Without a doubt one of the finest lyricists in hip-hop, the Genius aka GZA never ceases to amaze listeners with his intricately constructed rhyme style. The eldest cousin of RZA and Ol' Dirty Bastard, he was the first Wu member to appear on wax with Words From the Genius (1991). Label hassles hampered the album, but he returned with a vengeance on the Clan's 1993 debut and his 1995 classic Liquid Swords. One of the most impressive albums from the Wu camp, Liquid Swords showcased RZA's trademark beats and GZA's devastating microphone mastery. Besides lacing the Wu's second album with his wordy wisdom, the chess-playing rhyme-spitter released his solo follow-up Beneath the Surface in 1999. Like Rakim before him, the Genius has raised the standard by which all emcees are judged. His extraordinary abilities on the mic demand repeated listening, and his profound urban poetry is in a class by itself. In 2003 he returned to the scene with the dope (and mad under-rated) Legend of the Liquid Sword.