The Genius chats ahead of second show in 12 months…

In a world where Jayonce’s foetus awaits a Cartier high chair, Hip-Hop is awash with fresh-faced blingsters, sex-sellers and ego junkies. But fear not. There is soon a chance to see a true Hip-Hop authentic, as celebrated rap elder GZA is heading to the Liverpool O2 Academy on 29th January. From his beginnings as a young Staten Island MC, mooching the primordial Hip-Hop soup of the 70s, to his ongoing role as father figure in seminal rap outfit WU-TANG CLAN, GZA’s thematic rhymes and warm delivery has won him consistent critical praise and a string of solo record deals. The live show will also feature support from a cool selection of local Hip-Hop and turntablist talent – No Fakin’, DJ2Kind ft. The Commission and TL & MR2G.

While we were looking forward to this event with giddy excitement, Owen Rogers caught up with GZA to ask him a few tasty questions.

Bido Lito!: GZA, it’s your second time in our city in less than a year. Now practically a local, what have you got to say about Liverpool? I hope to see the whole clan here when you tour the new WU-TANG album.

GZA: I love Liverpool, the atmosphere, the people, the accent.
BL!: A couple of years ago Tom Caruana created Wu-Tang vs The Beatles, Enter The Magical Mystery Chambers. Does the music of The Beatles resonate with you? What do you think of the record?

GZA: I haven’t heard the record but The Beatles are one of the groups of my childhood. Incredible songwriting.

BL!: Odd Future have exploded on to the Hip-Hop scene over the past couple of years, sparking multiple comparisons between your two crews. Why do you think this is?

GZA: I think the comparison is mainly because they’re a big group like WU-TANG. And maybe because they’re counter-culture, the way we were when we first came out.

BL!: Some current Hip-Hop is highly commercialised with little depth. How do you feel about the state of modern Hip-Hop compared to that of the 80s and early 90s?

GZA: I think that like any form of art, Hip-Hop evolved. And for it to get more commercial just seems natural considering the fact that it became globally commodified.

BL!: Chess is an iconic GZA and Wu-Tang theme. What is it about the game that makes you love it enough to consistently use it as a metaphor?

GZA: There’s so much about chess that applies to and inspires my life – from mental discipline to long term strategy. Every game is like a war – I would even call it a martial art.

BL!: Who’s the best Hip-Hop producer of all time?

GZA: That’s easy: The RZA.

BL!: Your forthcoming album Liquid Swords 2 is out later this year. As a sequel to your most successful solo album of the same name, whom have you been working with and what can we expect?

GZA: Liquid Swords 2 is only a concept at this point. However, I do have an album coming in 2012 that I can’t talk about yet but it’s going to be amazing.

Follow GZA on Twitter: @therealgza

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