GZA/Genius delivers with ?Pro Tools?

Manouk Akopyan

If you are a fan of high-octane, beat-knocking, ‘get ya’ two-step on’ raps that are sure to be tearing the roof off the club this Saturday night, then Gza/Genius’ latest solo album is not for you. Sorry. Move on with the Top 40. As a matter of fact, to prove his style is not mainstream and all about getting ‘In Da Club,’ he has a track set out for an east-coast counterpart, but more on that later.

If you’re a fan of colorful imagery and a listener who possess an uncanny ear for metaphorical symbolism, then ‘Pro Tools,’ Gza’s fifth solo album, will find a home on your dashboard. If I still don’t have your attention, I might now. Gza is arguably the most detailed and verbose group member and one of the co-founders of the Wu Tang Clan, the ever popular stable of MC’s who initially launched a cult-following almost 15-years ago.

Released under the independent record label Babygrande Records, one will be quick to recognize there was no recruitment for high profiled names and producers for ‘Pro Tools,’ a compilation of 16-quick hitting tracks that features plain beats, clocks in at the meager 44-minute mark and does not feature fellow Clan mates Raekwon and Method Man, but that doesn’t mean his audience is cheated with masterfully-written and thought-provoking lyrics.

‘There’s always a double or triple meaning when I’m rhyming, that’s the good thing about it,’ Gza said, according to his Myspace page. ‘People can listen to something over and over and hear something different every time. That’s what writing is about. I don’t want to be simple, I don’t want to be literal.’

In ‘0% Finance,’ he begins the song with, ‘I took her off the showroom floor, no money down,’ referring to both a girl and a car and he further continues the song with his classis double entendre lyrics.

Gza does not waste any rhymes in ‘Pro Tools’ emphasizing on Lamborghini doors or 28-inch rims and that’s a breath of fresh air considering today’s commercial rap. He does however take on an entire song aimed squarely at 50 Cent.

In ‘Paper Plates,’ Gza initiates a G-Unit vs. Wu Tang Clan battle royal, doing so without a single cuss word. With lines like, ‘You don’t have enough on your roster, you move like a fed but you talk like a mobster,’ a profanity-laced tirade would only water down his venomous pen.

But make no mistake about it, Gza’s fast-hitting lyrical blows will frequently catch you off guard like a Muhammad Ali jab and will have you backtracking to a corner in search of a rewind button.