Founding member of the hip-hop group Wu-Tang Clan, Gary Grice, better known by his stage name, Genius aka GZA, was invited by the Harvard Black Mens forum to lecture about his music career and lyrical craft.
GZA is probably the most acclaimed member of the group and is revered for his flawless technique and lyrical dexterity. GZA was born in Staten Island, NY and at an early age began to learn about rhymes by the earliest MC’s while staying in the Bronx. GZA would share teachings with his cousins in Staten Island, who would later be known to us as Ol’ Dirty Bastard and the RZA.
Eventually GZA landed a record deal in 1991 with the failing record company, Cold Chillin, using the stage name, The Genius, which was unfortunately nearing its end. Prior to the Wu-Tang clan formation, GZA released a solo album called Words from the Genius, being the only member to release a solo project prior. The album was not successful and due to conflicts with the label, GZA ask to be released from his contact.
In 1992, Wu-Tang Clan was assembled by members GZA, RZA and Ol’ Dirty Bastard…the rest was history! At first it was a struggle finding a record label that would sign the group while still allowing each member to record solo albums with other labels, but after becoming a underground hip-hop sensation and taking the hip-hop world by storm; Loud/RCA finally agreed, releasing their debut album, Enter the Wu-Tang (36 Chambers), in 1993. This album turned out to be critically acclaimed, and to date is regarded as one of the greatest hip-hop albums of all time! The album established the Wu-Tang Clan as a creative and influential force in hip-hop on the mid 1990’s hip-hop. This allowed for members Ol’ Dirty Bastard, RZA, Raekwon, Method Man, and Ghostface Killah to negotiate solo contracts. GZA released 5 solo albums, two reaching gold: on the U.S. hip-hop charts, which were Liquid Swords and Beneath the Surface.
GZA is scheduled to appear at Harvard University on Dec 1, 2011 at 4pm and will be followed with a Q&A by the New York legendary emcee. In addition, it is open to the general public in Cambridge, Massachusetts. GZA also has plans to visit Broad Institute and the MIT Media Lab; he intends to speak with scientists and thinkers to seek inspiration for his next album, Liquid Swords 2: The Return of the Shadowboxer, which is due out in 2012 on Babygrande Record.