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Liquid Swords: the Chess Box
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Liquid Swords- It's one of those albums that bring people into hip-hop, one of those albums that I buy used whenever I see a copy for under 5 bucks, simply so I can give it as a present to a friend who 'doesn't get hip hop.' It's also one of the few hip hop albums that I have on dual formats (CD and vinyl) and tracked down the instrumentals too. It's just that good. It's dark, macabre, over the top and surreal. The RZA's production is top notch, The samples and beats are spare, gritty, rambling, odd- this is ANTI-P.Diddy music. The myriad kung-fu interludes for once don't work against the overall thematic drive, in fact, they heighten the album's doomed theatrics. The whole thing works perfectly. My brother and I have played many games of chess to this masterpiece. Good also for jogging, lifting, washing dishes, playing cards, driving long distancxes with friends chanting the lyrics...
which reminds me- Lyrically, this is just on a different plane. NO ONE sounds like the GZA- he's one of those inimitable individuals who can't help but rock his own way. His flow and verbosity are seldom matched in the arenas of today. I'd say he's up there with KRS-ONE, Guru, Black Thought, Kool G Rap, early Ice Cube, and other originators of all vocal variety.
The GZA ties out with Ghostface as my fave Wu-Tang MC, but Liquid Swords is a far better, denser, tighter, diamond hard album than Ironman (even despite the Al Green samples). Now then- Supreme Clientelle... hmmmm...
In short- all of the best elements of early Wu-Tang, perfectly entwined. If you only have a handful of 'rap' Cds make this one of them!!!!
As an emcee, Gza seems to make other rappers on his tracks better lyrically. Notably Inspectah Deck and Method Man. On the albums best song "Cold World", The inspectah virtually outshines Gza which is a complete shock considering how sick Gza's verse is. The inspectah seems to just be a bit hungrier,"No time to freeze undercovers roll up in grand prix and seize packages and pocket the currency, clicks control strips full clips are sprayed, Yellow tape barricades sidewalks where bodies lay". Aside from whose better on the track, the two make the best tag team wu record of all time.Read more ›
Liquid Swords - 4.75/5
This is an outstanding track and does justice to the "title track" title. I'd have given it a 5/5 were it not for the obnoxiously long 1:33 minute intro. It's an interesting intro to the album, but couldn't that have been a completely separate intro track to begin with? Aside from that though, it's a flawless track. Great hook, great beat, poetic lyrics as deep as the ocean... everything.
Duel of the Iron Mic - 4.5/5
Were it not for Mastah Killah's merely okay verse, this would be my favorite track off the album. Why did he get a verse over Raekwon, Method Man or ODB? Hell, GZA could've done a lot more with the extra space... still, though, there was one big, big reason why this was still a great guest track: Inspectah Deck killed it with a mere 7 bars. So good, in fact, that I need to post them.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
The best album you can find under $10 and still sounds better than most Hip Hop albums todayPublished 1 month ago by Richard Lai
A great cd I like it the best colection all son are good if you like hippop rap GZA from wu tan clam the best cd the hold cd is good and good prizePublished 3 months ago by edgardo martinez