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In the early to mid nineties and at the peak of his powers as a producer, Wu-Tang Clan mastermind RZA crafted a distinctive soundtrack at his basement studio in Staten Island. Whether or not he knew it at the time this haunting landscape of dusty samples, sharp snares and menacing urban gloom, would soon become a pillar of hip hop history. These instrumentals, peppered in with frequent interludes of dialogue from the classic samurai flick Shogun Assassin, became the core of the GZA's 1995 sophomore LP Liquid Swords and would eventually be considered by many as each individual's finest work. Cerebral, strategic and precise with his words, GZA crystallizes a range of influences - from chess to kung-fu films to mob flicks and Eastern philosophy - into sharply delivered rhymes. Many would argue there is no greater MC to compliment the RZA's production as well as GZA did on Liquid Swords. The album featured appearances by the entire Wu-Tang Clan, and included the auspicious debut of Killah Priest on "B.I.B.L.E." Acknowledged as one of the "100 Best Rap Albums" (The Source) and "Top 100 Records of the 1990s" (Pitchfork.com). Under development for months, Get On Down has finally unveiled the latest, painstakingly crafted volume in it's Wu-Tang reissue series, one which we hope will stand as a testament to this iconic and legendary piece of Wu-Tang history. We are proud to present GZA/Genius' Liquid Swords in a two disc deluxe "Chess Box" edition. Housed in a sturdy wrapped hard board two piece box, this edition of Liquid Swords spans across 2 discs. Disc one contains the official album version while disc two contains the full RZA produced instrumentals, available for the first time ever as an official release. Both discs have been completely restored with remastered audio from the original source tapes and have truly never sounded better. As always with any deluxe Get On Down release, we have packaged this album with an array of extras, including; researched, in depth, full color liner notes with contributions from GZA himself, spanning across 20 pages, inner jackets and dust sleeves with memorable vintage artwork from the original release, and even a full wooden minature chess set, which can be played on the chess board printed and contained directly on the inner lining of the box. This is the Liquid Swords that both first time listeners and long-standing fans deserve. CHECKMATE!
Diabolic’s back to crush your favorite rapper with his highly anticipated sophomore LP “Fightin Words”, which features guest appearances from Vinnie Paz, Sean Price, Celph Titled, Apathy, R.A. the Rugged Man and more, along with production from DJ Premier, Engineer, Junior Makhno, Snowgoons and more.
Freddie Gibbs is the product of violent, drug-laden streets but unlike most rappers with similar resumes, he brings the block to the boothwithout inhibition or an exaggerated rap persona. Piñata, a 17 track collaboration with producer Madlib, is the best distillation yet of histransparent approach to making music, combining an at times stark honesty with electrifying talent as a lyricist and performer.Piñata is “a gangster Blaxploitation film on wax,” says Gibbs, who came up on the streets of Gary, Indiana, the disregarded city previouslybest known for producing Michael Jackson. Here he is joined by Mac Miller, Earl Sweatshirt, Raekwon, Scarface, Domo Genesis, Ab-Soul and a host of others in setting his soliloquies of the streets alongside film snippets and dusted funk, soul and prog musical tapestries. While this is the latest in a series of single-artist collaborations for Madlib, after Jaylib (J Dilla), Madvillainy (MF Doom) and the street-centric O.J. Simpsonwith Detroit’s Guilty Simpson, the pairing is unique as it is the first time for Gibbs working with just one producer.On Piñata, where Gibbs can shift from textbook lessons in robbing and drugging on trackslike “Scarface” and “Knicks,” to perhaps thealbum’s most personal song, “Broken,” a collaboration with Scarface, who, along with Tupac, DMX and 50 Cent, make up the rapper’s ownMount Rushmore of MCs (“You’re getting a hurricane of all those motherfuckers hitting you at once when you listen to Freddie Gibbs,” hesays). “Deeper,” a Gibbs favorite and the third single from the album after “Thuggin’” (2012) and “Shame,” (2013) is an ode to hip-hop inthe mold of Common’s “I Used to Love H.E.R.”; “High,” featuring Danny Brown, is self-explanatory and just what you would expect fromGibbs, Madlib and one of Detroit’s finest; while on “Real,” Gibbs addresses an old score just as Michael Corleone settled all family businesson baptism day.As a producer, Madlib, quite simply, is music, and ten years into his career—a time when other artists become comfortable—Gibbs remainsrestless, focused, with an eye on the competition and their position relative to his ascent. This is because mentally, he’s still on the cornerhustling, which would be the downfall of the average rapper. With Piñata, Gibbs confirms that he is anything but average.
Ten years after its initial & highly slept-on release, Fat Beats Records & Frozen Files are proud to present the first-ever reissue of UN Or U Out, the classic debut album from The UN.Consisting of Roc Marciano, Dino Brave, Mike Raw, and Laku, the UN first emerged on Pete Rock’s 2001 Petestrumentals album, a primarily all instrumental release minus two tracks—“Nothing Lesser” and “Cake”, both featuring vocals by The UN. At the time, the group hadn’t performed live and never had major prior releases, although Roc Marciano had already made his name as a member of Busta Rhymes’ Flipmode Squad. Pete Rock fans were at first perplexed by the vocal appearance of an unknown group. Yet Pete not only had the confidence and foresight to introduce the four MCs, he also furthered the collaboration, making it full circle by lending production on “Game of Death (G.O.D.)” , “Avenue” and “Ain’t No Thang” on UN or U Out. UN or U Out remains a timeless listen, a deeply succinct homage to New York’s bygone era of gritty boom-bap, made with tasteful nods to Queensbridge’s cold-steel aesthetic.