"I don't waste ink, n*gga I think! I drop megaton bombs more faster than you blink..." -the GZA #np

Yeah... My mind has been fixated on Liquid Swords, the classic hip hop album by the Gza (pronounced "jizza" if you didn't know... but he also answers to "the Genius"), for the last couple weeks... You may imbibe some Gza-directed youTubery while I drop a little blah blah...

As you (SHOULD) know, the mighty Wu-tang Clan was at the height of their popularity when Gza -arguably the Clan's most talented lyricist- dropped Liquid Swords (his second solo plate following the '91 record Words from the Genius) in 1995. 

In an era that was littered with dope emcees, and as a member of arguably the most talented rap crew ever, Gza received universal well-deserved praise for Liquid Swords. Like most of the Wu-Tang solo albums, this one sports guest features by the rest of the Clan, while still maintaining the somber, determined sound that is Gza'z trademark. Produced in Rza's basement studio with generous samples from the classic martial arts film Shogun Assassin (which was itself based on the manga series Lone Wolf and Cub by the way), Liquid Swords is emblematic of what Wu-Tang is all about. 

For the album art, Gza's manager and business partner Geoff Garfield wisely commissioned Denys Cowan, visual architect of Milestone Comics, DC's revolutionary yet short-lived multi-cultural imprint that was home to some of my favorite characters ever like Hardware, Static, and the Shadow Cabinet. The edgy, violent and intelligent visuals seen in Hardware are reflected in the Liquid Swords cover art. The Gza's concept of the hooded warriors on a chessboard battlefield combined with Cowan's art and produced a perfectly appropriate package for one of the best hip hop records ever made. 
I do album art from time to time, and Liquid Swords is brought up by prospective clients more than any other. The combination of comicbook art and gutter hip hop is an intoxicating mixture, indeed...


Samax Amen draws people, places and things for fun and profit. He is the artist of many great comics you never heard of like Herman Heed, Champion of Children, The Brother and The World As You Know It. He even writes and draws his own comics, like Dare: The Adventures of Darius Davidson, Spontaneous, and Manchild when he gets around to it. Because making comics is hard and stuff, he started GhettoManga as a blog in 2006 and as a print magazine in 2008. 
comics. hiphop. news. art. culture

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