From19 July 2019 to01 September 2019



GZA/The Genius was born Gary Grice on 22 August 1966. He is one of the 90s most critically respected rappers as well as a founding member of the Wu-Tang Clan. GZA is recognized as the first clan member to obtain a record contract as a solo artist.

GZA was often referred to as the “spiritual head” within the Clan and is noted for his cerebral and highly literate style. His verses weren’t quite as impassioned as some of his contemporaries; however, they exerted a cool collectivity and intricate word play that could only be attributed to him.

Grice was born in Staten Island in the mid 60s and lived with various relatives throughout the greater New York area. In the early 70s he was exposed to hip-hop at block parties and harbored a passion for the genre as a child. He progressed on to learning rhymes from MCs in the Bronx and frequently shared these lyrics with his cousins Robert Diggs (RZA) and Russell Jones (Ol‘ Dirty Bastard). The three went on to form the groups All in Together Now and Force of the Imperial Master before GZA released his 1991 studio debut “Words from the Genius”. The album was not given much promotion and failed commercially. The tour for the album also did not go as plan and GZA eventually left the label.

It was not until GZA joined the Wu-Tang Clan that things started picking up for the him. He contributed some of the album’s most memorable verses and solo tracks including “Clan in da Front”. 1995 was a huge year for GZA. He made two highly publicized and critically raved about appearances on the Ol‘ Dirty Bastard album “Return to the (36 Chambers)” and on Raekwon’s “Only Built 4 Cuban Linx…”. Additionally that year he put out his own solo record “Liquid Swords”. The album was a commercial and critical victory for GZA and is not only considered one of the best albums to emerge from the Wu-tang Clan, but also one of the finest records in the hip-hop cannon.

The entirety of the album featured the production work of RZA and 3 of the albums songs had been turned into music videos directed by GZA. The album’s artwork, which was handled by one of Milestone Media Denys Cowan’s top artist has also left an indelible impression on pop culture.

After the release of “Liquid Swords” GZA made an appearance on the Wu-Tang Clan’s sophomore album “Wu-Tang Forever” before issuing his highly anticipated solo-effort “Beneath the Surface”. Though the album did not live up to the standards of “Liquid Swords” it received strong critical praise and also was certified Gold.

GZA’s next solo release was not until 2002’s “Legend of the Liquid Sword”. In between releases he was featured on the Wu-Tang Clan albums “The W” and “Iron Flag” and also showed up on some of his fellow members solo albums. “Legend of the Liquid Swords” was herald with rave reviews, but commercially it did not peak from cult status.

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 pursuing to better science education in New York City in conjunction with Columbia University Professor Christopher Emdin, Teachers College, and the website Rap Genius.

Friday 19 July 2019 – Sunday 21 July 2019
Columbus Jazz & Ribs Festival 2019
Columbus, OH, US

Friday 30 August 2019 – Sunday 01 September 2019
Muddy Roots Festival 2019
Muddy Roots Music Festival, Cookeville, TN, US

June 4, 2019 in