GZA, Words From The Genius (1991)
Label: Cold Chillin', Reprise, Warner Bros. Records
The casual rap fan probably thinks GZA's album Liquid Swords is his first LP, but no, he released Words From The Genius well before Wu-Tang Clan's first single "Protect Ya Neck" ever hit the airwaves. When the topic of best Wu-Tang Clan solo album comes up in fanatic circles, Liquid Swords is often mentioned, and rightfully so. It's a masterpiece. It's GZA in proper company, with RZA handling the production, and his Wu brethren sharing microphone time with him.
Words From The Genius however is almost something out of the New Jack Swing era. Let's keep it real, no one wants to hear GZA rapping over some Heavy D-type production on songs called "Do Me Baby" and "What Silly Girls Are Made Of," which is most likely what led to it flopping and him being dropped from his label after the album was released. We want knowledge from the sharpest swordsman in the Clan. And though there were hints of what was to come, this album's content was light-years away from the words the GZA would end up spitting on his classic sophomore LP, Liquid Swords, which included a joint dedicated to sheisty record companies, "Labels."