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"Eric's Top 100 Tuesdays (56-58)"

by Eric on May 22, 2007

56. Mic Geronimo-The Natural

What???.. Are you kiddin’ me, “Mic Geronimo ahead of GZA’s “Liquid Swords”? Yep!..When “The Natural” dropped around the winter of 1995 on the now defunct Blunt Recordings, it quickly became the soundtrack that accompanied me through countless hours of shoveling snow and detailing cars (a little side business I had at the time) through another cold-ass East Coast winter. And you know what is the funniest (and now, most embarrassing) sh*t ever? Get this, I was driving a blue GEO Tracker at the time and playing the bass heavy cuts on “The Natural” used to distort the hell outta’ those factory speakers!! Shhhhhh!..quiet on the Tracker sh*t, I don’t even think my wife knows about that yet..she may not have married me if that was the case. Anyway, this was the pre -”Vendetta” Mic Geronimo that came fresh out the gate, raw as hell on some ol’ East Coast “groggy bassline, hard lyrics” madness. Mic had a hell of a production team to assist him with the beats on “The Natural”…just peep the lineup: Mark Sparks (damn, I forgot about him!) 4 tracks, Da Beatminerz – 2 cuts, Buckwild – 3 tracks, let’s not forget about the man everyone loves to hate DJ Irv (Irv Gotti)-3 tracks, Chyskillz (produced alot of Onyx’ earlier stuff) also dropped by with the beats for “Man Of My Own”. It’s very interesting hearing the lineup on “Time To Build” featuring Jay-Z, Ja Rule & DMX and realize that they got their early “shine” on Mic’s behalf. Now, those dudes need to be helping out Mic with the rent and the car note…there’s been a sh*tload of money made between those three (Jay, Ja & X) over the years. Mic Geronimo, well at least to me..had a voice that was sorta’ reminiscent of an early Rakim and…..damn, why did dude have to go and put out “Vendetta” (his HORRIBLE sopohomore slump)!! This album showed so much promise, I thought Mic would have been good for at least a solid four or so album stretch. Damn, enough already (shaking head), I’m done bitchin’…I just can’t get over how he dropped something soo dope and just completely put out some bullsh*t for the remainder of his recording career!!! I guess that’s what dropping a follow up in 1997 (the beginning of the “jiggy” era) will do to a brother!…-Eric

57. Genius/GZA-Liquid Swords

After listening to this album one more time this evening, I’m not sure that “Liquid Swords” deserves to be placed this high on my “Top 100″ (Gasp!#$). Too bad I already uploaded the album and it’s too late in the evening to post up anything else…I’m sure that this will suffice. The thing with the Wu is….well, they were probably at the height of their popularity when they hit us with “Tical”, “Ironman”, “Only Built 4…” and Ol’ Dirty’s debut and the hype more or less urged me to become a fan of every piece of wax they put out. I can honestly say today that the only Wu releases I even listen to occasionally would have to be the Wu’s debut & Raekwon’s “Only Built 4..”…what does that say?? Don’t get me wrong, GZA is as dope an MC as there is out there, it’s just that the Wu was “jocked” so much by the public that it actually made me not want to listen to their music anymore…kinda’ like 50 after he dropped “Get Rich Or Die Tryin”. Does any of this make sense? “Liquid Swords” does have it’s good moments though. My favorite cut from “Liquid Swords” doesn’t even feature GZA himself…yep, you guessed it….”B.I.B.L.E” featuring Killah Priest is the dopest sh*t on here IMO, but that’s not to say it’s the only thing worth checking out. I also thought that the title cut was as dope a track as you can construct with the most simple beat out there (think about it…it’s just a heavy bassline and what sounds like an organ)and it doesn’t get any better than GZA & RZA spittin’ lyrical tourettes all over the track “Yo Rza, hit the track with the uh, the wha’, the zizza, zizza, zizza, zizza….”. “Cold World” (BTW, wasn’t there a remix of this with D’angelo?) and the Method Man assisted “Shadowboxin” (which may have aided in the whole sped up sample phenomenon)are ill as well. The problem is, I would much rather have heard just the GZA showcased on his solo album rather than just reincarnating another Wu reunion. Maybe I’m just being too hard on this album, but it just hasn’t really held up that well for me…Sorry Wu’sters-Eric

58. O.C.-Jewelz

Again, I’ll probably raise a few eyebrows with this pick as well. “Jewelz” ahead of “Word..Life?”…I’m not even gonna’ front, I really didn’t start listening to “Word..Life” in depth (by that, I mean not fast-forward through 7 of 15 tracks) until 2004. It’s kinda like Trav @ “Wakeyourdaughterup” stating earlier in the week about he “wanted nothing to do with the UMC’s “Fruits Of Nature” when it first dropped”..I can honestly empathize with the man! When “Time’s Up” first hit the airwaves on local college radio, my initial impression was “Man, what’s all the buzz about this song?”…ooohhhh, how foolish I was (late pass x 10)! I have definitely come to the realization what I missed out on in 1994, but on the flipside of the coin “Jewelz” became one of my favorites almost immediately. I think Omar Credle’s first single released off of “Jewelz” was “Far From Yours” featuring Yvette Michelle (see yesterday’s Funk Flex post) on the hook, and while “O” received more than a little “heat” for switching up his style a bit….I absolutely loved it! Or maybe it was just the R & B chick on the hook (I don’t know what it is about the R & B chick on the hook?..maybe it’s just an illness I have) which I’ve always been a big fan of. If I ever release an album, I swear I’ma put an “R & B chick” on every hook of every song..that’s a promise!! Back to the matter at hand, let’s give “Jewelz” the proper due it deserves! The album starts off with a banger right from the jump with the Primo laced “My World”, which has gotta’ be one of Primo’s best beats. Baaammm!, then O.C. along with a guest appearance from Price Po & Pharoahe Monch, (damn, I shoulda’ just typed Organized Konfusion…is it just me, or is Pharoahe Monch’s name a bitch to spell?) hits you once again with another Primo infused killer “War Games”. The only thing that I’m not really crazy about with “Jewelz” is the appearance of Bumpy Knuckles aka Freddie Foxx on “M.U.G.” & “Win The G”, sorry Freddie..I’ve just never been a big fan of yours. You can tell him that for me though..have you seen that dude boxing?? Now come to think of it, I have a hard time seeing how folks would state that “Word..Life” was a better album than “Jewelz”. Oh well, it’s my “Top 100 Tuesday”…Listen to “Jewelz” again and you be the judge…-Eric

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Eric’s Top 100 (96-97) « When They Reminisce……
October 29, 2007 at 8:21 pm


Yohan May 23, 2007 at 9:16 am

Hey Eric, although it’s your choice, I just wanna comment on it and I respect that.

So basically you’re saying, just because people all liked Liquid Swords and Time…Life, you didn’t like them anymore? Because IMO that’s weird.. Take music for what it is, and don’t let other people’s opinions influence that.

Personally I think Liquid Swords was the best solo effort of the Wu, closely followed by OB4CL. And the 36 chambers tops that as well, but I guess it does in everyones book. Word…Life, I haven’t really listened to that before well enough to form a critical opinion about that.

Anyway, keep rocking this blog, loving what you do! Bye

TheMan213 May 23, 2007 at 9:48 am

Mic Geronimo is working on some new stuff.. heard some of it, sounds good! Classic album you posted though, nice to hear a young Jay-Z!

Mystik Journeyman May 23, 2007 at 12:16 pm

Props for citing Jewelz. I think it’s an underappreciated album. What’s not to like?; mostly produced by Premier, Da Beatminerz and DITC + O.C.’s original flow. Not sure which of his first two albums are better but both are very good. Pharoahe Monch is spelt funny but I’ve memorised after writing it so many times over the years. That’s the test for any hip-hop head – can you spell his name !

I’m surprised you’re not a fan of Liquid Swords. I agree with Yohan; it’s one of the best Wu efforts; Duel Of The Iron Mic, Living In The World Today, Gold, Labels, 4th Chamber, Shadowboxin’ and a bit of old school ‘The Genius’ in I Gotcha Back: quality. Plus, as you said, the title track’s a STORMER. The concept of the Wu solo albums was for each member to branch out in their preferred direction but still remain part of the Wu tree.

Thanks for posting that Mic Geronimo album (if it’s good, that is). I had Vendetta and thought it was arse so never investigated this one.

Cartel May 23, 2007 at 12:21 pm

Thanks for throwing the Mic Geranimo shit up. That’s whats up!!! Those are my peeps right there! Chyskillz did Ony’s first album (except for two songs) and he’s the one who taught me production and how to navigate in the big recording studios, something that doesn’t happen for new producers these days since cats are two tracking shit.

I hate Irv… but Geranimo should have stuck with him instead of going at it alone because that second album was trash!!

I’m trying to get a track done with Royal Flush, Mike Geranimo and hopefully (Neek the Exotic).

OC’s joint was hot. Times UP! was crazy but I can’t call what happened with that album. I think Wild Pitch fucked up big time.

GZA shit is definitely the best in the lot though!

Mike Dikk May 23, 2007 at 9:24 pm

I have to echo Yohan’s comments here. Not about not wanting to listen to stuff because everyone else is listening to it. I understand that, but Liquid Swords is definitely my favorite Wu solo release. It seems most people into Wu Tang are divided into two camps. Those who think “Only Built 4 Cuban Linx” is the best wu solo release (which ironically, is my least favorite first wave Wu release, but I haven’t listened to Tical in forever, and I imagine that doesn’t hold up too well) and those who think “Liquid Swords” is the best.

To disagree with you even more, I originally had this on cassette, and “B.I.B.L.E” isn’t on the cassette version. Around a year after this was released I was in Nobody Beats THE WIZ and for some reason they had around 50 CD copies of Liquid Swords in the cut out bin, so I was pumped to get it on CD at a very low price, and even more pumped when I found out there was a bonus track on it. Up until the last time I listened to Liquid Swords (which was two weeks ago) I HATED that track. Now I can get into it, but back in the day, it ruined the whole flow of the record for me. Luckily it was all the way at the end.

Civel March 25, 2008 at 5:32 am

Big ups on your site, I’m new to it & luv it… Your write up got me on the GZA album got me. Thats a classic album. GZA is a top dog of EMCEE’s. His word play is so sick. The production on it is blazin’. Yeah, the cold world single does have D’Angelo on it & it’s hot too, i got the single on tape. For those that jumped on the WU bandwagon, they ain’t understand this music anyway. When Ghost’s Iron Man first came out, i was chillin’ in the record store with the manager & he was tellin’ me that alot of white kids was bringin’ the Iron Man back because they hated it. My response to that was this music “HIP HOP” is not meant for them anyway. So don’t sweat your write up on it, just bump that shit & introduce that shit to the next generation, our kids…Keep up the great work money…
ONE, Civel

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