November 07, 2021

GZA/Genius "Liquid Swords" (November 7, 1995)

Genius/GZA (say "gizz-uh") is the fourth, and last, member of the mighty Wu-Tang Clan to demonstrate his talents in a solo format (not counting a poorly marketed pre-Wu-Tang album in the early '90s). But, like Method Man, Ol' Dirty Bastard and Raekwon's albums, these offshoots aren't typical solo records; Wu-Tang side projects never fly far from the nest. Each one, including Genius' Liquid Swords, is created with the same ingredients: rock-solid, devastatingly sparse beats and dirty hooks that infect like slow poison on the brain. It's all part of the Wu-Tang empire, which contains everything from its own line of merchandise to an amazing World Wide Web site. With all of the familiar earmarks in place, like tales about head-hunting Ninja warriors, GZA shows us his well-disciplined flow: it's unlike the double-edged rhymes of Raekwon, but more akin to Method Man's lyrical precision. "Labels" may be the most creative, as it incorporates nearly every rap label into the lyrics, while "Duel of the Iron Mic" is a lyrical showcase of Ol' Dirty Bastard, Inspectah Deck, and others. Also be sure to hear Meth take over "Shadowboxin'." - CMJ New Music Monthly (February 1996). Still one of the greatest winter albums of all-time and some consider to be the greatest solo album from the Wu-Tang Clan... I'll leave that to y'all to debate (still). I share something from this album almost every year, so dig into the archives for rare press kits, promotional items (stickers, postcards, posters), + more! Revisit GZA's classic sophomore album, Liquid Swords, below...

"My Priority is that I'm First Priority..." - Labels.