GZA + Louis Vuitton Collab on New Video for ‘Liquid Swords (Amen Break Version)’
If it even need be said again, “Wu-Tang Clan ain’t nuttin ta fuck wit.”
But twenty-six years after the arrival of Wu member GZA‘s now classic LP Liquid Swords, it doesn’t hurt to undertake a new assessment of its singular genius (that’s why he’s sometimes actually called GZA the Genius). And so released today is this new ‘Amen Break’ version of the title track, with a visually striking new video produced by French fashion house Louis Vuitton.
The album was named for the 1993 film Legends of the Liquid Sword, by Hong Kong directors Wong Jing and Yeung Wai-yip. Its plot revolved around an epic battle between two rival students of the Shaolin arts – something the Wu’s lyrics were very much steeped in. (There’s a Shaolin Kung Fu Temple in Staten Island, where they’re from.) They were actually groundbreaking in their use of the disciplines of the martial arts as an ideological basis for their lyrics, making them a true collective, when so many of their contemporaries were about the promotion of the self.
Arguably, the Wu mythology is as powerful today as ever. And so GZA’s words strike as hard as they originally did all the way back in 1996.
“In mic fights I swing swords and cut clowns
Shit is too swift to bite you record and write it down
I flow like the blood on a murder scene, like a syringe”
The accompanying Amen Break short film is directed by designer Virgil Abloh, whose Off-White label became a sensation quickly after it was launched in Milan in 2012. He’s now the Creative Director for Vuitton, and his Spring-Summer 2022 collection draws direct inspiration from Wu-Tang philosophy.
Wu said it best, of course: “Light is provided through sparks of energy.”