Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Duel of The Liquid Sword.

So here we are. Twenty years later after the release of one of hip hop's greatest releases of all time. A record that would change the face of hip hop as we know it and bring light to a brand new era of music--period. Twenty years ago the Wu Tang Clan hit the scene with a fierce explosion of lyricism, kung fu samples, and a number of MCs previously unheard of in one single collective with Enter The 36 Chambers. The Wu hit with the speed and force of a true Shaolin blow, leaving many trembling in awe of this new arrival. For myself, I didn't find the Wu until my senior year of high school, many years after the release of this record. I was immediately hooked though when I heard Ghost's Supreme Clientele and one of the next to follow was the classic, and often revered as one of the greatest solo releases from the group, Liquid Swords.

I was drawn in and really didn't understand why. GZA approaches the mic much differently from Ghost and, at first, it kinda through me off. GZA's steez is a much more complex and intellectual than most MCs--I knew I liked it, it just took me a while to understand why. The first GZA record I heard was Beneath The Surface and it GOT me, yo. When I heard that joint I caught myself enthralled by, well, his Genius! It seems I was finding myself drawn to the Wu's solo efforts a bit more at this time and it was always the sophomore record that I found first for some reason. But when I revisited this gem for the first time, I got to see how he built up to Beneath The Surface. Liquid Swords is a little less polished than his follow up (some may argue for the better), but it is nevertheless seen as one of the best Wu releases of all time. And their catalog is DEEP, son.

The concept of the Liquid Swords title (as well as RZA's Digital Bullet) is something I always loved about Wu. They have a unique way of playing with words and titles of songs. I mean, imagine...a LIQUID sword? A DIGITAL bullet? Come on, that's just hard, yo. This always pushed me in my own writing and even in titling works of mine. Just keeping my brain in that mindframe is definitely something I can say Wu helped influence. GZA does this often in his music. He just has an intellectual labyrinth about his rhyme schemes that gets me excited. It makes you think twice, thrice, sometimes multiple times on so many levels. I am always a fan of anyone that can get me to think like that or surprise me later with those little gems like when I found out years later that the Liquid Swords cover is actually a chess board with animated pieces.

How fresh is that?

Here's to 20 and counting.
"Woofers thump, tweeters hiss like air pumps
RZA shaved the track, niggas caught razor bumps..
..Now watch me blow him out his shoes without clues
Cuz I won't hesitate to detonate, I'm short fused"

Stay Creative,

11"x14" acrylic and inks on bristol
For purchase of this Original painting, contact me at

No comments:

Post a Comment