Washington, D.C. – Backed by The Soul Rebels, founding Wu-Tang member GZA‘s “Tiny Desk Concert” was a slice of nostalgia for fans of the Clan’s most verbose MC.

Sticking to his classic platinum-selling sophomore LP, Liquid Swords, he performed “Living In The World Today,” “Duel Of The Iron Mic,” and the title-track.

After the funky intro to the final song of the set, “Liquid Swords,” GZA momentarily forgot his verse. ”See, sometimes you forget your own verse,” GZA said to the crowd, garnering laughter. As the song was coming to an end, he noted “this was a song recorded on Staten Island,” before beginning to tell the story of the song’s inception.

“I was with RZA and Masta Killa … we were drinking 40s, there was a little smoke in the air, and were playing chess — strategizing,” he said. RZA then proceeded to play him the instrumental, suggesting that he use a routine that he used to do back in the day.

GZA went on to explain that routine — which at this point was a decade old — was the chorus of the infamous title-track, before jumping back into the song to close out the performance.


During a recent interview with TimeOut Miami, RZA said that the album — and its follow up — were deserving of a Pulitzer in wake of Kendrikc Lamar’s historic honor. 

“When I go back and see some of the lyrics that GZA wrote on Liquid Swords, and Beneath the Surface, some of the writing he did was well-deserving,” RZA was quoted saying. “Everything he did to me was at a genius level of writing.”

Check out the full GZA Liquid Swords Tiny Desk Concert performance up above.