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Grandmasters Explicit Lyrics
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|2. Those That's Bout It|
|3. Destruction of a Guard|
|4. Exploitation of Mistakes|
|5. General Principles|
|6. Advance Pawns|
|7. Queen's Gambit|
|8. All in Together Now|
|9. Unstoppable Threats|
|10. Unprotected Pieces|
|11. Illusory Protection|
|12. Smothered Mate|
Grandmasters is an album that combines the sounds of two of the biggest groups in Hip-Hop history. DJ Muggs, the architect and founder of the Cypress Hill sound has collaborated with the Wu-Tang Clan's most prolific lyricist, The GZA (Genius). The result is a collection of classic Hip-Hop records, that will be remembered as one the greatest collaboration albums in Hip-Hop history. GZA, who has had success as a member of the multi-platinum group Wu-Tang was recently brought back to the public's attention through two hilarious cameo's on the popular series Dave Chapelle Show, and an appearance in the film Coffee & Cigarettes. Entirely based around the game of chess, Grandmasters recaptures the timeless sound that has made Muggs & GZA true living legends. Angeles Records. 2005.
Top Customer Reviews
GZA is on point with his exceptional, methaphorical, transitional lyrics.
In other words people, this album is an injection of high grade into music, into hip-hop genre, into your brain.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
That's expected when you take a group like Cypress Hill's producer, DJ Muggs, and the Wu-Tang Clan's power-house lyricist, The GZA, and put them on one record. This is an amazing album, which, although not as good as the legendary Liquid Swords, is a classic in it's own right.
There isn't one weak song on this whole LP. The production from Muggs, is, to say the least, beautiful. This album shows that he is one of the most underrated producers in the game. Each beat matches GZA's vocals, and the setting of the song perfectly. There is not one single weak beat on this album, which is very surprising when one producer handles a whole album. Some people may say the beats begin to sound too much alike, but I must disagree. Each song flows perfectly into the next, and none of Muggs' production is boring, or lackluster.
On the lyrical side of things, GZA solidifies his spot as one of, if not the best, lyricists in hip-hop, period. With all the time in the game, GZA's delivery has only improved, and I believe the same can be said for his lyrics. Although Liquid Swords will always stand as the ultimate GZA album, GZA has matured, and grown quite a lot since then, and for the better. While there's so many rappers in the mainstream today who claim to be the "Top Five Dead Or Alive," there's only one man I can think of that defitely reserves one of those spots; and that man is The GZA.
If you're a true fan of Hip-Hop, you'll love this album, guaranteed. Pick it up as soon as possible, and support real hip-hop.
Now, the album cover says "DJ Muggs vs. GZA/Genius" and I'm not familiar with DJ Muggs but he produces for Cypress Hill. So, initially I was disappointed for reading "all songs produced by DJ Muggs" and nothing from RZA. I learned that it is not a good idea to rate music from one listening. So I listened few times and "Grandmasters" is another important and grand album from GZA, definitely the best of 2005. I cannot compare this album with the masterpiece "Liquid Sword" even if I give "Liquid Sword" a 5-Star it isn't justified since it simply is a masterpiece in hip-hop history. I just hope that GZA and RZA get back together to create another album like that but for right now "Grandmasters" is as good as "Legend of the Liquid Sword" (GZA's previous release). The album clocks in about 44 min. which is a disappointment since Wu fans want more from the Genius after a 3 years hiatus. The production by DJ Muggs is very good (not superb), he's style is similar to RZA where he chooses one good backdrop music and layers it with great samples. He is the closest one to achieve somewhat of raw, viceral and hollow sound that is associated with RZA. But the music gets kinda similar after awhile. GZA will always be the Genius when it comes to lyrics. His albums following "Liquid Sword" haven't lived up to that album because of the music but he is in the same par as the first album when it comes to lyrics and delivery. Although, I did felt that he wasn't hungry or motivated this time as he was in "Legend of the Liquid Sword."
What is great about a GZA album (or most of the Wu-Tang albums) is that they work in different levels. I usually listen couple of times in the beginning just to discover the layers of music, then couple more to get the vibe off of the lyrics and more to decipher the lyrics, so it never gets old. I live the experience as I did the first listen with every listen. That's what separates GZA from other great lyricist like Eminem. When you listen to Eminem, Tupac, Biggie, etc you feel there lyrics and meaning, however consecutive listen gets boring since you already know what they mean and the message, not the same with GZA when you have to understand the metaphors and the wittiness which maybe the reason a whole lot of people will stay away from this great album.
This is a highly recommended album to Wu fans and any fans of real hip-hop/rap. If you havent discovered GZA yet than start with "Liquid Sword" you'll not be disappointed.
It's an album that is some way's, feels a little retro, because there's not any gimmicky speed-up soul samples, or embellished lifestyle bragging to fall upon. Instead this album goes against the contemporary grain, by favouring an mood that seems more focused on presenting the strengths of the artists involved, so rather than being project designed to become a commercial success, this is more a project that will appeal to those merely concerned with listening to a incredibly tight album, with no room for filler, and to highlight to listeners that both artists are still musically active.
As the title of the album suggests, this is an album, with the mood / Theme / and context largely related to and involving the game of Chess (a particular favourite of Gza's). Ideas, stories, metaphors, anecdotes, and Situations are in some way interrelated and involve the strategy, thinking and concept of a game of chess. It's no surprise that Gza grasps this concept with both hands and spins tales of pre-emptive thinking, outsmarting an opponent, celebrating complicated moves, and the catching an opponent unawares...all of which are beautifully weaved into lucid stories, confident narratives, and sweeping lyrical turns, and reeled off with such a skilful enthusiasm, that the mind boggles that there are far less technically gifted rappers out there, who come nowhere near the mind-boggling metaphoric lyrical talents of Gza, and yet have notably more success. Track such as "Exploitation of Mistakes", "Advance Pawns", "Unprotected Pieces"...all make clever lyrical references to the game of chess, with little of the gangsta posturing, and instead focusing on inventive storytelling, and witty metaphors. Almost in the sense that....Life is like a game of Chess...Play it!!
But equally important is Muggs' contribution....for one of hip-hops most important producers, over the years he's become incredibly overlooked in his contributions to hip-hop. And for this release, it's not so much what he puts in, but what he neglects to leave out. Realising that Gza is such an amazing performer and lyricist, Mugg's doesn't need to do a flashy production to cover up the lyricists shortcomings, instead what we get is a bare-bones-production. That beautifully highlights Gza's narrative, without overshadowing it, and instead sits perfectly alongside it. Muggs imbues the production with sinister synths, nervous backing beats and, up-tempo haunting backdrops, and scintillating organ melodies, and hard hitting, haunting beats that feel like a throw back to the early Wu-Tang days over which Gza skilfully muses, raps confrontationally, and lyrically throws down, with the deserved confidence of someone that has been in the game as long as he has.
There will undoubtedly be reviews here, that say that this is what "Real Hip-Hop" is all about, and with the deliberately retro sound, and the emphasis on the dynamic between producer and lyricist, it certainly does seem, that in todays unforgiving nature of hip-hop, that this is geared purely at those, that feel frustrated at the fact that presentation and marketing are now the driving force in hip-hop, instead of Artist ability. Gza's flow is something that requires several listens to full digest, even though you hear what he's saying, the implications and complexity of his words resonate over the music much longer, with subsequent listens leading to different interpretations, and understanding (hell, even a different appreciation) of what's being said. And with such clever metaphors such as the integration of NFL metaphors in "Queens Gambit", showing a level of articulation largely lacking in commercial hip-hop, and wrapped around Muggs thoughtful production, this is one of those `Word-of-mouth" albums, that undeniably deserves all the praise heap upon it. Whether both artists are planning on collaboration, again isn't known, but irrespective of this, this is one of the strongest hip-hop/rap releases in recent years. Highly recommended!!!
now, muggs must be feelin rza/4th deciple/true master/allah mathematics' sounds ALOT cuz the production on grandmasters are very wu-alike. it just takes you back to the mid to late 90s when everything wu was putting out was pure fire.
as someone else mentioned, there is not one weak track on the album, all solid productions with gza's sharp lyrical flow on top of it. i was really blown away and impressed by muggs & gza. gza's flow is calm on alot of tracks and sometimes you can feel the redundantness of his flow, but the real gem lies in his lyrics and content. always innovative and creative gza proves it again and again why he will go down as one of the illest lyricist to ever touch the mic.
like i said, this is a WU album.. all the guest MCs [except sendog bustin out spanish] are wu or wu-affiliate.
rza's heard on 3 tracks including the RIDICULOUS 'advanced pawns'
raekwan blesses a dope ass hook on 'destruction of a guard' masta killa & prodigal sunn shine on 'unstoppable threats'
def. a must get for wu heads or any real hip hop fans.
the beats on this album are crazy and the mcs and lyrics are crazy as well.. wu tang doin it propa this time around.. first this, now fishscale and soon cuban linx 2 droppin... shit it aint safe no more.. go cop that.. peace.