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GZA

The Genius, aka the GZA, was the most cerebral MC in the Wu-Tang Clan, as well as perhaps the most acclaimed. His cool, precise flow and intricate, literate rhymes weren't as theatrical as Method Man or Ol' Dirty B**tard, the two biggest commercial stars to spring from the collective. But among hip-hop aficionados, the Genius was revered for his flawless technique and lyrical dexterity, and was considered by many to be the best pure rapper in the entire Clan. The Genius was born Gary Grice on August 22, 1966, in Staten Island, NY, and shuttled between several other New York boroughs with various relatives during his childhood. He started learning rhymes by the earliest hip-hop MCs while spending time in the Bronx, and returned to Staten Island to share them with his cousins, who later became Ol' Dirty B**tard and the RZA. In fact, the three of them first teamed up in the early '80s as part of an obscure group called All in Together Now.

Time passed, and the Genius landed a recording contract with Cold Chillin', which, unfortunately, was nearing the end of its brilliant run. In 1991, he became the only future Wu-Tang member to release a solo album prior to the Clan's formation, with Words From the Genius. Produced mostly by Easy Mo Bee, the album flopped badly and, creatively, did little to hint at the Genius' future standing. Conflicts with the label sent the Genius packing, and he reteamed with a similarly disenchanted RZA (fresh off a failed stint with Tommy Boy) and Ol' Dirty B**tard to co-found the Wu-Tang Clan. Adding six other friends and associates, the group became an underground sensation and took the rap world by storm with its 1993 debut, Enter the Wu-Tang (36 Chambers). Their innovative contract allowed each member to sign a solo deal with whatever label they chose, and the Genius wound up on Geffen. In 1994, his first post-Wu solo track, "I Gotcha Back," appeared on the soundtrack of the film Fresh. His second solo album, Liquid Swords, followed in 1995 and was hailed as a hip-hop classic thanks to its coolly understated menace. While it didn't make him a star on the level of Method Man, the album did sell well, reaching the pop Top Ten and falling one spot short of the top of the R&B charts. There were no big mainstream hits, but the title cut, "Cold World," and "Shadowboxin'" all did well on the rap charts.

Following the Clan's 1997 sophomore set, Wu-Tang Forever, the Genius returned to the solo arena with 1999's Beneath the Surface. While critics didn't praise it quite as lavishly as Liquid Swords, it was another well-received effort (especially compared to some of the lackluster follow-ups elsewhere in the Wu-Tang camp), and it topped the R&B album charts. After reconvening with the Wu for 2000's The W and 2001's Iron Flag, the Genius dropped his fourth solo effort, Legend of the Liquid Sword, in late 2002, consolidating his reputation as one of the most skillful rappers around. Grandmasters, a collaborative project between himself and Cypress Hill DJ Muggs was released in 2005, followed the next year by an instrumental version and then a remix version in 2007. A year later GZA released the solo album Pro Tools on the indie label Babygrande. It featured guest shots from Wu affiliates RZA, Masta Killa, and producer Mathematics. ~ Steve Huey
full bio

Selected Discography

x

Track List: Liquid Swords

1. Liquid Swords

2. Duel Of The Iron Mic

3. Living In The World Today

4. Gold

5. Cold World

6. Labels

7. 4th Chamber

8. Shadowboxin'

9. Hell's Wind Staff / Killah Hills 10304

10. Investigative Reports

11. Swordsman

12. I Gotcha' Back

13. Basic Instructions Before Leaving Earth

x

Track List: Beneath The Surface

1. Intro

2. Amplified Sample

3. Beneath The Surface

4. Skit #1

5. Skit #2

6. Crash Your Crew

7. Breaker, Breaker

8. High Price, Small Reward

9. Hip Hop Fury

10. Skit #3

11. 1112

12. Skit #4

13. Victim

14. Publicity

15. Feel Like An Enemy

16. Stringplay (Like This, Like That)

17. Mic Trippin

18. Outro

x

Track List: Station ID Break (Radio Single)

Comments

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U86
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Best wu of all
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OK
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GZA's a TRU GENIUS. An artistic, lyrical, liquid "swordsmith" along with his blood, da RZA._/a.k.a Prince Rakeem._/a.k . a . Bobby Digital./ aka. Bobby Steelz!!!!! ~•°WU-TANG 4 EVER°•~ Out.
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Wtf is a horizontal flow?
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Wow. Yo bee2628, what no link to your mixtape? You've just GOTTA write with lines like that praying mantis one. FOH
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I'll put the wu against. Any of these kid's who think they can really hold a microphone. Suuuu
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Can I get a sssuuuuuuu
yea u know deez new rapperz bout dances I pray for dem like a praying mantis ..eugenius over n out
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thaundergrou n d k i n g k n o w l e d g e
{W£$TUP 2 My₩U-TAΩGCLA Ω 5 \ R o m e K o l i AkA RomeKnowledg e O f S e l f } . . . . .
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Most underrated album ever..
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GZA'S lyrical vision on Animal Planet, is tha s**t!
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Broke muthaphukkin backs like Ken Patera...
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Liquid Swords... Muddy Waters (Redman) Illmatic NAS.
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I been slaying MCs back in the Rec Room era...
Style broke muthaphukkin backs like Ken Patera ...
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If this came out today it would be even more popular than it was back then
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Liquid Swords is the greatest hip hop album of all time.
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BIBLE Killah Priest track. Tight one too
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Wu Tang Clan Ain't Nuthing Ta F**k With
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Yea tha s**ts was ill
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Punk a ss ni ggas comin straight acts u
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The Head
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SO LEGIT IN EVERY EMCEE CATEGORY, ONE OF THE BEST TO EVER DO IT
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Fame and 0% financing let u know this dudes on another level. And this cats bout to turn 50, damn.
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My favorite member of the shaolin family.
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Beneath the surface..... . . . . . ��
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The wuuuuuuuuuuu u !
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Gas spitzzz da horizontal flows
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GZA song labels was one of best from CHAD WEE73
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viperbad78
Legend this is still banging!!! Not many can match him.
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viperbad78
NOT AN ACTOR BUT THE AUTHOR!!!
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GZA MOST PUREST RAPPER I'VE EVER HEARD Word up!!
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jtpr8t
I will forever be inspired by the Wu-Tang Clan, peace to the Gods
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Wu Banga for life
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GZA is the best in Wu-Tang, Liquid Swords is better than any other Wu-tang solo album.
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Got damn was this s**t sick as f**k or what. I heard nothing but illness from this albun everytime a song is played
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Always loved this guys delivery and accent .. Smart withit too .. Dope WU member no doubt.
Any Wu fan know how ill Liquid Swords album was when it released.
Still rocks !
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oe023
Classic
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Wu-tang classic
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Greatest of wu tang
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At least u was alive this time.
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This is the good s**t. Real lyrics that aren't all about how we have more stuff than you. Miss these early days!!
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If it wasn't for The Wi-tang clan, and Krs one back in 93 hip hop wouldn't be what it is today. It would have died cause they brought back that real B-boy s**t.
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This was my shite in 95!!! Can't remember how many blunts we smoked to these jammys
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yaw need to see the karate movie called the genius in which he formed his style then you will know why he so nice.
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classic! this brings me back....
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Pro Tools is the most underrated Wu album
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Liquid Swords and Beneath the Surface were both incredible classics. Two of my favorite albums there.
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One of my favorite classic collabo's of all time!!
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Love this one peace words true one for all.
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Gza da genius intelligent hoodlum like tradegy khadafi. He forms da head like voltron
Show more

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