At a Yoko Ono concert back in 2010, the RZA joined her on stage to silently play chess for a few minutes and then perform a new song “Seed of Joy/Life is a Struggle.” It starts out well enough, with the band playing a beat that is kind of like a rockier version of the old Wu-Tang sound and RZA rapping from the perspective of a sperm. It’s better than it sounds. The lyrics actually sound like something that could have been on the second half of Birth of a Prince. Ono doesn’t distract too much with her howling during the verses, and she sounds great during the chorus.
Unfortunately, things go off the rails around the time that RZA, rapping from the perspective of a baby being born, dances in a way that a woman giving birth while standing up would and Ono uses her trademark wail to stand in for the woman in labor that RZA is rapping about. I actually laughed out loud when RZA started yelling “push!” repeatedly. And while RZA’s old yell flow from the Enter the Wu-Tang/6 Feet Deep days is sorely missed, it just kind of sounds forced when he’s using it as a dust-free 41 year old.
The duo just posted video of the song online to promote the release of the single, the proceeds of which will go to the Staten Island Children’s Literary Society. I haven’t heard a single Yoko Ono album since her excellent 1971 double LP Fly, but I’ll be checking for her new album Take Me to the Land of Hell which is due out next week. RZA is allegedly hard at work on the Wu-Tang reunion album and a bunch of other albums and films that will probably never come out.