In Hip Hop History Today “GZA released Liquid Swords” November 7, 1995
Liquid Swords is the second solo studio album by rapper and Wu-Tang Clan member GZA, released on November 7, 1995 by Geffen Records. Recording sessions for the album began mid-way 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 its course, while it incorporates 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. It was certified platinum in sales by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA). 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 as 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”. Along with Raekwon’s Only Built 4 Cuban Linx…, Liquid Swords is often cited as the best solo work by a Wu-Tang member. Listen to Liquid Swords above.