GZA is the stage name of a known American Rapper who is also known as The Genius. He is very popular as being one of the founders of an extremely popular hip hop group named “Wu-Tang Clan”.
He is the band leader and is the oldest in the Group. He was also the first one to be signed to any record label.
He was born as Gary Grice on August 22, 1966, in New York City in the United States. He says that he was always very thankful for the fact he was born in the US because that gave him a lot of chances and he was easily noticed by some people that made his career better.
It was very early in his childhood that he gained interest in hip-hop since it has listened to at all the parties in his neighborhood. He loves music and that’s what kept him going throughout the years.
He was also very creative as a kid so he was engaged in all other forms of arts which were popular in that period. That included writing graffiti, breakdancing and training to be a DJ.
He was also very good in songwriting, and writing in general, and was studying nursery rhyme. He was also attracted to The Last Poets although he couldn’t understand it at his age.
His early childhood memories include songs from The Commodores and The Isley Brothers. That attracted him to R&B, not only to hip-hop. He likes all sorts of music and doesn’t limit himself at all and that’s what probably kept him going for such a long period of time.
He saw himself making a music career so he started thinking about forming a music group. In the end, he did. He persuaded two of his cousins (GZA and Ol’Dirty Bastard were their stage names) to form a group because he didn’t think well of his own voice.
The group was first named FOI which stood for Force of the Imperial Master, then it changed names to All in Together. They performed at local parties and events, mostly DJing. After a short period of time, the group started regularly traveling to NY to battle with other DJs.
Gary left school when he was in the 10th grade but he stayed a big science lover. He says that it bothers him a lot that people are always assuming things about him: the fact that he’s a singer and rapper doesn’t mean that he is also stupid. He enjoys science very much and wishes to spend more time doing it.
A while after he started being recognized as an artist so he eventually signed a contract to a record label named “Cold Chillin’ Records” which oriented on hip-hop.
In 1991 he has released his first album named “Words from the Genius”. The album was produced by a hip-hop producer called Easy Mo Bee but Gary wasn’t satisfied with the selling and a lack of promotion so he left the label.
Gary worked on other jobs during all the time he created music and at that time he was a bicycle messenger.
In 1992, his cousin RZA asked him to join his group named “Wu-Tang Clan” which had nine members then. This was a pretty big deal, but it brough on a bunch of controversy later!
The group has released their first album called “Enter the Wu-Tang” one year later, in 1993. GZA even had a solo track on the album, named “Clan in da Front”. The album was very well received and GZA was praised for his work on the album.
In 1995, GZA decided to release his 2nd album named “Liquid Swords” which he completely produced himself. The album was related to a known kung fu movie titled: “Shogun Assasin” and became very popular.
GZA’s album “Liquid Swords” was focused on inner-city criminology and was pretty dark. He worked very hard on it along with his friends and they were trying to gain more audience during that period of time.
GZA created very grim lyrics for this album it featured every member of his Wu-Tang Clan group.
The complete album was recorded in a basement studio owned by RZA, located in Staten Island.
The famous cover of the album was planned and ordered by the GZA, who plays chess passionately and who found Denys Cowan to design him the cover which became legendary.
It also sold very well which was very important to Gary. This album came to No.9 on Hip Hop Album Chart. In 2015 it was announced that the album reached its 1 million copy so it was Platinum.
In 1997, he made an appearance on the second album of the Wu-Tang Clan named “Wu-Tang Forever”. Two years later he had released his 3rd album called “Beneath the Surface”. This album was released by his new record label called “MCA Records”.
The album reached a wide public and gained a Gold certification. It reached No.1 on the R&B and Hip-Hop Albums chart. This was a pretty big deal back then.
In 2002 he had released an album called “Legend of the Liquid Sword” which was considered to be a sequel to the “Liquid Sword”. The critics were good but it didn’t sell as well as the one before.
He has spent most of 2004 on tours with Wu-Tang Clan or on his own tours.
He and his cousin RZA appeared in the movie “Coffee and Cigarettes” with Bill Murry in the leading role. It was a 2003 musical drama.
He also appeared in his first TV show in 2003, in the comedy series titled “Chappelle’s Show”.
In 2005, GZA decided to make a collab with DJ Muggs and the two of them released an album “Grandmasters”. DJ Muggs was a producer of the mega-popular group “Cypress Hill”.
In 2008 he has released another solo album and this was called “Pro Tools”. It was released by “Baby Grande Records”. It had many producers, and Black Milk, RZA and True Master are just some of them.
He released a very interesting song called “Paper Plates” which was a response to his rival 50 Cent. GZA performed on tours both in Europe and in the USA in 2008.
Since he was a big fan of science he always learned about it whenever he could.
In 2012 he was sponsored by Rap Genius website and Columbia University to work on a pilot program which was focused on high school students of Latin and African-American descent making them learn about science through music. His love for science inspired him to work on his album “Dark Matter”.
In 2015 his song “The Mexican” was released and it was made in collaboration with Kora Lane and Tom Morello. He performed it on “The Tonight Show”.
In the summer of 2016, he released “The Spark”, a single inspired by space and connected to “Juno Mission”.
In one of his latest public appearances, he explained the open letter he has written which was titled “The Lost Art of Lyricism”. GZA praised science in it and spoke with highest regards about artists like Nas.
He says that there is no storytelling in modern rap although he is sure that there are good lyricists in the world of hip-hop.
GZA is considered to have an extremely large vocabulary in hip-hop music.
He was placed into the top 50 lyricists ever by THE SOURCE.
GZA is known as a big advocate of eating raw food and excluding meat out of the diet. He managed to persuade the entire Wu-Tang Clan to cut their meat meals to the minimum.
He is a vegetarian since 1996 and he hasn’t eaten pork since he was 11 years old.
He wasn’t on a vegetarian diet at home and until that time he was eating pork, hot dogs and french fries. He has clicked on his own and today he is happy because he believes it is morally and healthier for the body.
He is a very big fan of Indian and Thai food.
As for his love life or his girlfriends, it is very difficult to find anything about it online. He never posted any pics on his social media accounts and he never shared any information about it.
He doesn’t come to the parties with anyone but his friends and associates.
Full name: Garry Grice
Date of birth: August 22, 1966
Birthplace: New York City, United States
Profession: rapper, producer,
Height: 180 cm
Weight: 75 kg
Net Worth: $18 million