Considered one of the most critically respected MCs and lyricists in hip hop history, New York rapper and songwriter GZA will play Dolans Warehouse on April 4th.
GZA’s career is a seemingly endless list of stunning accomplishments – from founding Wu-Tang Clan, to releasing Liquid Swords, one of the most influential albums in hip hop history, to lecturing at Harvard – GZA is, true to his stage name, a true genius.
As a founding member of Wu-Tang he was considered the group’s ‘spiritual head’ and its most cerebral member. He is the group’s oldest member and the first to receive a record deal.
His lyrical style often dismisses typical rap story lines in favour of science and wide-ranging philosophies and has been characterized as "armed with sharp metaphors and a smooth flow".
An analysis of GZA's lyrics found that he has the fourth largest vocabulary in popular hip hop music. He teamed up with an education group to promote science education in New York City through hip hop.
In 2004 GZA embarked on an extensive tour as a solo artist and as part of the Wu-Tang Clan. This year he also made a cameo alongside RZA and Bill Murray in Jim Jarmusch’s movie “Coffee and Cigarettes”.
A year later GZA put out a collaborative album with DJ Muggs entitled “Grandmasters”. His next solo album “Pro Tools” came out in 2008 and included production work from Detroit based rapper/sound engineer Black Milk as well as appearances by RZA, Jay Garfield, Mathematics, and True Master.
Apart from his career as a studio musician and live performer, GZA is also an advocate for higher education, specifically the sciences.
He is co-founder of SCIENCE GENIUS with Christopher Emdin of Teachers College. The program seeks to engage high school students in science using hip hop. The pilot program met with great success in terms of recognition and results: participating schools saw an increase in regents exams scores and 15-25% in attendance.
When asked who was his favorite Wu Tang member, Mayor Elect of New York City, Bill DiBlasio, said "GZA. Not only is he a great lyricist, but I also admire his work to engage African American and Latino students in the sciences." GZA appeared alongside RZA in Jim Jarmusch's ﬁlm Coffee & Cigarettes, opposite Bill Murray. The two also appeared on the Chappelle Show's in the now legendary skits "Wu Tang Financial" and "Racial Draft."
He is pursuing to better science education in New York City in conjunction with Columbia University Professor Christopher Emdin, Teachers College, and the website Rap Genius.