Grandmasters (album)

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Angeles grandmasters cover .jpg
Studio album by
DJ Muggs vs. GZA (The Genius)
ReleasedOctober 25, 2005
GenreHip hop
ProducerDJ Muggs
DJ Muggs chronology
Legend of the Mask and the Assassin
GZA chronology
Legend of the Liquid Sword
Pro Tools
Professional ratings
Review scores
AllMusic4.5/5 stars[1]
Prefix Magazine(9/10)[3]

Grandmasters is a collaborative album by DJ Muggs and GZA. The album was released on October 25, 2005 on Angeles Records.[4] The album is the first in the "DJ Muggs vs. " series, followed by his 2007 collaboration with Sick Jacken, Legend of the Mask and the Assassin, 2008s Pain Language with Planet Asia and 2010s Kill Devil Hills together with Ill Bill. Grandmasters serves as GZA's fifth studio album.

It features Wu-Tang Clan members and affiliates such as Raekwon, RZA, Masta Killa and Prodigal Sunn as well as Cypress Hill member Sen Dog. All of its tracks are produced by DJ Muggs. It has a theme of chess as can be seen by the track names. Introductions featuring chess strategy, including instruction for a chess opening using algebraic notation, are within the album. The album was also released in 'Instrumentals' and 'Remix' versions. The latter containing a bonus DVD featuring world tour and studio footage.


Chess is the ultimate board game. Monopoly is not in its league and Checkers doesn’t compare at all. It’s civilized war. It’s a mathematical thing, its science, and it’s strategy. That’s life all the time. Just planning your day, being ten steps ahead and seeing the moves ahead. That’s what chess is about. I’m not the greatest player. I’m not a master or a grandmaster. I lose a lot, but I learn. I’ve been defeated plenty times. I play online and I might have 900 wins and 850 losses but I play all the time. The game is fascinating and I am captivated by that. The album I just dropped is called Grandmasters. That’s the highest level you reach when playing chess and it’s also the highest level of emceeing, producing and deejaying. Most of the titles are chess slang ‘Queen’s Gambit,’ ‘Destruction of a Guard,’ ‘Unprotected Pieces,’ and ‘Illusory Protection.’ I incorporate chess into certain rhymes. I use chess all the time. Chess is a big part of what I do.

— GZA[5]

Track listing[edit]

2."Those That's Bout It"3:24
3."Destruction of a Guard" (featuring Raekwon)3:59
4."Exploitation of Mistakes"3:21
5."General Principles"3:39
6."Advance Pawns" (featuring RZA, Raekwon & Sen Dog)4:02
7."Queen's Gambit"4:35
8."All in Together Now"" (featuring RZA)4:24
9."Unstoppable Threats" (featuring Masta Killa & Prodigal Sunn)3:44
10."Unprotected Pieces"3:29
11."Illusory Protection"4:27
12."Smothered Mate"3:12


  • Gary Grice - Main Artist, Rapper, Writer
  • Lawrence Muggerud - Producer, Keyboardist, Writer
  • Corey Woods - Rapper, Writer
  • Robert Diggs - Rapper, Writer
  • Senen Reyes - Rapper, Writer
  • Elgin Turner - Rapper, Writer
  • Vergil Ruff - Rapper, Writer
  • Daniel Seeff - Bassist
  • Mike Simz - Guitarist/Pianist/Keyboardist/Bassist
  • Rob Hill - Guitarist/Strings
  • Dontae Winslow - Trumpeter
  • Ina Williams - Background Vocalist
  • Ern Dog - Guitarist/Bassist/Organist
  • DJ SPR4 - Music Recorder
  • Rob Hill - Music Mixer
  • Joe "The Butcher" Nicolo - Music Mixer
  • Ernie Medina - Engineer
  • Brian "Big Bass" Gardner - Music Masterer
  • Mike "Fatoe" Orduna - Art Director/Designer
  • Joey Castillo Jr. - Art Director/Designer
  • Robert Johnson III - Photographer
  • Dina Nadezhdina - Spoken Word Interlude Speaker


Chart (2005) Peak
US Billboard 200[6] 180
US Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums (Billboard)[7] 69


  1. ^ Marisa Brown (2005-10-25). "Grandmasters - GZA,Muggs | Songs, Reviews, Credits". AllMusic. Retrieved 2015-09-17.
  2. ^ "DJ Muggs vs. GZA - Grandmasters - Review". Stylus Magazine. Retrieved 2015-09-17.
  3. ^ Matthew Gasteier (2008-03-05). "Album Review: GZA vs. Muggs - Grandmasters | Prefix". Retrieved 2015-09-17.
  4. ^ "DJ Muggs vs. GZA / The Genius* - Grandmasters (CD, Album) at Discogs". 2010-06-15. Retrieved 2012-01-10.
  5. ^ "GZA (Wu-Tang) - Halftimeonline - Hip Hop Music & Culture". Halftimeonline. 2006-04-10. Retrieved 2015-09-17.
  6. ^ "GZA Chart History (Billboard 200)". Billboard. Retrieved October 23, 2014.
  7. ^ "GZA Chart History (Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums)". Billboard. Retrieved October 23, 2014.