Gary Grice (born August 22, 1966), better known by his stage names GZA and The Genius, is an American hip hop artist and founding member of the hip hop group the Wu-Tang Clan. Within the clan, he is known as the “spiritual head,” being both the oldest and the first within the group to receive a record deal.
Gary developed an interest in hip-hop by attending block parties as a child in the early 1970s. He formed a three-man group with his cousins, Robert Diggs and Russell Jones, who would later be known as RZA and Ol’ Dirty Bastard, respectively. The group saw the three rapping and DJing. Since they lived in different boroughs, GZA and Ol’ Dirty would travel from Brooklyn out to Staten Island to meet up with RZA, after which the three would travel across New York City and challenge other MCs to battles.
GZA has appeared on his fellow clan members’ solo projects and since the release of his critically acclaimed solo album, Liquid Swords, he has maintained a successful solo career. In 2012, The Source placed him on their list of the Top 50 Lyricists of All Time.
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