Gza/Genius Legend of the Liquid Sword

There's always been an unclear consensus as to what the greatest Wu-Tang Clan achievement is thus far, but it always boils down to two efforts: Only Built 4 Cuban Linx by Raekwon and Liquid Swords by GZA. Most will agree that the GZA's effort was one of the strongest moments in the Wu-Tang catalogue, but with the recent duds that have been dropped from the crew, the Wu name is not as dependable as it once was. However, Legend of the Liquid Sword shines a gigantic light of hope that the name will live on. GZA's debut, Liquid Swords, was a haunting masterpiece, with some of RZA's finest beats matched with the deadly verbal skills of one of the Clan's finest and smoothest MCs. Since those glory days, there have been empty promises, but Legend is a return to the glory days of the Wu. It might not be as sinister and dark as Liquid Swords but that's because RZA isn't at the helm and has been replaced by some remarkable hip-hop production, including Arabian Knight, most notably. The Wu-Tang Clan definitely makes their presence known on Legend, with Ghostface Killah lending mic duties on the menacing "Silent" and Inspectah Deck verbally abusing the finest cut on the record, "Sparring Minds." RZA does in fact produce one track that deserves attention, but GZA made his third effort take flight without riding on the back of the Wu-Tang sound, definitely proving that the Wu may not be down and out quite yet. (Universal)