The Saga Continues

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Wu-Wednesday: GZA Recalls The Origins Of The Cover Art Of "Liquid Swords"


GZA Recalls The Origins Of The Cover Art Of "Liquid Swords"
by SEAN RYON

GZA recalls when he first came up with the idea for the cover of his seminal "Liquid Swords" LP.
Perhaps one of the most iconic pieces of Hip Hop art comes from the comic book cover art of GZA's seminal Liquid Swords. Now, in a recent interview with the Bishop Chronicles podcast, the Genius explains the origins of the artwork.

GZA explained that the image first came to his mind while playing a heated chess series against fellow Wu-Tang Clan alum Masta Killa. He said that the two had played upwards of 30 games while smoking weed when the vision of the chess pieces coming to life and battling one another first came to him. He added that he was thinking about propositioning it for the single art for "Da Mystery of Chessboxing," but decided to save it for Liquid Swords.



"That [cover art] was something that I came up with, that was in 1992 - that was three years before the album," recalled GZA. "I was actually playing Masta Killa in a game of chess, and around that time, he used to beat up on me a lot 'cus I had just started playing again. I learned how to play when I was younger, then I didn't start playing again until around that time [in] the early days of Wu. I would play with Killa, Jeru the Damaja, Afu-Ra, and all the brothers from East New York from Killa's neighborhood. We were playing a game, and we may have played like 30 games that night, and the game was still in a checkmate position…and I was smoking weed, and you know how you smoke weed, you start really get[ting] all these thoughts and you start analyzing shit, and I started drawing the pieces how they were on the board like in that position…then I just started imagining how, 'What if this night had a guillotine in his hand? What if this person had this sword swinging?' And I just thought of this whole war scene on the chessboard."
He added, "I actually thought about presenting it for the 'Chessboxing' [single] cover…and then I thought like it was bigger than a single, so we used it for [Liquid Swords]."

17 comments:

  1. Masta Killa was not really one of the members of Wu.. was he?

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    1. Yes, full fledged member. No said date!

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    2. They say his name in EVERY roll call. Do the knowledge.

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  2. Masta Killa was one of the original members, yes. Cappadonna came later.

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    1. I thought Cap was around a bit real early then went to prison. I think I saw that in an interview with RZA. But I could be very wrong.

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  3. masta kill learned how to rap when he was kickin it with them in the early years...then they put him on

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  4. cap was there in the beginning, he went to jail and then they replaced him with method man.

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  5. Masta Killa is one of the original members, and he's on "Da Mystery of Chessboxin" on Enter the Wu-Tang.

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  6. NICE story Gza - " We wainting for The Dark Matter álbum too The conversar on Facebook of Dark Matter is dope

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  7. You guys are all wrong.cappadonna been down with them since back in the day.he went to jail and u god came home from jail right before 36 chambers.masta killa and killa priest battled for the ninth member spot..they both wrote verses for da mystery of chessboxing and killa priest fell asleep in the studio. A couple years after that around 94 cappadonna came home from jail and reunited

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  8. The RZA gives a shoutout to masta killa in killa bees on 36 chambers

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  9. masta killas verse is prob top 2 on chessboxin.

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  10. Masta Killla was the last to join Wu

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