17. LIQUID SWORDZ
Artist:GZA the Genious
Appearances by: The Entire Wu Tang Clan( ODB, RZA, Ghost face, Raekwon, masta killa, method man, instpectah deck, U God)
Producer: The RZA
Album Title: LIQUID SWORDS
"Liquid Swords is the second solo studio album by American rapper and Wu-Tang Clan member GZA, released November 7, 1995, on Geffen Records. Recording sessions for the album began mid-way through 1995 at producer RZA's basement studio in Staten Island New York. The album heavily samples dialogue from the martial arts film Shogun Assassin and maintains a dark atmosphere throughout its course, while it incorporates lyrical references to chess, crime and philosophy. Liquid Swords features numerous guest appearances from the entire nine piece Wu-Tang Clan."
Upon its release, Liquid Swords peaked at number nine on the Billboard 200 chart, and number two on the Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums chart. On January 11, 1996, it was certified gold in sales by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA). The album initially received favorable critical reviews for its lyrically complex and musically hypnotic style. Over the years, its recognition has grown, with a number of famous publishers proclaiming it as one of the greatest hip hop albums of all time. In 2007, the Chicago Tribune cited it as "one of the most substantial lyrical journeys in hip-hop history". Along with Raekwon's Only Built 4 Cuban Linx..., Liquid Swords is often cited as the best solo Wu-Tang work
Following the success of Wu-Tang Clan solo albums Tical and Return to the 36 Chambers: The Dirty Version, Wu-Tang member Raekwon began recording his acclaimed debut Only Built 4 Cuban Linx... in early 1995. While he and producer RZA were putting the final touches on that album, RZA and GZA began writing and recording what would eventually become Liquid Swords. In regards to their decision to begin the album at the time they did, GZA later commented "We (Wu-Tang) were on a roll, and it was the perfect time to get in the studio and just do it."
Similar to other early solo Wu-Tang albums, Liquid Swords was recorded in RZA's basement studio in Staten Island New York, with some beats playing for over two days straight while recording. When asked in a later interview about his opinion of the album's beats, GZA remarked "I loved them. A lot of them had a grimy, rock-like feel to them. I just remember absolutely loving them." In the same interview, GZA described the writing process as "real slow." He further commented "I don’t say slow in the sense that it necessarily took me a long time to finish what I’m writing. I mean, Raekwon and Ghostface can step in and record a song in about forty-five minutes. I on the other hand, would often go back and finish rhymes that I started. I would say I pieced things together more slowly then. Songs generally take me two to three days to write. Sometimes I take different sentences and put them together."
Regarding the overall sensation of writing Liquid Swords, GZA stated "It's hard to say something is gonna be classic or not. But I can say that I felt the magic with this one. I actually saw it grow and come together, and felt that it was special as we were doing it." GZA later noted in an interview with The Seattle Times:
"It has great songs, it's not an ignorant album, it doesn't sound dated. If you listen to it and compare it to what's out now, it's timeless. Lyrically, it's not my best work. Not at all. But the chemistry? Production? Overall, I mean, c'mon! RZA's atmospheric production? Yes. It's my best album."
Gzas 2nd solo release and considered by many a legendary album...This album as well as a couple of others being posted on here will not need any sort of summary as a lot of some of these records are albums that everyone has heard of even if they are not that well familiar with the genre. This is not only one of the best hip hop albums ever but it is a very legendary record with all the production and rusty as hell instrumentals being handled by none other than THE RZA! It is more of a wu tang album than it is a SOLO record, especially since all nine members of the clan make at least one appearance on each track(for example, Ol dirty bastard, inspectah deck, masta killa are on duels of the iron mic, Method man is on Shadow boxing, Raekwon and ghost face are on INVESTAGTIVE REPORT, you see where I'm getting here?). I have seen GZA perform this entire album about 5 times with his performance at Rock the bells 2011 being his best, hands down, my god he sounded incredible that night. There have been some shows where he's had his ups and downs but that performance at rock the bells 2011 is one of the greatest rap performances i have ever witnessed, jesus christ. Anyways, this isn't the only Wu Tang release that will be on this list, two more to go
I gotcha Back
Duel of the Iron Mic