52 IN 52
The 52 Albums that define my love for music
Week 35/ Album 35
WHO: GZA - "LIQUID SWORDS"
When: Late 1995
Why: The Wu-Tang Clan's "Enter the 36 Chambers" should be on this list, but I was late to that party, so it didn't really have as great as an effect as this record did, although it is legendary. The Method Man and Raekwon solo records had gotten passed around between my friends but it wasnt until I heard the Ol' Dirty Bastard's "Return to the 36 Chambers" that I started to take serious notice of the Wu. Then "Liquid Swords" dropped, and track 1 hit and it was game over. I was 100% behind anything Wu-Tang. This record and Ghostface Killa's "Ironman" are interchangeable. The only reason this one is on this list is because it came out first, but both records hold a strong place in my collection.
When: I've seen Wu-Tang as a collective a couple times, but I've never seen the GZA on his own. That will change this summer.
I represent from midnight to high noon
The samples are amazing. The beats are hard and raw. His words are brilliant. This is just about as flawless as a hip-hop record can get. Easily the best lyricist of the Wu-Tang Clan, the GZA's style is so slow that his words sometimes flow so easily that you know you understood what you heard but cant comprehend it.
This record (along with all the Wu others) were mainstays between me and my friends in high school. As a new Wu-Tang Clan member put a record out, we would buy it. Each record had its own life to it, and we knew every word. Hanging out being kids, skateboarding, doing stupid shit. We usually had a Wu-Tang record as the soundtrack.
The first rip through the Wu-Tang was the best, with no argument. I dont think any of the sophomore albums could match the brilliance the first ones had. (Although FOREVER is still killer, and Ill give Supreme Clientele props and Nigga Please may be better than the original, only because ODB had lost his mind by that point)
This record reminds me of those couple of years where nothing mattered but hanging out with your friends and doing stupid, but absolutely amazing things. Cheers to Nate, Gobes, Beej, and Junes for this one.