Legend of the Liquid Sword (album)

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Legend of the Liquid Sword
Studio album by GZA/Genius
Released December 10, 2002
Recorded 2001–2002
Genre Hip hop
Length 50:32
Label MCA/Universal Records
113 083
Producer Bink!
Arabian Knight
DJ Muggs
GZA/Genius chronology
Beneath the Surface
Legend of the Liquid Sword
Wu-Tang Clan solo chronology
Wu-Tang Clan:
Iron Flag
Legend Of The Liquid Sword
Inspectah Deck:
The Movement

Legend of the Liquid Sword is the fourth solo studio album by American hip hop artist GZA, a member of the Wu-Tang Clan. It was released December 10, 2002. The album is named after the kung fu film Legend of the Liquid Sword. In the songs "Did Ya Say That", and "Knock Knock", GZA focuses on the politics of record labels, and expresses his issues in dealing with record companies over artistic goals in music. It would also be known as one of MCA Records' last two projects, along with rapper Common's fifth album, Electric Circus, before the label was dissolved and absorbed by Geffen Records.

Critical reception[edit]

Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic 3/5 stars[1]
Pitchfork Media (8.3/10)[2]
Rolling Stone 4/5 stars[3]
RapReviews 9/10 stars[4]
Vibe 4/5 stars[5]
Stylus (B)[6]
Rhapsody (Favourable)[7]
Robert Christgau (2-star Honorable Mention)[8]

Many fans will argue whether or not this album was a sincere effort on GZA's part due to the time of the release and the less commercial appeal. The album has been praised for GZA's consistent fan appreciated lyrics, yet accused of having "bland" production, which is often argued.[9][10][11][12]

Brett Berliner of Stylus Magazine said: "The man simply is brilliant, and although these aren’t the lyrics that will appeal to most, they are certainly some of the best. It’s just like why simple books appeal to the masses – most people can’t comprehend this much depth."[13]

Jonah Weiner of Blender magazine stated: "This abstract skill put his 1995 masterpiece, Liquid Swords (name-checked here in the title and every other song), in the running for best Wu solo album, but dense, volatile production pushed it over the top — the prosaic soul loops here are solid enough, but fall short of the legend."[14]

The overall sound of the album conflicted much of the mainstream hip-hop at the time of its release. Samira Niazy of prefixmag.com rated the album 8.0 out of 10 and concluded: "One of the things you'll notice is that GZA's more unique [sic] and real style shines through because he focuses on lyricism rather than distracting the listener with loud instrumental background noise. It draws your attention to his best asset, his distinct style. Thankfully, Legend of the Liquid Sword sounds nothing like the hip-pop that's on heavy rotation on hip-hop stations right now."[15]

Though many opinions varied on whether the album was the classic "Wu-Tang sound", Ari Levenfeld of PopMatters feels: "If Legend of the Liquid Sword is any indication of the Wu-Tang Clan's efforts to come, it doesn't seem like the group is all that interested in expanding their fan base or growing musically. Maybe they've done what they set out to do. The franchise is working... GZA isn't trying to be something or someone he's not. He's all about the original recipe."[16]

Track listing[edit]

  1. "Intro"
  2. "AutoBio"
    • Producer: Jay "Waxx" Garfield
    • Samples: Saint Tropez - "Belle de Jour"
  3. "Did Ya Say That?"
    • Producer: Boola
  4. "Silent"
  5. "Knock, Knock"
    • Producer: Jay "Waxx" Garfield
    • Samples: The Spinners - "I Must Be Living For A Broken Heart"
  6. "Stay In Line"
  7. "Animal Planet"
    • Producers: Tyquan Walker, Bink!
    • Samples: Isaac Hayes - "Man's Temptation"
  8. "Fam (Members Only)"
  9. "Legend of the Liquid Sword"
  10. "Fame"
    • Producer: Arabian Knight
  11. "Highway Robbery"
    • Chorus: Governor Two's
    • Producer: Arabian Knight
  12. "Luminal"
  13. "Sparring Minds"
    • First & third verses: GZA
    • Second verse: Inspectah Deck
    • Producer: Arabian Knight
  14. "Rough Cut"
  15. "Uncut Material"
    • Producer: GZA


External links[edit]