RZA, Odadjian, Kinetic 9, Burke join forces


NEW YORK -- Wu-Tang Clan founder RZA, System of a Down bassist Shavo Odadjian, Kinetic 9 (aka Beretta 9 from Killarmy) and up-and-coming Chicago rapper Reverend William Burke have formed the new group Achozen. The hip-hop/rock hybrid recently finished recording a self-titled debut album that is set to be released in the summer on Shavo's online digital label, urSESSION.

While RZA, Burke and Kinetic handle most of the vocals and lyrics, George Clinton, Red Hot Chili Peppers' John Frusciante, Wu-Tang affiliate Killah Priest, Wu-Tang founding member GZA, emcee Sick Jacken from Psycho Realm, and rapper Leggezin Fin also appear on the album.

"Shavo is my neighbor, and we used to hang out in the studio. We realized it was unique that even though we had different backgrounds, we had so much in common with our family, our commitment, our thoughts and the suffering of our people," RZA said, explaining how Achozen came together. "So, we teamed up years ago and have been working on the project for two years. It's unlike anything else I've ever done."

According to RZA, Achozen is a "heavy hip-hop" album that touches on topics such as genocide and politics. Most of the production on the set was done by Odadjian, with the exception of two samples. Odadjian also plays instruments throughout, including bass and sitar.

The first single, "Deuces," celebrates Odadjian's April 22 birthday and "the day my life changed and I became a positive person, which is also April 22nd," RZA said. The song will premiere on urSESSION.com on Tuesday at 4:22 p.m. PT.

Achozen plans to embark on a nationwide tour this year in support of the album.

In related news, RZA and Chesspark.com have just introduced WuChess.com, an online community where hip-hop fans who love chess compete in live games with other chess players.

While an official launch is expected to take place in coming weeks, those interested in joining the WuChess.com community can preregister now and join later for an unspecified yearly fee. A portion of the revenue will be donated to charities including the Hip-Hop Chess Federation, which counts RZA as a member.

RZA said that the new site is "a chance to have fun and learn as you go."

In addition to playing online, members will get exclusive invitations to a biannual chess-playing event to be held in a to-be-announced location later this year.