Wednesday, March 23, 2011

GZA/GENIUS - LIQUID SWORDS (1995) (+Bonus!)



Was there ever a better Wu-Tang spin-off album? It could be argued that ODB's 36 Chambers is in the running, but even "Shimmy Shimmy Ya" couldn't hold a candle to "4th Chamber" OR this album's title track, hook-wise. Cuban Linx? Nah. Liquid Swords wins, hands down.

This shit was the soundtrack to life when I moved into my first "real" apartment circa 1996, and the cover art is particularly pleasing as well. I mean, come on. Homeboy-ninjas decapitating each other on a chess board in space? What could be better?
Part of me wonders if this space-chess board is the same one featured on the cover of Broken Hope's Swamped In Gore (right). Hmmm....

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GZA/Last.FM


BONUS!

WORDS FROM THE GENIUS (1991)


IllCon Hip-Hop Trivia Corner: GZA's debut album (released when he was still known as Genius) holds the distinction of being the only record created by a Wu-Tang member before Wu-Tang formed. And it kicks ass.

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Purchase HERE (re-issue version)


Look at the mountains, trees, the seven seas
And everything chilling underwater, please
Hot lava, snow, rain and fog
Long neck giraffes, and pet cats and dogs.


I seen a caterpillar turn into a butterfly
Miracles ain't nothing to lie
Shaggy's little boys look just like Shaggy
And my little boy looks just like daddy.


Pure magic is the birth of my kids
I've seen shit that'll shock your eyelids
The sun and the moon, and even Mars
The Milky Way and fucking shooting stars
UFOs, a river flows
Plant a little seed and nature grows.


This world is yours for you to explore
There's nothing but miracles beyond your door
The Dark Carnival is your invitation
To witness them without explanation
Take a look at this fine creation
And enjoy it better with appreciation
Crows, ghosts, the midnight coast
The wonders of the world, mysteries, the most.


12 comments:

abdul alhazred said...

RZA's "Ooh We Love You Rakeem" was also pre-Wu.

I've been listening to "Legend of the Liquid Swords" from '02 a lot this week. I didn't like it when it came out but now I get it - it's not a party record. The beats are so minimal and sparse to allow GZA's weird wordplay room to stretch out. Good stuff.

Shelby Cobras said...

I swear, I actually edited this post from saying "only full-length record" to "only record" before I published it, doubting that anyone would actually call me out on it. I should have known better.

Roger Camden said...

FUCKING MAGNETS

Anonymous said...

Naw nigga mo' intelligent! Put ya muthahfuckin' chin in yo hand nigga! In yo hand! That's how to strike a pose!

SEANFORD said...

this dude strikes a mean phil glass pose.

also, they use the speech from Shogun Assassin to open the record. what other record starts like that? its driving me nuts, i know i have at least one other record that starts with the same speech. any trivia experts out there?

IC should be either all rap or all sports, either way, broier.

RyGar said...

Ah, you dick. I just read all those lyrics, thinking it was a GZA jam. Getting to the second verse, I was thinking it was painfully stupid for Genius. Then I get to "Dark Carnival" and realize that you made me read the lyrics to an entire ICP rap. Fucker. Anyway, Liquid Swords is the fucking Heater.

Seanford: Cage used samples from the movie on "Movies For The Blind."

Korla said...

I think one should add Ghostface Killahs "Supreme Clientele" to the all-time greatest wu-spin offs. It struck me like lightning back then and is a genuine masterpiece.

teepeetoye said...

this was the first rap album i ever bought, solely on the strength of "swordsman." quoted a verse for a high school english essay, which I think I aced because it was the part where he's all like "when I swing my swords they all choppable."

Shelby Cobras said...

GZA should write a self-help book with that as a title.

Alex_P said...

Holy hell I fucking love this album. If I'm ever to go down in a blaze of cocaine and guns, I want this to be the soundtrack. It's a desert island disc.

scorpio said...

this is one of the best albums ever, of any genre, ever.
also check out GZA's collaboration w/ cypress hill's dj muggs "grandmasters" of course it's not as classic as this record but it's definatly better than 99.9% of modern hip-hop...

gooniestorm said...

this is one of the best albums ever, of any genre, ever.
also check out GZA's collaboration w/ cypress hill's dj muggs "grandmasters" of course it's not as classic as this record but it's definatly better than 99.9% of modern hip-hop...