GZA

Tuesday, April 29, Bluebird Theater, 303-830-8497; Wednesday, April 30, Fox Theatre, Boulder, 303-443-3399.

Just having been in the Wu-Tang Clan automatically affords you a certain level of credibility, even when it isn't warranted (yes, we're talking about you, U-God). Even that, however, isn't necessarily enough to earn you shine. Good thing for GZA, then, that he has more going on than just that. Many consider his wordplay on "Liquid Swords" to be genius, and his very Wu-ish piano and soul-infused collaboration with spliff-smoking maestro DJ Muggs of Cypress Hill helped elevate him past his up-till-then steady stream of average output. In a world filled with 50 Cents and Souljah Boys — whom he very vocally trash-talks, apparently to anyone who will listen — GZA stands out for his lyrics, which do have a spring of genius in them. He may not be a samurai, but he's telling the truth when he says, "I flow like the blood on a murder scene."

 
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