Nearly 20 years after its release, GZA brings a performance of Liquid Swords in it’s entirety to the Observatory OC.
To the avid hip hop enthusiast Liquid Swords would undoubtedly be mentioned among one of the best rap albums of all time.
In 1995, GZA of the Wu-Tang Clan received great acclaim from music critics due to the projects unique concept and lyrical content. Liquid Swords shed light towards the Wu-Tang Clan emcee as a solo lyricist allowing him to step outside of the shadows of the nine-man group. After one close listen to the album the listener gets a clear understanding as to why GZA crowns the moniker “The Genius”.
The Observatory OC in conjunction with Out Da House productions brought “The Genius” to the venue’s main room to perform the monumental album, generating an impressive sold out show.
The building was filled with fans of all ages. The Wu-Tang Clan logo was seen amongst many of the attendees apparel.
InDJnous was the dj for the night and delivered an exceptional playlist and showed off his turntable skills that were clearly enjoyed by the crowd as hands swung up and down to the track selections.
About seven local artists served as opening acts. The fans were entertained at first but past the fourth act they began to grow impatient. The last act was booed off the stage. It didn’t matter to the fans that they were part of the Wu-Tang Corp. music branch; by that point the people demanded what they came for.
At about 11:30 pm the lights dimmed and out of the speakers what was heard set fans into a frenzy. “When I was little… my father was famous. He was the greatest samurai in the empire…”, it was the child narrated opening-skit off Liquid Swords.
From behind the stage GZA exclaimed “What’s up OC? I’ve been here many times…” and he repeated the question. The crowd roared in excitement.
The Genius stepped on stage and fans sprang their “W” interlocking hand gestures in the air, rendering full respect for the Wu-Tang emcee.
Within an hour long set GZA dropped his philosophical filled rhymes and devoted himself to pleasing the crowd. He brought two surprise guests, the Black Knights and Killah Priest. Killah Priest performed “4th Chamber” alongside GZA and stayed on-stage throughout the performance to assist in songs he is featured and in between he served as a hype-man. The Black Knights freestyled for a few minutes as GZA took a short break from his performance.
The energy in the room reached its peak when GZA began performing Ol’ Dirty Bastard’s “Shimmy Shimmy Ya”. He ended the track with a “R.I.P. ODB” homage pronunciation to the deceased Wu-Tang Clan member. He then continued to perform classic tracks off the groups Enter the 36 chambers album. I don’t think there’s any need to describe what occurred within those moments.
GZA is a grand lyricist with a itch for knowledge and he makes it his duty to share his findings within his music. This is why he earns that high respect among the scholarly hip hop listener who seeks meaningful lyrical content. For the hip hop purist GZA may stand among one of the best in the list of the listener and if he isn’t standing alone, then nonetheless he is still part of that list with the clan. Undisputedly, GZA combined his group attributes to his solo to a “T” with this performance.
All I can say is that as an admirer of this culture I get a an overwhelming sense of joy and excitement every time the significance of the Wu-Tang Clan is expressed among the fans. I love seeing the “W’s” in the air, the yellow and black Wu shirts, and the records held high in the air throughout the performance indicating the respect. Only a true admirer of the culture would understand this feeling.