When you talk about the greatest Wu-Tang solo albums, there are usually two albums that are always in the running – Raekwon’s widely-influential, mafioso masterpiece, Only Built 4 Cuban Linx…, and GZA’s Liquid Swords, both which happened to have dropped in the same year.
Actually, no wait, make that three albums – Ghostface’s brilliant sophomore Supreme Clientele deserves to be up there as well. But I digress.
For many diehard Wu-Tang fans, GZA’s sophomore album (he dropped his debut, Words from the Genius, in 1991 via Cold Chillin’) represents the peak of the Clan’s artistry, with chilling and cinematic production from RZA and dense, vivid rhymes courtesy of the Genius.
From the album’s opener, “Liquid Swords” (which also happens to be one of the best rap title tracks ever) to the metaphorical “Labels” to the crowd-pleasing banger “4th Chamber” to “Shadowboxin'”, which features an absolutely incredible Method Man guest verse, there’s something on here for any hip hop head. For GZA personally, his favourite track off Liquid Swords is “Duel of the Iron Mic,” which also features Ol’ Dirty Bastard, Masta Killa and Inspectah Deck.
GZA: This might be my favorite track on the album. I like how I delivered on this one, and I love RZA’s beat. I remember writing to it and that it took me a while because I was trying different things. I remember being so happy after Ol’ Dirty blessed the track like he did. I love how the recording sounds too. When we perform this song live, the music gets real low for Deck’s part, and then it comes in real loud and it still always gets me hype. I also love the skit at the beginning. I just love that shit.Liquid Swords: GZA | Wax Poetics