This Day In Hip Hop and Rap History

This Day In Hip Hop and Rap History

August 22nd – The GZA/Genius of The Wu-Tang Clan was born Gary Grice in Brooklyn, New York, on this day in 1966.

In the early 1980’s, The GZA was known as The Genius because of his well-rounded knowledge of the 5% teachings.

It was during this time that he formed his first rap group with his cousins and future Wu members, the late ODB and founder and producer The RZA, called All N Together Now.

In 1991, The GZA signed with Cold Chillin' Records and released his debut album, “Words From The Genius”, which featured production by Easy Mo Bee, Jesse West and Patrick Harvey.

The Genius would only begin to attain success however when with his cousins The RZA and Ol' Dirty Bastard, formed the nine man crew in 1992 that featured Method Man, Raekwon, Ghostface Killah, U-God, Masta Killa and Inspectah Deck, known as The Wu-Tang Clan.

When their debut album “Enter The Wu-Tang – 36 Chambers” was released in 1993, The GZA, as he was now known, was one of the most prominently featured MC’s on the album.

His 1995 gold-selling sophomore joint “Liquid Swords”, was produced entirely by The RZA, as were all Wu-Tang solo albums at the time and is still considered until this very day, as one of the strongest Wu solo efforts ever.

The set featured the hit title track as well as “Shadowboxin’”, “I Gotcha Back”, featuring The RZA and “Cold World”, featuring Inspectah Deck, whose remix featured D’Angelo.

The GZA has released three more solo albums since, 1999’s “Beneath The Surface”, 2002’s “Legend Of The Liquid Sword” and 2008’s “Pro Tools”.

The GZA is reportedly set to release a new album called “Dark Matter” on his own Liquid Swords Records this year.

In 2005, The GZA released a chess inspired collaboration album with Cypress Hill’s DJ Muggs called “Grandmasters”.

The GZA has also appeared on all five of The Wu-Tang Clan’s albums and may possibly appear on a new Wu set tentatively titled “A Better Tomorrow”.

The GZA has appeared on many of the Wu solo albums as well as Wu associates like Killah Priest and Mathematics.

The GZA is also expected to appear on a new collaboration album by Pete Rock and DJ Premier in the future as well.

In addition, The GZA has also appeared with The RZA in Jim Jarmusch’s 2003 United Artists film “Coffee and Cigarettes”.

Recently The GZA has toured universities internationally delivering lectures on “the origins of the universe”.

The GZA is considered one of the most gifted lyricists of all time.