By Kristina Feliciano
Updated October 24, 2003 at 04:00 AM EDT

WHY HIM His Wu-Tang Clan was ahead of its time.

WHY NOW Kill Bill wouldn’t be as cutting-edge cool without his tracks.

”When it rains, boy, get wet.” That’s the advice Quincy Jones gave the RZA back in 1997, when the Wu-Tang Clan rapper and producer discovered that he was more fiscally fit than he realized. ”I didn’t know I had millions of dollars,” says the RZA, who had spent five hermitlike years ”in the basement” working on music with the likes of Bjork and U2. So, remembering Jones’ use-it-while-you-got-it counsel, he started living ”more wild and recklessly.” Today, the RZA’s enjoying the rain in moderation. ”I’ve been super-duper sober. I’m not into womanizing,” he says. ”I’m not a fiend for nothing right now” — except maybe his music. There’s the just-released solo CD, Birth of a Prince, plus his score for Quentin Tarantino’s Kill Bill. And the rapper is eyeing a future in films. ”I would love to get one romantic role,” says the self-professed shy guy. ”If I could just have the ladies cry for me one time.”