Peace to my fellow Hip-Hop heads. Today I have the pleasure of bringing y'all a review of a classic that's right up our ally, Wu-Tang Clan member GZA's 'Liquid Swords'.
One of the greatest Hip-Hop albums of all time, arguably the best Wu solo album, and my personal favorite Wu solo album. Not only is the content great but just look at that comic book inspired cover.
The opening track 'Liquid Swords' is your classic braggadocios lyrical delivery. "I flow like blood on a murder scene, like a syringe on some wild out shit to insert a fiend"
Track 2 'Duel of the Iron Mic' ft. ODB, Masta Killa & Inspectah Deck is a Cipher that Killa and Deck stole for me, with skits that play a key role in theme of the song like a lot of the skits on this album do for the album.
On track 3 'Living in the World Today' ft. RZA & Method Man on the chorus while GZA spits so many quotable lyrics that I want to mention but the one that sticks out to me the most is "Sleep-holds put strangle on commercial angle, microphone cards tangled from being star spangled."
GZA lyrically assassinates again on the next song 'Gold' "I'm deep down in the back streets in the heart of Medina, about to set off something more deep than a misdemeanor"
'Cold World' ft. Inspectah Deck is one of my favorite tracks. GZA's verse on street violence on the night before New Year's is a classic that I can recite word for word, and Deck's delivery and story over that cold production is timeless.
'Labels' is a warning to be weary of shitbag labels.
'4th Chamber' ft. RZA, Killah Priest & Ghostface Killah is in GZA's own words "A Wu song, not just a GZA song" which holds arguably my favorite Ghostface and RZA verses. One of my favorite tracks.
'Shadowboxin' is another one of my favorites that features Method Man over a rough boom bap beat. I had the stank face on my face when GZA said "I slayed MC's back in the rec room era, my style broke motherfuckin' backs like Ken Patera" and Method's delivery was perfect and I can't help but laugh every time when he makes it clear that he "don't give a cotton pickin.. FUCK".
'Hell's Wind Staff/Killah Hills 10304' (quote from GZA) "It's a street story but not told in a regular street way". RZA once again has the perfect production for the kingpin classic.
'Investigate Reports' ft.U-God on chorus, and verses from Raekwon & Ghostface is a song where are the MC's depict the projects of Staten Island. U-God - "Crack patients, dime smokers, vial carriers, mocha tokers, burnt buildings, brothers building, save the children, investigate reports." Throw in the news reports of the Brooklyn battles with the cold beat, it's perfect. Ghost stole the show.
'Swordsman' is GZA speaking on not being caught up in politics, blindly following a people or religion, the effects of slavery, and his giving of a jewel in the form of the current song to stand the test of time and give empowerment, freedom, wisdom, etc.
'I Gotcha Back' Is a glimpse of chaos in the projects between the youth. "I gotcha back so you best to watch your front, cause it's the niggas who front who be pullin' stunts."
The last record is my favorite on the album "B.I.B.L.E. (Basic Instructions Before Leaving Earth) a bonus track that is performed entirely by Killah Priest, which may be the sole reason it's so different and in its own world, but fits perfectly with the theme of the album. Perfect outro. It's a black empowerment song that also talks on being pro-life, and speaking on the image of Christ. Depressing, moment of truth for some.
Call it what you want, a timeless jewel, a classic masterpiece, essential, it describes this album.
Rhymes = 4.5/5
Content = 4.5/5
Beat = 4.5/5
Overall - 4.5/5
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