GZA (pronounced The Gizza, aka The Genius, born Gary Grice August 22, 1966 in Staten Island, New York) is an American rapper and member of The Wu-Tang Clan. GZA is, along with Ghostface Killah, widely considered the best rapper in the nine-person clan, and his solo work has been critically acclaimed.
After recording as All in Together Now with future Wu-Tangers Ol' Dirty Bastard and RZA, GZA released a solo album, Words from the Genius, in 1991 (see 1991 in music). The album was a flop and the trio of friends formed the Wu-Tang Clan with six others. Their debut together was Enter the Wu-Tang (36 Chambers), which took the hip hop world by storm. All nine members became a hot commodity and were allowed to sign with whatever record label they wished for a solo career, due to an unusual clause in their contract. GZA signed to Geffen Records.
GZA's first post-Wu-Tang solo album was Liquid Swords (1995, 1995 in music) and was widely acclaimed; it is still remembered as one of the pre-eminent Wu-Tang solo LPs. The Wu-Tang Clan's second album together, Wu-Tang Forever, GZA released Beneath the Surface in 1999 (see 1999 in music). The album received good reviews, but failed to live up to reputations. GZA's latest solo album is Legend of the Liquid Sword in 2002 (see 2002 in music).