From Academic Kids

GZA (pronounced jizza, aka The Genius, born Gary Grice August 22, 1966 in Brooklyn, New York) is an American rapper and member of The Wu-Tang Clan. GZA is, along with Ghostface Killah, widely considered the best rapper in the nine-person clan, and his solo work has been critically acclaimed.

After recording as All in Together Now with future Wu-Tangers Ol' Dirty Bastard and RZA, GZA released a solo album, Words from the Genius, in 1991 (see 1991 in music). The album's sound was heavily influenced by the wishes of its label Cold Chillin, who were eager to make it a commercial success. The album was a flop, and GZA's experience with Cold Chillin, combined with a similar ordeal for his friend RZA at Tommy Boy, created a bitterness towards record labels that ensured the evils of the music industry would be a prominent theme in his music for the rest of his career. However, the trio of friends from All In Together Now soon formed the Wu-Tang Clan with six others. Their debut together was Enter the Wu-Tang (36 Chambers), which took the hip hop world by storm. All nine members became a hot commodity and were allowed to sign with whatever record label they wished for a solo career, due to an unusual clause in their contract. GZA signed to Geffen Records.

GZA's first post-Wu-Tang solo album was Liquid Swords (1995, 1995 in music) and was widely acclaimed; it is still remembered as one of the pre-eminent Wu-Tang solo LPs. After the Wu-Tang Clan's second album together, Wu-Tang Forever, GZA released Beneath the Surface in 1999 (see 1999 in music). The album received good reviews, but failed to live up to the massive expectations created by his revered debut work. GZA's last solo album was Legend of the Liquid Sword in 2002 (see 2002 in music), which was mostly well-received by critics, while the track Uncut Material marked the first time a GZA-produced beat had featured on a Wu-Tang album. In 2004 GZA released a greatest hits compilation titled Collection Of Classics, announced he was soon to be finishing work on a Wu-Tang Clan behind-the-scenes documentary, appeared opposite RZA and Bill Murray in Jim Jarmusch's Coffee & Cigarettes, toured first as a solo artist and then with the group throughout Europe and the US, and announced the forthcoming release of an album by his son. He is currently preparing the release of his next solo album, tentatively entitled The GZA Presents, on his new home Babygrande Records.



  • The Genius
  • Allah Justice
  • Justice
  • The Scientist
  • The Head
  • Maximillionde:Gary Grice



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