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
Producer Bink!, GZA, Arabian Knight, Mathematics, RZA, Jaz-O, 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[3]
Stylus (B)[5]
Rhapsody (Favorable)[6]
Robert Christgau (2-star Honorable Mention)[7]

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."[8]

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."[9]

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 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."[10]

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."[11]

Track listing[edit]

No. Title Producer(s) Length
1. "Intro" (featuring Young Justice)   0:42
2. "AutoBio"   Jay "Waxx" Garfield 3:54
3. "Did Ya Say That?"   Boola 3:54
4. "Silent" (featuring Ghostface Killah & Streetlife) Bink! 2:41
5. "Knock, Knock"   Jay "Waxx" Garfield 3:34
6. "Stay In Line" (featuring Santi White) Arabian Knight 4:02
7. "Animal Planet"   Tyquan Walker, Bink! 4:16
8. "Fam (Members Only)" (featuring RZA & Masta Killa) Mathematics 4:10
9. "Legend of the Liquid Sword" (featuring Anthony Allen) Jaz-O 3:37
10. "Fame"   Arabian Knight 3:45
11. "Highway Robbery" (featuring Governor Two's) Arabian Knight 4:00
12. "Luminal"   DJ Muggs 2:59
13. "Sparring Minds" (featuring Inspectah Deck) Arabian Knight 2:48
14. "Rough Cut" (featuring Armel, Prodigal Sunn & 12 O'Clock) RZA 3:05
15. "Uncut Material"   GZA 2:58


Chart (2002) Peak
US Billboard 200[12] 75
US Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums (Billboard)[13] 21


  1. ^ John Bush (2002-12-10). "Legend of the Liquid Sword - GZA | Songs, Reviews, Credits". AllMusic. Retrieved 2015-09-17. 
  2. ^ "GZA: Legend of the Liquid Sword | Album Reviews". Pitchfork. 2003-01-07. Retrieved 2015-09-17. 
  3. ^ a b "GZA - Legend of the Liquid Sword CD Album". Cduniverse.com. 2002-12-10. Retrieved 2015-09-17. 
  4. ^ "GZA :: Legend of the Liquid Sword :: MCA Records". Rapreviews.com. 2002-12-14. Retrieved 2015-09-17. 
  5. ^ "The GZA - Legend of the Liquid Sword - Stylus Magazine". Web.archive.org. Retrieved 2015-09-17. 
  6. ^ "Legend Of The Liquid Sword by GZA - Rhapsody Music". Rhapsody.com. 2002-12-10. Retrieved 2010-12-12. 
  7. ^ "CG: GZA/Genius". Robert Christgau. Retrieved 2015-09-17. 
  8. ^ "The GZA - Legend of the Liquid Sword - Review". Stylus Magazine. Retrieved 2010-12-12. 
  9. ^ "Holler If You Hear Me: Searching for Tupac Shakur". Blender. 2001-09-15. Retrieved 2010-12-12. 
  10. ^ Samira Niazy (2002-12-10). "GZA: Legend of the Liquid Sword". Prefixmag.com. Retrieved 2010-12-12. 
  11. ^ "GZA/Genius: Legend of the Liquid Sword - PopMatters Music Review". Popmatters.com. Retrieved 2010-12-12. 
  12. ^ "GZA – Chart history" Billboard 200 for GZA. Retrieved October 23, 2014.
  13. ^ "GZA – Chart history" Billboard Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums for GZA. Retrieved October 23, 2014.