Beneath the Surface

Beneath the Surface

Infobox Album
Name = Beneath the Surface
Type = Album
Artist = GZA

Released = June 29 1999
Recorded = 1998–1999
Genre = Hip hop
Length = 46:00
Label = MCA
Producer = GZA
Arabian Knight
John the Baptist
Inspectah Deck
Reviews =
*Allmusic Rating|4.5|5 [ link]
*"Alternative Press" Rating|5|5 [ link]
*"Rap Pages" (A) [ link]
*RapReviews rating-10|7 [ link]
*Stylus Magazine (B) [ 2003]
*Stylus Magazine (mixed) [ 2007]
* Rating|4.5|5 [ link]
*Yahoo! Music (favorable) [ link]
Last album = "Liquid Swords" (1995)
This album = "Beneath the Surface" (1999)
Next album = "Legend of the Liquid Sword" (2002)

: "This article is about Beneath the Surface, the album by GZA. For the Stargate SG-1 episode, see Beneath the Surface (Stargate SG-1)"

"Beneath the Surface" is a 1999 (see 1999 in music) album from Wu-Tang Clan member GZA, an American hip hop musician. It was his second album released as a member of Wu-Tang and his third overall.


Alternative Press (10/99, p.92) - 5 out of 5 - "...the first clear indication...of where the most important act of the hip-hop decade want to take their legions of followers.... [RZA's] a master of structure and strategy..."

CMJ (7/12/99, p.26) - "...solid fusion of RZA-esque string play and thumping jeep beats provide an equally formidable backdrop for the Genius's ever-heady lyrical chessboxing....Surface is a family affair with impressive guest spots....Behold the first true Wu-Banger of 1999."

Rap Pages (9/99, pp.172-4) - " album for thinking individuals....GZA is masterful at wordplay, and the accompanying music makes the listening all the more pleasurable..." - Rating: A

Reviews were mostly positive, though it failed to live up to Liquid Swords acclaim and commercial success. However, critics pointed to production as the album's main weakness, noting a distinct lack of RZA-produced tracks, resulting in a messy collage of beats rather than a cohesive sound. There were also complaints about the presence of skits and the vast number of guest spots.

Track listing

# "Intro"
# "Amplified Sample"
#* Producer: Mathematics
# "Beneath the Surface"
#* First verse: GZA
#* Second verse: Killah Priest
#* Chorus: Res
#* Producer: Inspectah Deck
# "Skit 1"
# "Skit 2"
# "Crash Your Crew"
#* Intro: RZA
#* Chorus: Ol' Dirty Bastard
#* Producer: John the Baptist
# "Breaker Breaker"
#* Producer: Arabian Knight
# "High Price Small Reward"
#* First verse: GZA
#* Second verse: Masta Killa
#* Producer: Mathematics
# "Hip Hop Fury"
#* Chorus: RZA
#* First verse: Hell Razah
#* Second verse: GZA
#* Third verse: Timbo King
#* Fourth verse: Dreddy Kruger
#* Producer: Arabian Knight
# "Skit 3"
# "1112"
#* First verse: GZA
#* Second verse: Masta Killa
#* Third verse: Killah Priest
#* Fourth verse: Njeri
#* Producer: RZA
# "Skit 4"
# "Victim"
#* First verse: GZA
#* Second verse: Njeri
#* Producer: Arabian Knight
# "Publicity"
#* Producer: Mathematics
# "Feel Like An Enemy"
#* First verse & chorus: Hell Razah
#* Second verse: Killah Priest
#* Third verse: Trigga
#* Fourth verse: Prodigal Sunn
#* Producer: Mathematics
# "Stringplay (Like This, Like That)"
#* First verse: GZA
#* Second verse & chorus: Method Man
#* Producer: Arabian Knight
# "Mic Trippin"
#*Producer: Mathematics
# "Outro"
#* First verse: La The Darkman
#* Second verse : Timbo King
#* Producer: Arabian Knight


* Arabian Knight - Producer, Engineer, Executive Producer, Assistant Engineer, Mixing, Mixing Assistant
* Dragan "Chach" Cacinovic - Engineer
* Tom Coyne - Mastering
* Joan Davis - Performer
* The Genius - Producer, Executive Producer
* Inspectah Deck - Producer
* John the Baptist - Producer
* Killah Priest - Vocals
* LA the Darkman - Vocals
* Masta Killa - Vocals
* Mathematics - Producer
* Method Man - Vocals
* Hell Razah - Vocals
* Ol' Dirty Bastard - Performer
* RZA - Vocals, Executive Producer
* Trigga - Performer


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