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Beneath the Surface


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Vinyl, 1999
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$6.99
Audio, Cassette, June 29, 1999
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$38.00 $14.38

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Product Details

  • Audio Cassette (June 29, 1999)
  • Original Release Date: 1999
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Universal Music & VI
  • ASIN: B00000JNH9
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (115 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #797,365 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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

Customer Reviews

Good beats and lyrics make this a good album.
Hott Nikkels
Many are familiar with Genius/GZA's solo work from Liquid Swords.
J. Saffle
This features great beats and razor sharp rhyming by the GZA.
Tom Robinson

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

22 of 23 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on October 21, 1999
Format: Audio CD
Alright, I've been seeing a lot of reviews criticizing this album, and frankly I find this surprising. Contrary to what Oliver Wang says, the production on this album is great, with beat-makers Arabian Knight, 4th Disciple, and Mathematics greatly outshining the RZA. Really, I think RZA is starting to fall off as far as production goes (by the way Wang, Beneath The Surface is GZA's third album, not his second). Now back to the production: it mainly consists of pianos, strings, violins, etc., which is on the completely opposite side of the spectrum as commercial hits such as Swizz Beats (check out 1112 and Victim to see what I mean). Inspectah Deck comes nice with the beats too on the album's title track. Overall I think this production is great. Lyrically, GZA shines with his thought provoking metaphors and delivery. The only problem I have with this CD is the length of the songs, some of them are cut too short. Overall this album is great, I'd say the fourth best Wu album ever (1. Liquid Swords 2. Only Built 4 Cuban Linx 3. Return to the 36 Chambers: The Dirty Version). Everyone should definetly give this album a chance.
- Nick (All comments and reactions are welcome).
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful By The Sesh on April 29, 2004
Format: Audio CD
Alot of people would argue with me for considering "Beneath the Surface" to be Genius's best work to date. His flow is just as well executed as "Liquid Swords" yet his lyrical content is decidely more mature and enlightening than the previous album. The gritty braggadio and war stories are replaced with a more complex focus on reflection and analyzation. The production, though Rza is phenomenal in his own right, fits the refined mentality of the Genius. In the place of hard breaks and chaotic atmosphere are lush strings and dark contemplative beats that act as the background for this prolific album. Genius's lyrics have never been more lucid or progressive as displayed on this masterpiece of an album.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By .jOshua:. on November 9, 2005
Format: Audio CD
I am a long time head and this album hits a spot few others can reach. Consistantly dark, atmospheric, and brilliant, Beneath the Surface is strong in the running for my favorite album of all time, all genres. Indispensable. Daily play for months and months has not diminished my respect for this one. Even the admittedly lame skits don't really hurt it. I played this one out like the first Bobby Digital, multiple listens daily for a looong time. Liquid Swords is incredible too, and a must but I like this one a little more. Legend of the Liquid Swords I could not feel at all, even after repeated listenings. It just doesn't have that same darkness... GZA reigns supreme and this is his crowning glory.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By J. Saffle on March 3, 2005
Format: Audio CD
Genius, who is widely acknowledged as the Wu-Tang Clan's most gifted lyricist, reinforces his lyrical supremacy on Beneath the Surface. Many are familiar with Genius/GZA's solo work from Liquid Swords. In comparrison with swords, this album is a little less classic, but still far from a dissapointment. While the beats are not RZA quality, I feel that tha GZA's flow is much more technically refined and intellectually stimulating than it was on Liquid Swords. Overall, this album ranks just a notch below Liquid Swords, yet still could stand toe to toe with any rap album put out today. If you are already a fan of tha GZA, or wu tang, this album will not dissapoint. If you're a GZA virgin, I would suggest getting Liquid Swords as an introduction. But this album still ranks in my top 10 hip-hop albums of all time. Just check the opening rhymes on "Breaker, Breaker"-

[This is not a test, it's difficulty

Picture closely, the ignorant mostly

Blind, deaf, dumb, your mind left numb

Lost soul who failed to hear the roll of the drum

In the bottom of your bomb shelter, still felt the

heavy blast that blew off the masks of twelve welders]

(dope)
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Andre Berezin on February 16, 2001
Format: Audio CD
I gotta apologize for repeating what's been said before, but it just gotta be said that a)this is GZA's third album, not a 2nd one, b)itz 180 degrees different from that lunatic Swizz and... oliver wang. Listen to me earthlings: BENEATH THE SURFACE IS A TREMENDOUS HIP HOP MASTERPIECE, GREATEST SOLO OF ALL TIMES, THE MOST UP-TO-DATE RELEASE OF 1999 AND AN UNDYING WORK OF ART. Wu is my favorite click, and Gary Grice is my favorite Wu-Tanger, and I swear every time he steps up he elevates a 1000 kilometers higher. First of all, the producers work is extremely perfect. Those who say it smells pop - punch'em in da eye, they're just jealous they can't create same unique melodies with majestic pianos, violins and guitar flows. The sounds sculptured by Arabian Knight, John the Baptist, Mathematics, Inspectah Deck (magician, magician!) and RZA himself capture you from the first moment to the last one. People often catch me bobbin my head at work singin "Scratch underneath the surface, where does your purpose lie..." As for GZA, yall shorties can quit attending skool after buying this one. The Genius offers you everything from Aesopus-style metaphors to straight-to-ya-face blasts, all embodied in monumental rhyming rattatatat delivered by that unique freezing baritone. As for guests, the elders (RZA, ODB, Masta, Killah Priest and especially Iron Lung) show their teeth strong enough to bite off george w bush's head, and the youngsters do 200% of what they ever did B4. Now for the choice: if yall want sumthin murderous, check AMPLIFIED SAMPLE, CRASH YOUR CREW, HIGH PRICE & FEEL LIKE AN ENEMY. Wisdom over magnificent melody - BENEATH THE SURFACE, HIP HOP FURY, 1112, VICTIM, MIC TRIPPIN. Shadowboxin part 2 - STRINGPLAY.... Labels part 2 - PUBLICITY. BREAKER BREAKER is an underground dessert.Read more ›
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