formerly the NAMM TEC Les Paul Innovation Award, has previously honored luminaries like Jimmy Jam & Terry Lewis, Stevie Wonder, and Herbie Hancock.


RZA, a trailblazer in both culture and hip-hop, is celebrated for crafting Wu-Tang Clan's distinctive sound characterized by stark beats and samples drawn from vintage soul records and kung fu movies. The group stormed onto the music scene in 1993 with "Enter the Wu-Tang (36 Chambers)," an album lauded by Rolling Stone as the 27th greatest of all time. Their debut featured the iconic track "C.R.E.A.M.," ranked by the magazine as the best East Coast hip-hop song.



Beyond Wu-Tang Clan, RZA has left an indelible mark on the entertainment industry. He scored Jim Jarmusch's 1999 film "Ghost Dog: The Way of the Samurai" and orchestrated the soundtracks for Quentin Tarantino's "Kill Bill Vol. 1" and "Kill Bill Vol. 2." In the realm of television, he is an executive producer and director for the Hulu series "Wu-Tang: An American Saga." 


With over 40 million global album sales, Wu-Tang Clan's influence endures, and RZA's creative prowess extends into film, television, and comedy. The artist's achievements are recognized not only within the hip-hop genre but resonate across diverse musical landscapes.  In a distinctive and unexpected form of recognition, RZA experienced a flattering moment last year when he discovered that Rihanna and A$AP Rocky chose to name their first-born son after him.



The 39th annual TEC Awards, presented by NAMM, will celebrate the best in professional audio and sound production at The NAMM Show, the world's largest music trade show. RZA's historic recognition reflects his lasting impact on the music industry, making him a deserving recipient of the TEC Innovation Award.