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Liquid Swords

GZA

1995

Liquid Swords

Album Summary

Liquid Swords is the second solo studio album by American rapper and Wu-Tang Clan member GZA, released on November 7, 1995, by Geffen Records. Recording sessions for the album began midway through 1995 at producer RZA's basement studio in the New York City borough of Staten Island. The album heavily samples dialogue from the martial arts film Shogun Assassin and maintains a dark atmosphere throughout, incorporating lyrical references to chess, crime and philosophy. Liquid Swords features numerous guest appearances from the entire nine piece Wu-Tang Clan, and also Wu-Tang affiliate Killah Priest. Upon its release, Liquid Swords peaked at number nine on the Billboard 200 chart, and number two on the Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums chart. The Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) certified the album platinum in sales nearly 20 years after its release. Upon its initial release, Liquid Swords received critical acclaim for its complex lyricism and hypnotic musical style. Over the years, its recognition has grown, with a number of famous publishers proclaiming it to be one of the greatest hip hop albums of all time. In 2007, the Chicago Tribune cited it as "one of the most substantial lyrical journeys in hip-hop history".

Wikipedia

Rating

3.36

Votes

4802

Genres

  • Hip Hop
Reviews
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Tue Aug 23 2022
5

The last concert that I saw before the pandemic was Gza doing Liquid Swords. He was performing at a venue that is endearing, but far too shitty to host a hip-hop legend. Regardless of the circumstances, when Gza showed up, he brought the fucking energy. This album is interesting. It's not my favorite of the Wu-Tang solo albums (Only 4 Cuban Linx has that honor), but it's an incredible work. Lyrically deep, with Rza's characteristic sampling style that never seems like it should work, and yet always sounds amazing. The cinematic approach to making albums worked so well for Wu-Tang, and this album may be the pinnacle of that 5/5

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Wed Aug 17 2022
4

So good I listened to it twice in a row. Easily my favorite Wu-Tang related project. GZA sounds so smooth in his flow, everything is kind of lo-fi and straight to the point and I think that's what I like about it. Nothing but great rap songs.

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Wed Aug 31 2022
4

When it comes to the Wu-Tang Clan, GZA is the cool and calm master assassin. He rarely leaves the shadows, but when he does you can be sure that he's going to murder the mic, and won't break a sweat while he does it. They don't call him the Genius for nothing. This album features RZA, GZA's cousin, in full control of the production (as well as lending his distinctive lyrical stylings on "4th Chamber"). RZA defined the Wu-Tang style: layered (often eerie) samples, and dialogue from kung fu films. Unfortunately, RZA's one flaw is putting long bits of dialogue at the beginning and/or end of tracks, rather than featuring them as between-track skits. Yes, they're an essential part of his work, but most of the time you just want to listen to the tracks, not wait through 1:19 of dialogue (as is necessary with the title track, "Liquid Swords"). Despite the lengthy dialogue, "Liquid Swords" is one of the strongest tracks on the album. Other highlights include "Gold," "Labels," and my personal favorite, "4th Chamber." (What can I say? I'm a sucker for Ghostface, and RZA's medieval beat is the perfect match for Ghostface's "Why is the sky blue? Why is water wet? Why did Judas rat to Romans while Jesus slept?") An easy 4 stars, bordering on 4.5

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Mon Oct 24 2022
4

Never heard of GZA/Genius before this exercise. What I heard was some excellent flows and literate rhyming schemes. I didn't think I would enjoy all the samples taken from the kung fu movie Shogun Assassin that were laced throughout this album, but they flowed into the other music seamlessly. RZA did a great job mixing it. There is some really cool music in this album, some excellent collaboration with the other members of the Wu Tang Clan, and some stellar 90s hip hop. Favourite songs: 4th Chamber, Shadowboxin', Gold, Liquid Swords, Swordsman, Cold World Least favourite songs: Hell's Wind Staff/Killah Hills 10304 (good song, just didn't care for the long preamble before the song started) 4/5

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Tue Nov 15 2022
4

A very well done solo album by Wu-Tang member GZA. With the simple and stripped 90s beats GZA throws down some very lyrical raps. He does a good job in creating an atmosphere of the shaolin mixed with NY street life. GZA is a bit one dimensional which brings this album down a little but it helps he has several wu tang features and some good samples throughout. This is a strong album always worth a visit if seeking a good lyrical album. 7.7/10

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Wed Aug 24 2022
3

Wonky, woozy, atmospheric, The beats are all out of time and tune, symphonic in scale, that gives this a cinematic feel. I haven't delved much into the whole Wu-Tang genre, but I find this enjoyable. Less violent and misogynistic than much contemporaneous gangsta rap, although still somewhat preoccupied with violence. I find the lo-fi, wonky production charming (and a precursor to the rhythmic innovations of J. Dilla). I have listened to this through a few times, and enjoy the flow and the weirdly funky backing tracks. Skits on rap albums are a pet peeve of mine. The use of scratchy (and lengthy) samples from old martial arts films is a slightly better version of a skit, but still a bit annoying.

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Wed Sep 14 2022
3

This album goes hard. Love the samples from Shogun Assassin!

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Thu Oct 20 2022
3

Apparently, only one other person who has written a review of this album on this site knows the source of the film samples that provide the album's vertebra. Yes, I know all of us can look it up on Wikipedia, or indeed just click the Wikipedia sample this site offers. But only one other person bothered to mention the actual bloody film, with a few suggesting "martial arts" (I just about agree, but not remotely the point of the original film) and occasionally "kung fu" (completely wrong: wrong country, wrong tradition, wrong plot, wrong aesthetic, wrong clothes, just utter wrongness from heel to brow). I am not a martial arts buff at all; martial arts movies leave me completely cold (it took me a decade to appreciate the now-obvious grandeur of Enter The Dragon, and no other martial arts movie has ever kept me till the end), I have no desire to learn martial arts (4 injuries a year, the average martial artist suffers), and the idea that martial arts teaches any form of profundity strikes me as just so much bullshit (will learning to kick well somehow teach you Gödel's incompleteness theorems?). But I love ultraviolent 70s Japanese samurai cinema. I love Zatoichi, I love Lady Snowblood, and above all I love Lone Wolf and Cub. Lone Wolf and Cub started as a long-running manga (I've never read it, as I have no interest in comic books of any form except for Viz, which I adore to my bones), which became a series of six films involving the Shogun's executioner Ogami Itto, whose prowess with the sword has proven the ultimate lock on power for the corrupt feudal system at play: nobody can challenge a system which has the deadliest man alive in its control. But his expertise stems not just from his finesse, but his cunning: Ogami has no qualm in tricking his fellow duellist to a beheading by shining a mirror in his eyes. A coup tries to cast Ogami as a traitor to the Shogun, thus seizing his position as executioner. Ogami's wife is murdered, and Ogami declares that he shall become a demon and wandering ronin until he has achieved his vengeance, and he racks up the body count befitting a demon. His son Daigogo is an infant at the time, and after delivering the test the album quotes, he takes his son along their chosen purgatorial path in a weapon-loaded baby cart (the films are also known as the Baby Cart series, and the kid amasses his share of corpses). Yes, the films have a touch of exploitation cinema in their indulgence of gore (people here have garden hoses instead of arteries). I can't deny my love of the Grand Guignol. But their real soulmate, like much samurai cinema, is the western. Kurosawa avowedly cribbed from Ford, and in turn Peckinpah avowedly cribbed from Kurosawa. Ogami Itto's tale has some resemblance to that of the platonic western, Shane (by the by, my absolute favourite film of all time): a wandering figure with skills and troubles and questionable morals, upon whom a kid becomes dependent. The Baby Cart films are smart and slyly political, and the ultraviolence, sometimes gleeful, sometimes despondent, sometimes stoic, is always a glorious spectacle. You know how Robocop is a genuine masterpiece? The Lone Wolf and Cub films are similarly sanguine classics. Shogun Assassin is a mutant of the original films. An American dubbed splicing of the first two Baby Cart films, with an added English voiceover from Daigoro, Shogun Assassin became a cult film in the west (and a video nasty in the UK), with Daigoro's voiceover occasionally seen as providing a greater depth to the source material. Kill Bill is practically a remake of Shogun Assassin, and indeed the Bride at one point watches Shogun Assassin with her four-year-old daughter. Personally, I don't wish to watch Shogun Assassin again. Who wants to watch a dubbed film? Also, I fell in love with the originals. Shogun Assassin has nothing to offer me. Anyway, those are the film quotes on Liquid Swords. I have been talking about Baby Cart for so long because there is almost nothing to say about this album, which is the tragedy. Having listened to a few Wu-Tang albums, I have with sadness to conclude that they all sound the same. The producer and mastermind RZA has exactly one style: the same musical austerity, the same lyrical prominence, the same and frankly tiresome east Asian film samples. It's a good sound, and I guess I enjoyed the album. But I can't recall a choice lyric from this. I can't recall any lyric from this. The Wu-Tang sound still hits the spine, but have all their albums just been variations on themes by George Clinton and the Shaw Brothers? I was expecting, hoping to laud this, but it's mainly generosity that's justifying these three stars. With Lone Wolf and Cub, stick with the originals. With the Wu, you can also just stick with the original 36 Chambers. Oh, and really don't bother with the bonus track B.I.B.L.E (Basic Instructions Before Leaving Earth). Insane Clown Posse's Miracles claiming more street cred.

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Wed Aug 17 2022
5

Very happy to have discovered this album via the 1001 challenge. The hip-hop sound of the mid-90s was fantastic and this record is an amazing representation of it. I can't wait to listen to it again and give a better attention to the lyrics and subtleties.

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Fri Aug 19 2022
5

Has that strong, edgy, East coast rap flow to it. Makes for a good background listen that still gets your head bobbing a little

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Wed Aug 24 2022
5

Tres lourd. J'ecoute absolument jamais de rap mais j'ai eu une tres bonne surprise avec cet album. J'ai adore les intros parlees au debut des chansons

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Fri Aug 26 2022
5

Goat

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Tue Sep 13 2022
5

Mračan, hladan, vožen pričom, atmosferičan album, odlični beatovi, odlični tekstovi (osim B.I.B.L.E. - nažalost, ali beat je savršen), odlična koncepcija i album koji je već godinama u rotaciji kada se ušeta hladnije vrijeme. Bio mrkli mrak, hladan ili općenito hladnije vrijeme - ovaj album je stvoren za to. U top 3 najbolja solo albuma outside of Wu-Tang. RZA je pokazao da je jeben producent i mislim da mu je ovo jedan od najboljih produciranih albuma. Definitivno bih htio ovo na vinylu, ali teško - meni se čini, ali doć ću ja po to, nabavit ću - ne brine me to! Slobodno poslušajte, možda ne bude pasalo, ali ako volite Wu-Tang i njihov stil repa i priče u early wu-tang danima, ovo je album za vas. Ne znam jel znate, zapravo kak bi znali, ali Method Man mi je uvijek bio najjači lik u Wu-Tangu - i zato sam htio da on napravi svoj solo album ovako kvalitetno ko GZA, međutim nije, iako mu nije uopće loš album, odličan isto, samo ne toliko sa strane kritike, a i te neke kontinuiranosti. Naravno, ima još on dobrih albuma (IMO) - Legend of the Liquid Swords, Beneath the Surface i Grandmasters, ali nije ni blizu nivou na kojem je Liquid Swords.

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Mon Sep 26 2022
5

This is one of the best rap albums i’ve ever listened to. The production from RZA and 4th disciple is on point, along with GZA and the rest of the clans lyrics. 10/10

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Mon Oct 10 2022
5

amazing

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Mon Oct 10 2022
5

indisputable. Horny god

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Mon Oct 24 2022
5

fresh tastes of a future in hiphop. really early hints of melodic rap

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Thu Oct 27 2022
5

cool

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Sat Nov 26 2022
5

Czarny piatek, to i czarny album wylosowalo, dodatkowo jeden z moich ulubionych rapowych krazkow, najlepszy solowy material wutangowej rodziny, plyta z chyba najbardziej zapadajacym w pamiec skitem otwierajacym w historii czarnej muzyki, zsamplowany z szogunowego zabojcy, no i dodatkowo album ktory musi byc osluchany na kazde swieta, gdy za oknem jest zimno, czyli liquid swords od pana GZA z roku 95, im bardziej osluchany material tym mniej sensu jest sie rozpisywac nad nim, bo zdanie jest juz wyrobione i utrwalone, a liquid swords to chyba jeden z moich najbardziej osluchanych materialow, bo na samym last fmie z ponad 50 przesluchan sie nabilo, wiec boje sie pomylec ile bylo jutubowych, czy niezeskroblowanych, jedyne co chce dodac, to fakt jak mocno zarysowany jest tutaj wystep pana killah priesta, bo chyba wlasnie dzieki temu nagraniu stal sie jednym z najpowazniejsyzch wutangowych okoloczlonkow

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Tue Dec 06 2022
5

Kickass kung-fu masterpiece

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Thu Dec 08 2022
5

Straight up 🙏🏾

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Fri Dec 16 2022
5

Wu Tang still one of the best.

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Wed Dec 28 2022
5

10/10 one of my favorite rap albums the production is so goshdarn cool

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Thu Dec 29 2022
5

All of the Wu-Tang releases around the 36 Chambers era are just straight fire but this one might be my favorite solo release from that period. All killer no filler. Great beats, fantastic samples and biting lyricism.

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Sat Dec 31 2022
5

When I was little my father was famous He was the greatest samurai in the empire And he was the Shogun's decapitator He cut off the heads of a hundred and thirty-one lords It was a bad time for the empire The Shogun just stayed inside his castle and he never came out People said his brain was infected by devils My father would come home, he would forget about the killings He wasn't scared of the Shogun, but the shogun was scared of him Maybe that was the problem Then, one night The, the Shogun sent his ninja spies to our house They were supposed to kill my father but they didn't That was the night everything changed This album is crazy good. 5/5

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Thu Jan 05 2023
5

I loved almost every song on this album.

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Fri Jan 06 2023
5

Oh snap, solid gold five stars here, GZA one of the greatest to ever do. Everything on this album pops - RZA's grimy Kung Fu sampling production, guest stars bring their A-Game and then there is GZA's delivery: witty, elegant, incredible flow, whip smart, near unsurpassed word play. 'Labels' a brilliant idea, perfectly executed, 'Liquid Swords' an infectious, catchy album opener built around an unlikely sample ('Groovin' by Willie Mitchell) and 'BIBLE' a smart and informative closer.

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Fri Jan 06 2023
5

LP

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Mon Jan 09 2023
5

THE BEST WU TANG SOLO ALBUM

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Tue Jan 10 2023
5

This one just gets better on every listen. Mostly just because that production is LUSH. Mmm. I love this one. It has flaws, but not very impactful ones.

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Tue Jan 17 2023
5

One of my favorite albums of all time.

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Fri Jan 20 2023
5

Love anything that sounds from NYC

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Tue Jan 24 2023
5

When cut across the neck, a sound like wailing winter winds is heard, they say. I'd always hoped to cut someone like that someday, to hear that sound. But to have it happen to my own neck is ridiculous.

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Tue Jan 31 2023
5

Such and incredible album, every track just stays with me. Amazing production from RZA, outstanding rapping from GZA and the rest of the Wu Tang Clan. To think I originally listened to this the first time because of a really stupid meme involving Joe Biden (https://amp.knowyourmeme.com/memes/joe-biden-liquid-swords-tweet). And the extended version on Apple Music has instrumental versions of all the tracks!!!

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Fri Feb 03 2023
5

The best.

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Wed Aug 17 2022
4

Really good hiphop album. It bing me back to skateshop early 2000's

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Wed Aug 17 2022
4

Minimalistic beats, but still very efficient. The lyrics are what flows the most here and I'll definitely have to listen to it again soon.

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Wed Aug 24 2022
4

Very good album overall! Obviously very very Wu-Tang vibe. Perfectly dark atmosphere, RZA beat influence is felt everywhere and the Wu-Tang lyrisicm to match it. Some beats did not age too well unfortunately.

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Wed Aug 24 2022
4

Qualité efficace, ambiance dark qui met bien, ça sent fort le wu-tang et ça fais le taff fort ! A écouter plus en profondeur donc clairement j'ecouterais plusieurs fois

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Wed Aug 24 2022
4

Not my kind of music in general but I really like that it's a concept album with monologue bits, and the vibe was very chills (with hints of darkness) throughout.

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Wed Aug 24 2022
4

How is this the first time I hear this record in it’s entirety? GZA’s vocabulary is insane and his flow likewise. Surgical precision; nothing less. While not flashy the beats are the perfect backbone for GZA and his guests often rough, harsh and honest storytelling. The focus on extremely lyrically heavy songs ends up being almost physically exhausting. But with lyrics like these it takes a lot more to actually grow tired of it.

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Wed Aug 24 2022
4

A lyrical odyssey with great classic hiphop production. Storytelling at its finest and packs a great one-two punch in '4th Chamber' and 'Shadowboxin''. Impressive lineup of guests, and it's always nice to have the whole clan together.

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Fri Aug 26 2022
4

One of the Tangiest albums to ever Wu. Even though it's not technically a Wu-Tang album, it's got all of the Clan members on it and all of the weird kung-fu vibes of a Wu-Tang joint just cranked to 11. I enjoyed the hell out of this which is why it's getting high marks but it's still cheesy AF (like all Wu-Tang joints) which is why it's not getting a perfect 5. Still an utter blast, though.

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Fri Aug 26 2022
4

This is what I think about when I think about hip hop.

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Fri Aug 26 2022
4

Very good. Like swordsman a lot.

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Tue Aug 30 2022
4

Nice and smooth.

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Wed Aug 31 2022
4

rap很酷

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Tue Sep 06 2022
4

What an influential album. Great listen, totally recommend if you're looking for new sounds. God showed me a song from this album, and I never thought to look further into it. But, glad it came up for my album of yesterday, it was quite fitting.

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Thu Sep 08 2022
4

Try to not move your head to this engine album. You will fail.

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Fri Sep 09 2022
4

It was great! I love 90’s hip hop/R&B

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Tue Sep 13 2022
4

Dobaaaaar. Ko da film gledas. Beatovi su malo dosadni al vidi se da je veci fokus upret u tekst koji je u trenutcima wow.

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Wed Sep 14 2022
4

1995. Liquid Swords, 4th Chamber, Shadowboxin'

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Wed Sep 14 2022
4

I enjoyed the lyricism of the album, and the concept of the music was very unique, especially the overlying plotline about a powerful warlord's son. Overall a very refreshing listen after the mindless lyrics in today's mainstream rap.

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Tue Sep 20 2022
4

Not a fan of rap, but damn, this is good stuff.

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Mon Sep 26 2022
4

Very recognizable, grim sounds and great lyricism.

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Wed Sep 28 2022
4

I really enjoyed this album, had classic 90’s bass lines and some good listens for the ears

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Mon Oct 03 2022
4

Pretty good. Crass in a few spots

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Wed Oct 05 2022
4

Very good lyrical flow and I like the cinematic feeling that it gives the listener. Highlights are "Liquid Swords", and "4th Chamber".

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Tue Oct 11 2022
4

It's a great album. I had not listened to the whole thing previously, but I had heard some of the songs before. This isn't a full-fledged Wu-Tang album but several of the members make an appearance. I would listen to it again. The only reason this is not getting 5 is because I found the samurai movie audio unnecessary.

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Thu Oct 20 2022
4

Enjoyed the album. Haven’t realized before how great the rhymes and lyrics members of the Clan wrote and rhymes. Good album with interesting themes

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Fri Oct 28 2022
4

Pas décevant, meilleur que ce que j'ai écouté de Wu Tang

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Fri Oct 28 2022
4

Klassischer Boom-Bap-Rap mit geilen Sample-Beats!

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Sat Oct 29 2022
4

typically when I hear 90s rap I'm not a huge fan. but this one did it for me. I thought it was great and some nice casual listening. I might have to revisit more 90s rap with a different perspective 8/10

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Sun Oct 30 2022
4

notes - gza is a member of wu tang clan and this album has a bunch of people youll recognize - produced by rza, features ghostface killah, inspectah deck, method man - after wu tang’s inital success, a couple of the members went on to do sole albums and this was gza’s second - the beats on this are so great, rza really created a vibe that matches gza’s calm lyrical delivery - i would definitely need to listen to this a couple more times to get the full meaning of a lot of the lyrics on here - he throws a LOT at you fav - 4th chamber - love the fuzzy and noisy samples here, and ghostface :) least fav - labels - didnt really stick with me after hearing it 4/5

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Mon Nov 14 2022
4

An album so good that I'm sure it won't crack 3.0.

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Sun Nov 20 2022
4

Rating: 8/10 Best songs: Liquid swords, Duel of the iron lic, Cold world, Shadowboxin, I gotcha back, Bible

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Mon Nov 21 2022
4

Had never heard of this album, but was interesting to listen to as not what I'd ever normally put on. Especially at 6am in the morning ;-) Pretty good for not a hip-hop fan

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Thu Nov 24 2022
4

Relatively enjoyable - I'm a particular fan of the elliptical, paranoid lyrics and creepy atmosphere. As with many Wu Tang affiliated projects, it has the dusty, slightly uncanny feel of old found footage. What elevates this from three to four stars is '4th Chamber', one of my favourite rap tracks full stop. The sample from 'Shogun Assassin' that kicks it off is supreme, and it just gets better from there on in. Was 'Why is the sky blue?' the Wu equivalent to 'Fuckin' magnets, how do they work?'

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Tue Nov 29 2022
4

Great lyricism and atmosphere. Production is a bit generic wu-tangy though, which is partly great, but partly made me want something a bit different.

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Fri Dec 02 2022
4

Scrappy, raw, beats combine with the classic Wu-Tang flow of catchy hard-hitting truths and irreverence. designed for loud blasting, but I can't help but wonder why some of these beats have some extra layer of dissonance to 'em.

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Mon Dec 05 2022
4

I love Wu-Tang and the first wave of solo projects was pretty outstanding. I think it's debatable if this, Cuban Linx, or Tical is the best of that particular grouping but regardless this is damn good. A borderline 5, but if I'm being honest there are a couple tracks that keeping it from reaching that score.

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Fri Dec 09 2022
4

A lyrical story from start to finish

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Thu Dec 15 2022
4

Example of a record heralded so much in the mid-90s amongst college friends & crowds, but which I never actually listened to. This "albums generator" exercise is already more than proving its value for music listeners like me who otherwise would prbly never have inititated the investment to explore such a consequential record like this independently, particularly given that rap & hiphop, while heavily respected, has otherwise not been a genre which previously connected w/ myself in any important level. That said, this album, along with Beasties' Paul's Bputique, is dfntly a game changer for me. So many things to enjoy, respect and appreciate. Lyrics first and foremost imo. Going thru every track's lyrics, i'm not sure if you can't make an argument of greatness when comparing against a modern day Dylan, while maintaining its own total signature & tone. Samples & background. On the third listen of this record, i am left very impressed by all of the tasteful samples and background accompaniment. From a production pov, my guess is that it takes as much, if not more, talent, skill, vision and discipline to score something like this as it does a respectable independent film. Where to punch in, where to cut out, where to ride the backbeat. To the rest of us mere mortals it may sound like an easy impulsive cakewalk. My guess is that each & every beat & phrase was the result of careful debate and intentional artistic license over & over. The care & vision shows. A wild chaos is telegraphed all over these tracks which in the end is anything but wild or chaotic. It is the cold, calculated control of master artists & musicians at the helm who recognized way beforehand that they were bottling magic nearly 30 yrs before the rest of us could manage to catch our breaths to be in a position to appreciate it.

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Fri Dec 16 2022
4

Yes. This was the best album on here in a looong time.

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Fri Dec 16 2022
4

This record is a classic. Atmospheric, dark, incredible lyrics and beats. Still as good now as it was when it was released.

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Mon Dec 19 2022
4

Liquid Swords doesn't distinguish itself with lyrics or flows, though I think it stands with contemporaries if not far ahead of them. The happy surprise was the way this record prefigures almost all hip-hop produced afterwards while retaining the nineties-Eastern grit. A great project to break a bit of a rap fast.

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Mon Dec 19 2022
4

Not exactly the sort of person to listen to rap, but hey - I'm more than OK with listening to it if it means I begin to understand and appreciate what people listen to, and with this album in particular, I think I get it. Unafraid to use samples, lyrically complex, clean and sharp vocals...it's pretty good.

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Tue Dec 20 2022
4

Joe Biden was right, this thing slaps

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Fri Sep 16 2022
4

this album makes me want to get really into hip hop, so good

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Tue Jan 10 2023
4

Not gonna do a review this time but instead bitch about how I had tickets to see Wu-Tang in September and bailed for reasons I barely even remember now, and they did a Liquid Swords set! So pissed that I missed that. A-

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Tue Jan 10 2023
4

This album is The Tits. Usually, if I were to hear martial arts film quotes interspersed through an album, I'd assume that the artist was targeting specifically to the sort of awkward, friendless no-hoper who wears cat ears and buys "Katanas" online. His low-grade steel will be pride of his collection, alongside his waifu bodypillow. Of course, the whole sorry lot would be under a cloud of stench that's managed to develop its own personality. This is not that album. The beats are great. The flows are great. The lyrics are catchy and engaging. The film quotes are referenced with a wink rather than an adolescent stiffy. And the album builds. It takes you as a listener on. Journey. I like it. I like it rather a lot.

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Sat Jan 14 2023
4

Could've showed some restraint with the skits, but solid.

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Sun Jan 15 2023
4

A fantastic album. GZA flow and lyrics are incredible. The beats are minimalistic, but at the same time perfect for GZAs style. Never been a fan of skits in albums, especially if they don’t really add to the album. Enjoyable, but perhaps got a little too repetitive. 4/5

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Mon Jan 23 2023
4

Wicked.

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Mon Jan 23 2023
4

Nice old school hiphop

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Mon Jan 23 2023
4

Lyrical masterclass.

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Tue Jan 24 2023
4

At first, listening to this album for the first time in 5-10 years was a bit underwhelming. However, the more I listened, the better it got just as I remembered. I used to love this album in highschool when I first discovered hip-hop. The production, GZA's lyrical ability, the features from other Wu-Tang members and affiliates made this such a great album. RZA's production on this album is one of his best. My favorite tracks was #13, which surprisingly wasn't produced by RZA.

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Thu Jan 26 2023
4

Always been more of a RZA guy but I can get down with this cousin. Cold world is such a nasty song. It's basically a Wu album with all the guest spots but I'm not complaining love Wu. Intelligent hip hop> Over this dumbed down shit today. I think by looking at the year this came out not too far after 36 chambers. If so damn. The growth is crazy good for gza. Shadowboxing got method man, fuck yeah always loved his flow and delivery he sounds like glass, smooth when together but sharp and dangerous when broken. Solid 8/10 album. Or 4/5 stars. Haven't listen to Wu members in a long time, besides the "Enter the Fellowship" which is Lord of the rings soundtrack over Wu vocals.

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Fri Jan 27 2023
4

Well what a week we've had, from the wholesomeness of parsnips, lemon & thyme to the precision of GZA's metaphors. Although I'll confess, I had to look at the lyrics to truly appreciate the flow. Hoppity-hipping

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Sun Jan 29 2023
4

Wow, what a great listen. Great flow with vocals, awesome production. What an album! 4! TBz 1. Living In The World Today 2. Shadowboxin’ 3. Hell’s Wind Staff / Killah Hills 10304 4. Investigative Reports 5. 4th Chamber

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Mon Jan 30 2023
4

A solid portion of Wu Tang Entertainment Product. I much prefer extended samurai film samples to skits. Fave track - "Liquid Swords" and "4th Chamber" - the ones with the most samurai dialogue 👺

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Tue Jan 31 2023
4

still trying to figure out how a liquid sword would work

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Sat Feb 04 2023
4

Strongly themed, tightly rhymed great record by GZA - from the memorable sample from the opening track to the very end of the album this is a strong strong showing from the ex-Wu Tang Clanner. Moody, dark - but without going overboard it's just right.

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Sat Aug 13 2022
3

Seems like a pretty decent hip-hop album, focused on high quality basics instead of fancy overcompensation for lack of skill. That said, I simply don't like hip-hop. Still giving it three stars though, because it's a rare case where I didn't feel an aggressive urge to skip tracks after the first few seconds and dismiss the whole thing after 5 tracks.

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Mon Aug 15 2022
3

As with a lot of hip-hop albums, this is interspersed with numerous skits, broadly themed on shogun culture and mostly tedious. The music is actually pretty good, as is the vocals.

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Mon Aug 15 2022
3

Good Really bothered thag Cold world singing is not in key with track until the end when the beat changes. I like the dark tone but this doesn't need to be an hour long there is not enough variety to keep it interesting.

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Wed Aug 24 2022
3

I saw Wu Tang Clan at the Enmore Theatre in August 2011. I was really there to see the support act, Daily Meds. The audience was so excited. It was a great night. This album was 15 years old at the time but 3 of the tracks were featured that night - Liquid Swords, Duel Of The Iron Mic & 4th Chamber. Two of them feature the hypnotic hammond organ sample from Willie Mitchell’s version of The Rascals’ Groovin. And the other uses the repetitive piano piece from a David Porter(as in Isaac Hayes/David Porter) track. I’d never heard this album before. I spent a lot of time listening to the many tracks sampled here & marvelling at how the samples were used. I enjoyed the film dialogue used. The album has an edge-of the-seat atmosphere that is maintained throughout. It sounds great. Shadowboxin, with the Ann Peebles sample was a standout for me. At times it was just a bit too repetitive. And in a post-ISIS world, I doubt if you’d open your album with a track in which a kid talks about his dad being a decapitator.

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Wed Aug 24 2022
3

Its ok. Old school hip hop with cool skits. Nothing crazy for me

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Fri Aug 26 2022
3

Some nice melodies. Enjoyed "Cold World" a lot.

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Sun Aug 28 2022
3

Eerie and likably weird. One likes the understatement and minimalistic, almost downbeat feel of this.

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