Tuesday, October 10, 2006


I be the body dropper, the heartbeat stopper

Anybody who knows me, knows I’m a big Wu-Tang Clan Fan, and that my favorite member is the GZA/Genius. Whether he is rocking a verse with the Wu, or tearing shit up on a solo joint he usually just blows me away. It was in 1995, over the summer of that year I believe that I picked up (on cassette no less) the GZA’s “Liquid Swords” and from that time on, rap music changed for me.

As a rule, Wu-Tang albums whether as a group or on a solo effort, the initial offering on the disk has always been a great track. I can’t speak so much for the most recent solo Wu efforts, but back in the day this was true. Whether it was “36 Chambers”, ODB, “Wu Forever”, “Only Built for Cuban Lynx” etc. “Liquid Swords” was no different. The title track being the initial offering slaughtered my eardrums with an infectious and crushing beat. An appearance by the RZA, the GZA dropping two outstanding verses and of course the minute or so long intro which is a reader’s digest version of the opening scenes of “Shogun Assassin”. A classic martial arts movie that the GZA uses freely for interludes all throughout his album. Long before this movie influenced Q-Tarantino in his “Kill Bill” movies, “Shogun Assassin” was helping shape one of the best rap albums of all time. This won’t be the GZA’s only appearance on this blog. To be honest, I could start a new blog based off of just GZA’s verses. For excellent production from the RZA, a hard hitting Wu style beat, mind bending lyrics from the GZA, check out “Liquid Swords”.

I'm on a Mission, that niggaz say is Impossible
But when I swing my swords they all choppable
I be the body dropper, the heartbeat stopper
Child educator, plus head amputator
Cause niggaz styles are old like Mark 5 sneakers
Lyrics are weak, like clock radio speakers
Don't even stop in my station and attack
while your plan failed, hit the rail, like Amtrak
What the fuck for? Down by low, I make law
I be justice, I sentence that ass two to four
round the clock, that state pen time check it
With the pens I be stickin but you can't stick to crime
Came through with the Wu, slid off on the DL
I'm low-key like seashells, I rock these bells
(when the MC's..) Now come aboard, it's Medina bound
Enter the chamber, and it's a whole different sound
It's a wide entrance, small exit like a funnel
So deep it's picked up on radios in tunnels
Niggaz are fascinated how the shit begin
Get vaccinated, my logo is branded in your skin

What I love about GZA is how effortless his flow is. His lyrics are excellent, but they are only magnified by the way he manipulates any beat and rides it with his lyrics. I think his verse on "Triumph" off of Wu-Tang Forever is another great example of this.

This was really the beauty of the Wu back in the days. They had a lyricist for every taste: Meth had rugged rhymes, Raekwon was beyond abstract, Ghostface had energy, GZA had flow, RZA had conceptualism, U-God was no better than anyone else you know. Inspektah Deck was a rap-by-numbers competent lyricist. ODB was the clown. Masta Killa was not one of the original members, I don't care what their revisionist history says.
This is my favorite verse from the best joint on that LP.

I believe however he says "Down by Law, I make Law"
Well done. GZA is one of the illest ever. He has got it all: voice, cadence, flow, delivery, concepts.
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