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Beneath the Surface Enhanced, Explicit Lyrics

4.3 out of 5 stars 102 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Audio CD (June 29 1999)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Enhanced, Explicit Lyrics
  • Label: Universal Music Canada
  • ASIN: B00000JHD7
  • Other Editions: Audio Cassette  |  LP Record
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars 102 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #36,375 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)
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1. Intro
2. Amplified Sample
3. Beneath The Surface
4. Skit #1
5. Skit #2
6. Crash Your Crew
7. Breaker, Breaker
8. High Price, Small Reward
9. Hip Hop Fury
10. Skit #3
11. 1112
12. Skit #4
13. Victim
14. Publicity
15. Feel Like An Enemy
16. Stringplay (Like This, Like That)
17. Mic Trippin
18. Outro

Product Description

Product Description

1999 album from Wu-Tang mainstay.


While the Genius continues to slice through resistant mentals with his liquid sword rhyme schemes, his sophomore album is the first clear sign that Wu-Tang's pre-eminence may be waning. Without Bobby Digital working the track wizardry, Beneath the Surface is an odd amalgamation of RZA-wannabe tracks (courtesy of the Arabian Prince and Mathematics) that are starting to sound more and more like Swizz Beats every day. Gza's rhyme assaults still pack a wallop, but his album shows wear at the seams, bulging with impossibly high ambitions and uneven execution. Songs like "Breaker, Breaker," "Publicity," and "Hip Hop Fury" still burn hotter than Sahara summers, but it's not enough to help the entire LP catch fire. --Oliver Wang

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
The fact he is not as reknown as his Wu-Counterpart is a shame; I'm starting to prefer the smoothness of his beats and the depth of his lyrics. You can feel the theme and thread behind every album and follow it, finger on the volume, ready to turn it up.

In short, this album is my favorite of his; it's nothing less than perfection.
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Format: Audio CD
Eminem is indeed an incredible lyricist, but even he would have to concide that the 'Genius' (aka Gza), has a fluency with lyrical words, that is nigh-on unsurpassed. Although his rhymes & Music never break into the mainstream market (they require too much careful investigation & Understanding, for mass market appeal), he is without question 'gifted' with such a talent.....the trademark "Wu tang" stuttered beats & strings arrangements with heavily synthesised samples are much in evidence here. (best exemplified, with title track "Beneath the Surface", which is as strong a candidate for (Hip-hop) Club anthem as any "Wu Tang" effort you care to mention). The album is proliferated with the growing fascination of 'Skits' (Humours interludes), that are nice breaks between big tracks (and don't suffer from a feeling of pointlessness that some Skits on other albums fall prone to)....before taking things 'Back to Business' on highlights tracks like "Crash Your Crew", "Breaker, Breaker" & "Stringplay" (with a collaboration with "Method Man"). If an artist is only as good as his album, then judged on "Genius's" album, he is most definitely a 'Class Act'.
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Format: Audio CD
First of all this is my favorite Wu solo, second is Liquid Swords. What's that you say, "Liquid second?!" I'll break it down in three categories.
Lyrics: Bottomline the lyrics on this album are unmatched. Unmatched. The flow he drops on each track are tight. Some insightful (title track). Some blazin' (Crash Ya Crew). Some metaphorical masterpieces (Mic Trippin').
Beats: This is where most are torn on this album. The beats are admittedly different from Liquid but not in a bad way to me. On this album there is a heavier influence of strings and pianos which gives it a more refined and polished sound which I like. In doing so however that underground, gritty and overall dirty feel of Liquid is missing which is what I think most were disappointed by. It's also the one of the two things I will say was better about Liquid. The other being more guests from Wu(the main nine members).
Length: I only hear a couple people complain about this sayin the album was short and GZA only drops one or two verses on most songs. Well I agree but it was also my same complaint with Liquid (both albums got about 13 songs). On songs with guests, GZA always drops one verse on both albums. On one of the tightest GZA (and Wu) songs ever, Shadowboxin', he's on their less than Meth (I wish their follow-up duet on Surface was as good, the only song I didn't care for).

Overall I just like more songs on Surface than on Liquid. In no way am I tryin to diminish the beyond classic status that Liquid Swords deserves just tryin to say Beneath the Surface is not beneath the swords or expectations.
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Format: Audio CD
I gotta apologize for repeating what's been said before, but it just gotta be said that a)this is GZA's third album, not a 2nd one, b)itz 180 degrees different from that lunatic Swizz and... oliver wang. Listen to me earthlings: BENEATH THE SURFACE IS A TREMENDOUS HIP HOP MASTERPIECE, GREATEST SOLO OF ALL TIMES, THE MOST UP-TO-DATE RELEASE OF 1999 AND AN UNDYING WORK OF ART. Wu is my favorite click, and Gary Grice is my favorite Wu-Tanger, and I swear every time he steps up he elevates a 1000 kilometers higher. First of all, the producers work is extremely perfect. Those who say it smells pop - punch'em in da eye, they're just jealous they can't create same unique melodies with majestic pianos, violins and guitar flows. The sounds sculptured by Arabian Knight, John the Baptist, Mathematics, Inspectah Deck (magician, magician!) and RZA himself capture you from the first moment to the last one. People often catch me bobbin my head at work singin "Scratch underneath the surface, where does your purpose lie..." As for GZA, yall shorties can quit attending skool after buying this one. The Genius offers you everything from Aesopus-style metaphors to straight-to-ya-face blasts, all embodied in monumental rhyming rattatatat delivered by that unique freezing baritone. As for guests, the elders (RZA, ODB, Masta, Killah Priest and especially Iron Lung) show their teeth strong enough to bite off george w bush's head, and the youngsters do 200% of what they ever did B4. Now for the choice: if yall want sumthin murderous, check AMPLIFIED SAMPLE, CRASH YOUR CREW, HIGH PRICE & FEEL LIKE AN ENEMY. Wisdom over magnificent melody - BENEATH THE SURFACE, HIP HOP FURY, 1112, VICTIM, MIC TRIPPIN. Shadowboxin part 2 - STRINGPLAY.... Labels part 2 - PUBLICITY. BREAKER BREAKER is an underground dessert.Read more ›
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Format: Audio CD
i would like to give a more thourough review of this album than i did the first review. i am going to change my rating to 4.0. there are some blemishes on this album because of the fact that this was made in a time when wutang was experimenting with producers wqhich means that RZA was not in charge of things and that is why a lot of their albums have been sub-par or just plain disappointing, with the exception of the "Pillage". i think that the GZA's lyrics saved this album because on songz like "breaker, Breakers" non-Wu party beat he really comes out with some dope rhyms on it which is the only reason i listen to the song at all. next to "amplified sample" this is his best lyrical stance on the album. He also comes dope on "string play" but that beat is so darn corny that GZA's lyrics couldn't save that one, i don't listen to that song other songs like "high price small reward" are to darn short and "crash your crew" is a song where GZA should have done more, not saying he did bad with what he did. Mathematic does a wonderful job with "Amplified sample","High price small reward", "publicity", Feel like an enemy and "Mic trippin" are all Wu-bangers. and every other song besides "string play" are not what i would call Wu-bangers but they are good quality songs in there own right. if your a wu fan or a true hip hop fan then this album is a sure thing for ya'.
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