Friday, December 4, 2015

All-Time Rap Artists #22: Genius/GZA


Lyricist extraordinaire, Genius/GZA, known as a member of the Wu-Tang Clan stomps into the all-time list at the #22 spot.

Genius embarked on his career by traveling from Brooklyn to Staten Island to battle MCs all through New York City with this cousins RZA and Ol' Dirty Bastard.  Genius signed to Cold Chillin' Records in the late 1980s/ early 1990s, releasing the album Words From The Genius, before he became one of the most feared chambers of the super group.

When the Wu-Tang Clan released group projects and solo efforts, GZA would get features, displaying his lyrical prowess, gaining respect among his clan mates and MCs throughout the industry.  In 1995, when he released his first solo album, Liquid Swords,  as a member of The Wu, a legend and a classic was born.  Not only was the album celebrated for its lyrical delivery, it achieved commercial appeal as well.  To this day, the album is regarded as one of the best solo releases from any member of the group.  In 1998, The Source Magazine selected Liquid Swords as one of the Best 100 Rap Albums of all time.  Liquid Swords has stood the test of time, and holds up against most current releases, lyrically, production wise, creatively, and with meaningful subject matter.

GZA continues to contribute to Wu-Tang Clan releases and tours the world performing Liquid Swords themed concerts and performing new tracks from his previous projects.

In recent years, GZA has been lecturing colleges and universities on using words wisely when recording albums, so one day "there can be an album without a Parental Advisory sticker".  He wishes to see artists find more creative means of wordplay to express themselves instead of using profanity as filler.  He also is working to improve science education in New York City schools by motivating students to learn science by creating science-based lyrics and lyrical competitions.

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