Legend of the Liquid Swordby GZA
Released at the end of a quiet year for the Wu-Tang family, GZA's Legend of the Liquid Sword proves Gary Grice is easily the most underrated rapper in the fold, and definitely the most consistent as a solo artist. The album gains power as it progresses; after a compelling "Auto Bio" that's chained down by a bland production, and "Did Ya Say That," wherein the Genius sounds downright confused (or worse, resigned) about the game of label politics, Legend of the Liquid Sword locks into a great groove with the single "Knock, Knock" and rarely misses after that. Unsurprisingly, the Wu-Tang features "Fam (Members Only)," featuring RZA and Masta Killa, and "Silent," featuring Ghostface Killah, are big highlights, with a sound similar to 2001's Iron Flag. Surprisingly, though, his track with low-profile Wu-Tang member Inspectah Deck bests the other two. "Fame" finds the Genius weaving some clever word games around celebrity names, and guest Allen Anthony makes the title track into a grand funk jam akin to OutKast. The productions on Legend of the Liquid Sword are below average for a talent like his, but chances are good that's by design; since GZA is a rapper's rapper, his smooth flow and excellent imagination are all that's necessary to propel any of these tracks.
- Release Date:
Performance CreditsGZA/Genius Primary Artist
Prodigal Sunn Track Performer
Technical CreditsMuggs Producer
GZA/Genius Producer,Executive Producer
Dragan "Chach" Cacinovic Engineer
Allah Mathematics Producer
J.B. Jefferson Composer
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I've followed the Wu over time and swapped the "best rapper" crown over their heads. GZA comes across as the most consistent and intelligent of the entire clan and with this album takes the crown and may keep it for quite some time. The production is crisp and the collaboration with other artists is exquisite. All I wanna know is WHEN IS MASTA KILLA COMING OUT WITH HIS JOINT?!
GZA PUTS A SO SO EFFORT INTO THIS ALBUM.I AM A LONG TIME FAN OF THE WU BUT THE ONLY ONE HOLDIN IT DOWN FOR THE CREW IS GHOST.GZA PROVES TO BE A LYRICIST TOO HARD.THIS ALBUM IS A LOT BETTER THAN BENEATH THE SURFACE BUT IT COULD NEVER TOUCH THE CLASSIC "LIQUID SWORDS"..........
Gza has always been one of hiphops greatest lyracists. when he came into the game in 1991 with his debut (words from the genius) he had a flow and level of lyricism that was on a par with the greats of the era (krsone, rakim, etc). unfortunatley for him, label politics prevented his album from selling well and he went back to the drawing board. with cousins RZA and ODB he founded what was later to become the Wu-Tang Clan which kickstarted his career and brought him recognition and respect that he felt he always deserved. in 1995 he released the critically acclaimed classic album 'Liquid Swordz' which cemented his position as one of the best MCs in the game, and although his third release (beneath the surface) was too short to compare to his earlier work, it proved that he still had it in him. as other wutang members have had differing fortunes, GZa has remained consistent. on every verse on every solo album, every verse on every wutang album, he never drops a bad verse, or even a bad line. now its time for LP number 4 and a chance to get a bit of mainstream success that he deserves. i was a bit worried about this album. after his first 3 excellent LPs surely he would slip up here? i was wrong. as i waited patiently for the promo songs to come out one by one, each and every song has impressed. Finally i have got hold of the final release and i am in no way dissapointed. this is an incredible album, it has great production and is lyrically one of the strongest albums of all time. ** The 'intro' to the album has GZAs son introducing GZAs story to a 'kung fu movie'-style backing and by mirroring the intro to 'Liquid Swordz' sets the scene perfectly for the next song and the rest of the album. ** 'autobio' is a great gza track that features piano and strings and is one of the best produced tracks on the album where he rhymes about growing up as an MC. the lyrics are on point as usual. ** 'did ya say that' has such a strange playful and very 'jazzy' feel to it, again featuring an incredible piano loop and powerful lyrics from gza. ** 'silent' features a crazy old school wu beat, it has a mad vocal sample looped in the background and the MCing of ghostface match the song PERFECTLY, while streetlife drops some nice lyrics too. GZA of course comes correct and sounds nice over the beat. ** 'knock, knock' is a bit of a more uptempo track, but again gza reminds me why i have waited so long for this album with a stunning opening few lines ('im the obcene slang kicker/with no parental sticker/advising ya'll that wise words are much slicker'). its a club banger (the only one on the album, dont worry Wu fans) and should get him some airplay. ** 'stay in line' is a slighlty different sound and features a hook by santi white (a rock singer) which fits the song very well but sounds a bit strange, its another nice fast beat and gza rhymes slightly uptempo to match the beat. ** 'animal planet' is such a smooth and soulful track where he again uses excellent wordplay using animal metaphors. one of the best cuts on the album and possible the best lyrical song of the year. he uses some incredible metaphors and wordplay describing the animal kindom using some familiar sayings to tell his story. ** 'fam (members only)' is another Wu posse track were rza and masta killah really shine over a very nice classic wutang beat. masta killa has a particularly good verse and RZAs flow is really nice over this beat. GZA still dropping jems. ** the title track 'legend of the liquid sword' has a nice beat that manages to be laid-back but attention grabbing at the same time, more great lyrics. the hook on this song is not that great, probably the worse hook on the album, but its still a very nice song. ** 'fame' is a song where he uses his superior wordplay to make a story using the names of celebrities. it features a wonderful piano loop and isa very nice tune. this along with animal planet exhibit skills that maybe only 5 other MCs around posse
this is pretty good album. i wasnt into it as much as liquid swords but it does have some of the best songs gza has written. animal planet, luminal, and fame. these songs prove that gza is the best in the game.