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Saturday, 23 April 2011

FOR THE RECORD: GZA @ The Kazimier, Liverpool


The city of Liverpool becomes the capital of hip-hop culture.

With no offence intended to the great location of 'The Kazimier',(it was the perfect location for a gig of this nature) in the heart of Liverpool's city centre it really felt like the slums of Shaolin as Wu-Tang legend Genius/GZA took to the stage just shy of midnight to wield his 'Liquid Swords' album live. The hot, sweaty, cramped crowd really needed that real, rap refreshment too, despite some serious support which came courtesy of a worthy MC Battle the weekend prior. Local concert organisers and brothers Doug and Kris Wood (who put all this together) really produced a classic, for their debut hip-hop gig. With an iconic legend relaying one of the best underground albums of all time, this was a long way from the rock music the two would feature on their 'Band Royal' classic, but the pair stepped into hip-hop's shoes so well they may as well have been wearing Run-DMC Adidas.

It all sounded so good too as GZA slashed through the best strokes of his 'Liquid Swords' set with serious sickness. The crowd may have waited a while but as soon as the 'Shogun Assassin', "When I was little... my father was famous. He was the greatest samurai in the empire" kicked in the wait was worth it in hardcore hip-hop gold discs as this assassin killed it with some major chess moves. He even dropped the album titles song twice, the crowd loving to hear the classic intro, "When the MC's came, to live our their name" twice. If that wasn't enough for the sold out, packed in crowd that showed that the Wu really is everywhere the Genius MC also ripped through more classic Clan tracks, including 'Careful (Click, Click)' and his late friend and fellow swordsman Ol' Dirty Bastard's 'Shimmy Shimmy Sha' (a perfect, fitting tribute).

At the end of the night it may have been late, but the venue wasn't the only thing that was unbearably hot. The raw but fresh, confident but humble GZA and his fanbase showed that even with all the 50's and Kanye's him and his Wu-Tang Clan are still so relevant. Meaning that this won't be the last time him or the brotherhood of concert organisers will be unleashing real hip-hop in a city whose music scene is mainly synonymous with four local boys. This night it only took two local guys to redefine it. TIM DAVID HARVEY

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