Friday, April 4, 2008
DJ Muggs vs GZA - Grandmasters (2005)
Muggs provides an ominous time and space for none other than the GZA to lay down his intellect on this record. The title speaks not only of the pairs commitment to remaining 'above' the competition intellectually, but in strategy. The repetitious references to chess made by the GZA throughout his career are a signifier to his intellectual commitment and his timelessness. Like chess, which has been played for two thousand years, the GZA will continue to influence hip-hop immeasurably into the future. This album educates. However, despite the GZA's omnipresent intellect, Muggs remains present in this record. His beats remind one of the determination a good DJ has. Without his production skills, the record wouldn't elicit the anxiety that is felt on Grandmasters. It is an anxiety of having something incomprehensible in scope- one isn't sure of all the consequences from learning the truth in this cultural artifact. Heads bob.