GZA brings it to another level for his "Tiny Desk" performance.
GZA, while sometimes understated by his own accord, remains a fundamental member of Wu-Tang, and his first solo album, Liquid Swords, remains an all time classic of old school hip-hop. Today, GZA made a stop by NPR for their on-going "Tiny Desk" series, in which artists perform live versions of some of their most popular songs.
GZA didn't half-ass it either, as he came through with a cavalcade of brass instruments, the eight-piece band The Soul Rebels, behind him as he rapped. He starts off going right in to "Living In The World Today," off his debut album. The song, despite being over 20 years old, still feels apt, and the accompanying of The Soul Rebels gives the track a new life. Similarly with the second track, "Duel of the Iron Mic," which has GZA channeling the spirit of his late cousin, Ol' Dirty Bastard.
Lastly, the group went into the title track from Liquid Swords, and as they were winding down the song, GZA switches into spoken word mode, telling the story of how the song's hook came to be. Turns out, RZA and GZA were hanging out in a basement, when RZA played him the "Liquid Swords" beat, and told him to use an old rap routine that GZA and ODB used to do back when they were teenagers. That routine eventually became the famous hook for the track.