December 10, 2019

GZA "Legend of the Liquid Sword" (12/10/02)

GZA is a problem: Anybody who would blindside a sleeping population with an album as unexpectedly powerful as Legend of the Liquid Sword poses a clear and present danger. Folks were understandably lulled -- on GZA's last LP, Beneath The Surfce (1999), his scrawny beats couldn't support his heavy lyrical content. But this time he backs his steady, measured flow with enough production power to rouse the world from its slumber. On "Luminal," GZA's verses about a serial killer are so blood-curdling, listeners will scramble to lock their doors. DJ Muggs's ominous beats only heighten the fear factor. For the title track, GZA reflects candidly on his career against Jaz-O's feverish drum loop, with its piercing piano droplets, and a stellar hook from Christion's Allen Anthony. The album's most eye-opening track, "Animal Planet," layers the rising and crashing of heavy drums under a smokey vocal sample as GZA introduces a world where giraffes "play lookout for gorillas in the mist." But unlike some of that wild kingdom's inhabitants, GZA is far from extinction. He's still a beast. - Vibe (December, 2002). The GZA's LP was released on 12/10/02.

Vibe Magazine album review of Legend of the Liquid Sword (12/10/02)...