On this day, November 7, in hip-hop history…
1995: Few albums freeze the blood in your veins quite like Genius/GZA’s 1995 classic, Liquid Swords. Released in the midst of Wu-Tang Mania, Liquid Swords is a chilly New York classic that cements GZA’s lofty reputation as one of the Clan’s finest rappers.
Highlighting GZA’s compact flow and cerebral-assassin-like lyricism, Liquid Swords is consistently held up as not only one of the best albums in Wu-Tang’s vast discography but in all of hip-hop history. GZA is a gifted writer and crafts his rhymes with a laser-like focus that few rappers in hip-hop have ever been able to match. Intense and gritty epics such as “4th Chamber,” “Shadowboxing” and “I Gotcha Back” crack jaws as GZA’s vicious battle rhymes strike quickly. Meanwhile, the uniformly excellent production is handled solely by Wu-Tang mastermind RZA whose icy atmospherics chill the listener down to the bones like a cold winter wind whipping through the courtyard of a Shaolin housing project.
Overall, Liquid Swords is a stunning achievement that remains beloved by the Wu-Tang diehard 18 years after its initial release. It easily ranks amongst the finest hip-hop albums of its era and strongly challenges Enter The Wu-Tang (36 Chambers) and Raekwon’s Only Built 4 Cuban Linx… for Wu-Tang supremacy.