Today marks the anniversary of one of our time’s most underrated classics, GZA’s Liquid Swords. Though the Wu-Tang name was the catalyst for many excellent releases, there are many who hold GZA’s sophomore release as the cream of the crop. Released on November 7, 1995, a year that also saw the arrival of DJ Quik’s Safe N Sound, 2Pac’s Me Against The World, Mobb Deep’s The Infamous, and fellow Wu-affiliate Raekwon’s Only Built 4 Cuban Linx…, GZA’s Liquid Swords stood tall in a sea of quality. While the RZA-produced project is incredible from start to finish, lyrical and immersive with the kung-fu classic samples, some of the finest moments arise when the Wu-Tang warriors connect.

“Investigative Reports,” the project’s tenth track, features Raekwon, Ghostface, and U-God in a supporting capacity. Taking to a chopped sample from A Clockwork Orange (also heard in Cage’s “Agent Orange”), the emcees lay down excellent verses seeped in their distinctive styles. Though a far cry from Rae and Ghost’s thuggish persona’s, GZA’s intellectual prowess does not arrive at the cost of his swordsmanship. “Psychos, armed and dangerous, leaving mad scars,” he raps. “On those who are found bound, gagged and shot, when they blast the spot, victims took off like astronauts.” There’s a reason they call this man “The Genius.”

Quotable Lyrics

Yo, I grab the pen for revenge and let loose, see
Like Muslims standing on the block, rocking a kufi
The hundred-dollar kick rocking kid’s back for more
Starting gun wars, with black Reeboks and Velours
Jungle way of life, living villain
Packed with visions, copywritten
Throwing bread to pigeons, Christ has risen