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Audio CD, October 25, 2005
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (October 25, 2005)
  • Original Release Date: 2005
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Angeles Records
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (62 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #115,373 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

1. Opening
2. Those That's Bout It
3. Destruction of a Guard
4. Exploitation of Mistakes
5. General Principles
6. Advance Pawns
7. Queen's Gambit
8. All in Together Now
9. Unstoppable Threats
10. Unprotected Pieces
11. Illusory Protection
12. Smothered Mate

Editorial Reviews

Grandmasters is an album that combines the sounds of two of the biggest groups in Hip-Hop history. DJ Muggs, the architect and founder of the Cypress Hill sound has collaborated with the Wu-Tang Clan's most prolific lyricist, The GZA (Genius). The result is a collection of classic Hip-Hop records, that will be remembered as one the greatest collaboration albums in Hip-Hop history. GZA, who has had success as a member of the multi-platinum group Wu-Tang was recently brought back to the public's attention through two hilarious cameo's on the popular series Dave Chapelle Show, and an appearance in the film Coffee & Cigarettes. Entirely based around the game of chess, Grandmasters recaptures the timeless sound that has made Muggs & GZA true living legends. Angeles Records. 2005.

Customer Reviews

It's the best Wu album since Gza's Liquid Swords.
DJ Muggs and GZA make one of the best Rapper/Producer albums ive ever heard.
PeTeAh PaRkAh
The beats are good, the lyrics are better than good.

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

33 of 35 people found the following review helpful By Crisis on December 15, 2005
Format: Audio CD
Don't let the title of this album confuse no way are Muggs and GZA battling on this album. In fact, they work together in complete harmony on each track.

That's expected when you take a group like Cypress Hill's producer, DJ Muggs, and the Wu-Tang Clan's power-house lyricist, The GZA, and put them on one record. This is an amazing album, which, although not as good as the legendary Liquid Swords, is a classic in it's own right.

There isn't one weak song on this whole LP. The production from Muggs, is, to say the least, beautiful. This album shows that he is one of the most underrated producers in the game. Each beat matches GZA's vocals, and the setting of the song perfectly. There is not one single weak beat on this album, which is very surprising when one producer handles a whole album. Some people may say the beats begin to sound too much alike, but I must disagree. Each song flows perfectly into the next, and none of Muggs' production is boring, or lackluster.

On the lyrical side of things, GZA solidifies his spot as one of, if not the best, lyricists in hip-hop, period. With all the time in the game, GZA's delivery has only improved, and I believe the same can be said for his lyrics. Although Liquid Swords will always stand as the ultimate GZA album, GZA has matured, and grown quite a lot since then, and for the better. While there's so many rappers in the mainstream today who claim to be the "Top Five Dead Or Alive," there's only one man I can think of that defitely reserves one of those spots; and that man is The GZA.

If you're a true fan of Hip-Hop, you'll love this album, guaranteed. Pick it up as soon as possible, and support real hip-hop.
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15 of 15 people found the following review helpful By ZeeMan on November 4, 2005
Format: Audio CD
What happened to hip-hop today? It is in a state of danger when the head of the Wu-Tang Clan drops an album after 3 years and it is not in the "New Release" section of major music or electronic stores (Circuit City & Target, etc.). I stambled upon "Grandmasters" while I was in Bestbuy just looking around the "Rap" section when I noticed that somebody put the wrong CDs in GZA slot, so I went to remove those CDs and discovered that they are actually GZA's new CD. I wasn't even aware that GZA released an album recently because nobody advertised it. That's sad! On top of that I couldn't find any reviews of the album by any major reviewer even my favorite Rap Review website, conveniently [...] (they have the review now). But I had to buy GZA's album because I was just craving for great hip-hop recently.

Now, the album cover says "DJ Muggs vs. GZA/Genius" and I'm not familiar with DJ Muggs but he produces for Cypress Hill. So, initially I was disappointed for reading "all songs produced by DJ Muggs" and nothing from RZA. I learned that it is not a good idea to rate music from one listening. So I listened few times and "Grandmasters" is another important and grand album from GZA, definitely the best of 2005. I cannot compare this album with the masterpiece "Liquid Sword" even if I give "Liquid Sword" a 5-Star it isn't justified since it simply is a masterpiece in hip-hop history. I just hope that GZA and RZA get back together to create another album like that but for right now "Grandmasters" is as good as "Legend of the Liquid Sword" (GZA's previous release). The album clocks in about 44 min. which is a disappointment since Wu fans want more from the Genius after a 3 years hiatus.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By fetish_2000 on October 31, 2006
Format: Audio CD
Although this isn't the first time these two artists have worked together (see Gza's contribution on Mugg's 1997's "Soul Assassins" album), but this is the first time the two have worked together on a whole album. What transpires here, is a magnificent coupling of one of hip-hops pioneering producers (Muggs), with easily one of Rap's most lyrically gifted, and commercially undervalued rapper (Gza). With an album that is a throw back to the art of the producer and rapper.

It's an album that is some way's, feels a little retro, because there's not any gimmicky speed-up soul samples, or embellished lifestyle bragging to fall upon. Instead this album goes against the contemporary grain, by favouring an mood that seems more focused on presenting the strengths of the artists involved, so rather than being project designed to become a commercial success, this is more a project that will appeal to those merely concerned with listening to a incredibly tight album, with no room for filler, and to highlight to listeners that both artists are still musically active.

As the title of the album suggests, this is an album, with the mood / Theme / and context largely related to and involving the game of Chess (a particular favourite of Gza's). Ideas, stories, metaphors, anecdotes, and Situations are in some way interrelated and involve the strategy, thinking and concept of a game of chess. It's no surprise that Gza grasps this concept with both hands and spins tales of pre-emptive thinking, outsmarting an opponent, celebrating complicated moves, and the catching an opponent unawares...
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