The mental plain to spark the brain – GZA revisits Liquid Swords

Wu-Tang Clan’s GZA lived up to his Genius tag the last time he appeared on stage in Dublin.

While many rappers turn to cosplay in Dubs jerseys while skulling pints of Guinness, GZA was boasting that he’d just visited the Trinity Library and was overcome with inspiration in the presence of hundreds of thousands of books. Earlier this month he even tweeted a pic of himself in the Long Room with the tag, “Books rule everything around me” — a nod to Wu-Tang’s C.R.E.A.M. (Cash Rules Everything Around Me).

GZA has always been the most cerebral and level-headed member of the Clan, mixing gritty, sneering street knowledge while embracing the group’s kung fu mythology and exploring the mysteries of the cosmos. He’s lectured at Harvard, MIT and Oxford, and has appeared on astrophysicist Neil DeGrasse Tyson’s Star Talk, and his long-overdue next album Dark Matter is inspired by quantum physics and the cosmos. 

This show is a 25th anniversary celebration of his debut solo album Liquid Swords — one year late as it was released in 1995. Liquid Swords could well be the strongest Wu-Tang solo album, with its iconic chess battle artwork, snippets from cult samurai film Shogun Assassin and RZA’s tense, dusty production. RZA’s beats will be deconstructed by a live band for the show, with bass, keys, guitar and piano — and drums by Ol’ Dirty Bastard’s brother Ramsey Jones.

GZA is live streaming a Liquid Swords show tomorrow (Saturday) from Poisson Rouge, NYC. Tickets here