Bobby Digital in Stereo

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Bobby Digital in Stereo is the debut studio album by American rapper and producer RZA. It was released on November 24, 1998, and was certified Gold on February 5, 1999, by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA). It is a well-received experimental album that is based on a story featuring him rhyming as a hedonistic, fun-loving alter-ego named Bobby Digital and showcasing a unique keyboard-driven sound (rather than samples) that RZA called digital orchestra, receiving mostly positive, though somewhat mixed, reviews.

Bobby Digital in Stereo
RZA as Bobby Digital in Stereo.png
Studio album by
RZA as Bobby Digital
ReleasedNovember 24, 1998
Recorded1997–1998
GenreHip hop
Length67:57
LabelGee Street, V2, BMG Records
ProducerRZA, Inspectah Deck, King Tech
RZA chronology
Ooh I Love You Rakeem
(1991)
Bobby Digital in Stereo
(1998)
Ghost Dog: The Way of the Samurai (soundtrack)
(1999)
Professional ratings
Review scores
SourceRating
AllMusic4/5 stars[1]
Entertainment WeeklyB[2]
NME6/10 stars[3]
Pitchfork Media(2.9/10)[4]
Rolling Stone4/5 stars[5]
The Source3.5/5 stars[6]
Stylus(favorable)[7]

BackgroundEdit

He explained the origins of Bobby Digital, saying:

It came from a really good bag of weed one day, right? I was in my studio. My birth name is Bobby Diggs. So at the time, creatively, I felt like I was in a digital frame. I felt like I was in high-speed, where everything was digital, in numbers, mathematics. I said to myself at the same time that as Bobby Digital, I could use a character to describe some of the earlier days of my own life. Partying, bullshitting, going crazy, chasing women, taking drugs. At the same time, I would mix in my love for comic books. It was a mixture of fiction and reality together to make a character I thought would be entertaining, and I could utilize that character to get fans into me as an MC, as a lyricist, and also following the path of my life. It's like pre-RZA. It's what The RZA struggles not to be, in a way, you know what I mean?[8]

MusicEdit

Lyrical contentEdit

On the pseudonym and character of Bobby Digital, which dominated the album's lyrics, RZA later stated:

I had to live in a way that I don't really live...I got to dip my weed in honey, and I had mad bitches around me. I probably fucked with 50 bitches this year...women are queens. But if they don't know that themselves, Bobby will prey on them. He'll treat them like bitches if they don't realize that they're queens. I had to get Bobby out of me, or else I'd be emotionally unbalanced. Bobby Digital is just me feeling my nuts. RZA is my heart.[9]

— RZA

ProductionEdit

The sound of the album is largely keyboard-driven, but there are still samples. On the sound of Bobby Digital, RZA stated:

I learned how to play chords and progress the chords—I got together at least 16 or 17 different keyboards for this album. I always liked orchestras and strings, so I composed a digital orchestra.[10]

— RZA

Track listingEdit

Track listing information is taken from the official liner notes.[11] Tracks 1-17 are Bobby Digital songs, while tracks 18-21 are RZA songs.

In Stereo
No.TitleWriter(s)Producer(s)Length
1."Intro"RZA0:36
2."B.O.B.B.Y."
  • Robert Diggs
RZA5:23
3."Unspoken Word"
  • Robert Diggs
RZA4:44
4."Slow Grind African"
  • Robert Diggs
RZA1:02
5."Airwaves"
  • Robert Diggs
King Tech1:47
6."Love Jones" (with Angel Cake)
  • Robert Diggs
  • Rodney Mathews
RZA4:31
7."N.Y.C. Everything" (with Method Man)
RZA4:17
8."Mantis" (with Masta Killa and Tekitha)RZA3:33
9."Slow Grind French"
  • Robert Diggs
RZA0:46
10."Holocaust (Silkworm)" (with Ghostface Killah, Holocaust, Dr. Doom and Ms. Roxy)RZA5:15
11."Terrorist" (Killarmy and Black Knights)RZA3:25
12."Bobby Did It (Spanish Fly)" (with Ghostface Killah, Islord, Royal Fam, Jamie Sommers and Ndira)
RZA4:21
13."Handwriting On The Wall" (featuring RZA, Ms. Roxy and Ras Kass)
  • Robert Diggs
RZA1:39
14."Kiss Of A Black Widow" (with Wu-Tang Clan and Angel Cake)Inspectah Deck2:47
15."Slow Grind Italian"
  • Robert Diggs
RZA1:01
16."My Lovin' Is Digi" (with Ms. Roxy and Force MDs)
  • Robert Diggs
  • Tekitha Washington
  • Roland Francis
RZA4:28
17."Domestic Violence" (with U-God, Jamie Sommers, Ms. Roxy and Tiffany)
  • Robert Diggs
RZA5:21
18."Project Talk" (featuring Baretta Nine)
  • Robert Diggs
RZA1:46
19."Lab Drunk"
  • Robert Diggs
RZA3:34
20."Fuck What You Think" (with 9th Prince and Islord of Killarmy)
RZA3:12
21."Daily Routine" (with Baretta Nine of Killarmy)
RZA4:23
Total length:67:51
In Stereo – Japanese release[12]
No.TitleWriter(s)Producer(s)Length
1."B.O.B.B.Y."
  • Robert Diggs
RZA5:50
2."Unspoken Word"
  • Robert Diggs
RZA4:46
3."Airwaves"
  • Robert Diggs
King Tech1:51
4."Love Jones" (with Angel Cake)
  • Robert Diggs
  • Rodney Mathews
RZA4:35
5."N.Y.C. Everything" (with Method Man)
  • Robert Diggs
  • Clifford Smith
RZA4:23
6."Mantis" (with Masta Killa and Tekitha)
  • Robert Diggs
  • Elgin Turner
  • Tekitha Washington
RZA3:38
7."Holocaust (Silkworm)" (with Ghostface Killah, Holocaust, Dr. Doom and Ms. Roxy)
  • Robert Diggs
  • Anthony Brown
  • Dante Cunningham
  • Dennis Coles
RZA5:16
8."Terrorist" (Killarmy and Black Knights)
  • Robert Diggs
  • Domingo Del Valle
  • Jeryl Grant
RZA4:10
9."Bobby Did It (Spanish Fly)" (with Ghostface Killah, Islord, Royal Fam, Jamie Sommers and Ndira)
  • Robert Diggs
  • Dennis Coles
  • Rodney Stevenson
  • Tonia Shivers
  • Timothy Drayton
RZA4:24
10."Kiss Of A Black Widow" (with Wu-Tang Clan and Angel Cake)
  • Robert Diggs
  • Adrian Utley
  • Beth Gibbons
  • Geoff Barrow
  • Jason Hunter
  • Russel Jones
Inspectah Deck2:50
11."Do You Here The Bells (9 Minute Free Style)"
  • Robert Diggs
RZA11:26
12."Project Talk" (featuring Baretta Nine)
  • Robert Diggs
RZA1:47
13."Lab Drunk"
  • Robert Diggs
RZA4:18
14."Fuck What You Think" (with 9th Prince and Islord of Killarmy)
  • Robert Diggs
  • Rodney Stevenson
  • Terrance Hamlin
RZA3:13
15."Daily Routine" (with Baretta Nine of Killarmy)
  • Robert Diggs
  • Samuel Murray
RZA4:23
16."Domestic Violence" (with U-God, Jamie Sommers, Ms. Roxy and Tiffany)
  • Robert Diggs
RZA5:19
Total length:72:09

Notes

  • "Intro" contains vocals by Frank "Foxy" Niedlich.
  • "Slow Grind African" contains vocals by Lisa I'Anson.
  • "Love Jones" is erroneously credited to King Tech, who produced "Airwaves".
  • "Slow Grind French" contains vocals by Victorie Heathcole.
  • "Kiss Of A Black Widow" contains raps by Ol' Dirty Bastard, not the entire Wu-Tang Clan.
  • "Slow Grind Italian" contains vocals by Lorenza Calamanderi.
  • "Do You Here The Bells" is listed as Special Bonus Track For Japan Only.

Sample list

  • "Love Jones" contains a sample of "Star Children" performed by Mighty Ryeders.
  • "Kiss Of A Black Widow" contains a sample of "Over" performed by Portishead.
  • "My Lovin' Is Digi" contains a sample of "It Ain't Easy" performed by Syl Johnson.

PersonnelEdit

  • Barney Chase – Engineer, Mixing
  • Gabe Chiesa – Engineer
  • Tom Coyne – Mastering
  • Inspectah – Producer
  • King Tech – Producer, Engineer, Mixing
  • Nolan "Dr. No" Moffitte – Engineer, Mixing
  • Carl Nappa – Mixing
  • Tony Prendatt – Engineer, Mixing
  • RZA – Producer, Engineer, Mixing
  • Miles Showell – Mastering, Assembly

ChartsEdit

CertificationsEdit

Region Certification Certified units/sales
United States (RIAA)[16] Gold 500,000^

^ Shipments figures based on certification alone.

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ Keith Farley (1998-11-16). "RZA as Bobby Digital in Stereo - RZA | Songs, Reviews, Credits". AllMusic. Retrieved 2015-09-13.
  2. ^ Browne, David (1998-12-18). "Tim's Bio: From the Motion Picture: ''Life From Da Bassment''". EW.com. Retrieved 2015-09-13.
  3. ^ Nme.Com (2005-09-12). "NME Reviews - RZA : Bobby Digital In Stereo". Nme.Com. Retrieved 2015-09-13.
  4. ^ "RZA: Bobby Digital In Stereo: Pitchfork Review". Web.archive.org. Archived from the original on August 28, 2001. Retrieved 2015-09-13.
  5. ^ Hudak, Joseph. "Album Reviews, Ratings, and Best New Albums". Rolling Stone. Retrieved 2015-09-13.
  6. ^ "Music: RZA As Bobby Digital in Stereo (CD) by RZA". Tower.com. 1998-11-24. Retrieved 2015-09-13.
  7. ^ Stylus
  8. ^ "RZA interview with The Onion A.V. Club :: news articles at Wu-Tang Corp. - The Official Site of the Wu-Tang Clan". Wutang-corp.com. 2003-11-19. Retrieved 2012-01-16.
  9. ^ "wuforever.com". wuforever.com. Retrieved 2012-01-16.
  10. ^ "wuforever.com". wuforever.com. Retrieved 2015-09-13.
  11. ^ In Stereo (booklet). RZA as Bobby Digital. Gee Street/V2/BMG Records. 1998. 32521.CS1 maint: others (link)
  12. ^ In Stereo (booklet). RZA as Bobby Digital. Gee Street/V2/BMG Records. 1998. V2CI 0018.CS1 maint: others (link)
  13. ^ "RZA Chart History (Billboard 200)". Billboard. Retrieved October 23, 2014.
  14. ^ "RZA Chart History (Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums)". Billboard. Retrieved October 23, 2014.
  15. ^ "Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums – Year-End 1999". Billboard. Retrieved August 21, 2020.
  16. ^ "American album certifications – RZA – Bobby Digital in Stereo". Recording Industry Association of America. If necessary, click Advanced, then click Format, then select Album, then click SEARCH. 

External linksEdit