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Thread: Pro tools was a better album than it receives credit for

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  1. #1

    Default Pro tools was a better album than it receives credit for

    I'll admit it does not live up to the legacy set before it by other GZA albums. I'd say Liquid Swords, and Beneath the Surface are both classic records. Beyond that, Grandmasters is somewhere between good and superior, very enjoyable. Legend of the Liquid Sword is a dope album, no real whack shit on it.

    I don't understand the flack this album receives. It's not great all the way through, but the intro gets my hyped, and leads well into Pencil. That's a classic wu cut, GZA and MK come correct to set it off and then The RZA kills it. One of the best verses he has dropped in recent times, along with the shit he spits on Life is a Movie. "Add a dash of spice only god can detect."

    7 Pounds is a really dope record. I would reallllllly like to see GZA and Black Milk collab in person rather than through just a beat cd like in this case. However if there's more hot shit like 7 Pounds that comes through beat cds thats just fine with me.

    The joint with ka is great I think, although not really due to GZA. I like how he put him on, and the track with Roc Marciano also probably helped him get shine and was a good cut.

    0% finance is a good concept, not exactly fully realized potential but it's impressive lyrically.


    Sure, his flow is not as dope as it was before. The only thing that kinda bothers while simultaneously impressing me is the fact that he said he basically wrote it in 4 days. Considering the level of output he had in recent years, I'd prefer if he really dedicated himself when putting shit out. Still, there's a few classic cuts and an enjoyable album in Pro Tools.

    The hate I think is more due to him not living up to expectations set in people's minds rather than the its actual weakness.
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    Secret Rival MaskedAvenger's Avatar
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    Yeah, other than Liquid Swords of course, this is probably my next favorite GZA album.





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    Veteran Member TheFunkyDrummer's Avatar
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    I think Grandmasters is better than Beneath the Surface. Liquid Swords and Grandmasters are classics and Beneath the Surface is close. Legend of the Liquid Sword might be his most lyrical album, but it has horrible beats, therefore it can't be a classic. Pro Tools was amazing lyrically, but had some bad beats and GZA's flow wasn't consistent throughout the whole album.

  4. #4

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    If Beneath the Surface didn't have the skits and had another song or two, it would be a surefire classic.

    1112, high price small reward, the songs w razah, victim, publicity, amplified sample, crash your crew, the title track beneath the surface is so fucking dope. that's my fav deck beat, one of my fav killah priest verses and i'm a big priest fan.
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    Veteran Member TheFunkyDrummer's Avatar
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    Yes, Priest' verse was fire, but GZA came better the first couple of sentences are mindblowing; On a man-made lake, there's sheet of thin ice, where unskilled skaters couldn't figure-8 twice. This is extremely clever. Killah Priest verse is beautiful, but I wouldn't say it's as lyrical as GZA's. Grandmasters to me is better because almost the whole album relates to chess. It's more of a concept than Beneath the Surface, it's random topics on Beneath the Surface. Grandmasters is more focused on it being an album. Beneath the Surface had some beats that weren't great, all of Grandmasters beats are good. Beneath the Surface (song) is definitely a classic though and there are more classics on Beneath the Surface and I actually do like the skits, but some beats aren't great.

  6. #6

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    Pro tools is underrated and an 8/10 album for me. The only track I skip is that 'I don't like the film track' near the end.

    Alphabets is a classic track.

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    Killer Bob claaa7's Avatar
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    i have to disagree on you on this one Saverio.. i bought "Pro Tools", like any other Wu release shortly after it was released and while it has many great songs i think it's sub-par for a GZA release. GZA's delivery is just one of them, i can handle that though, on some songs it even sounded like good like on the one with Roc Marcy. the mixing however, a track like "Path Of Destruction" which had a great beat and even pretty good lyrics by GZA - due to the mixing, it sounded very poor, GZA's lyrics drowned out under the beat. the first times i heard it i didn't even realize GZA has started his verse but thought he was either doing the hook or intro.

    "0% Finance" was very cleverly written but the beat didn't do ANYTHING for me plus it was even re-used and i prefer the sample when he used it for "Legend Of the Liquid Swords". "Paper Plate" was horrible, one of RZA's worst beats - sounded like some Casio shit, and i understand that they were aiming for an old school type of feel to show 50 that he should not fuck with the veterans in the game. it also felt a bit like a way to boost record sales just by dissing the biggest artist out there. still the record didn't do well.

    "Cinema" was ok but not really a song for me. same goes for "Life Is A Movie", it had good verses, good verses but i couldn't fuck with the chorus.. too much indie-rock for me. Same goes for "Elastic Audio", the bonus live performance - it was a cool inclusion but for a 40 minutes album it felt like they added a live song that had already been released just to bump up the length.

    as for what I liked about the album, Dreddy Kruger's intro set the mood well and was very ill produced and transformed well into "Pencil". The latter is a song i really like, typical Mathematics beat with the vocal loop and hard drums, with GZA, Masta Killa spitting great verses and then RZA comes through dropping one of his best veres in years. kinda reminds me of "Fam Members Only".

    "Alphabets" was the first song i heard from the LP and it fucking blow me away. True Master and GZA again? GODDAMN!!! the way GZA rhymes on this, with more energy than the majority of the rest of the album, and how the hook goes from A-Z in a 5% lesson makes for nothing short of a masterpiece. easily the best song on the album!

    "7 Pounds" follows "Alphabets" perfectly since it's basically almost equally good. one of the best beats of 2008 and one of my favorite Black Milk beats + GZA really killed this one. as you say, Black and GZA needs to work more down the line.

    "Groundbreaking" had a cool beat, GZA was pretty good here but i thought Justice sounded really weak on this one. he don't have the voice, at least not here, to rhyme. luckily he wasn't on it too much. the concept was cool too.

    i heard "Short Race" gets knocked but as a big fan of both Roc Marcy's vocals/skills and production i thought this was a stand-out on the album. great storytelling from both, this is probably one of my favorites of the album. Roc Marcy also produced "Firehouse" that only features GZA on hooks and the verses are handled by KA, Marcy's Long Island brethren who does a great job conveying the street life into rhymes - something GZA don't do often these days. good song, but maybe it's a little malplaced on "Pro Tools".

    i think the last song i haven't mentioned are "Columbian Ties", another dope song. Bronze on the beat when he's hooking it up for generals rarely lose and storytelling rap over great production like this together with True Master (an extremely underrated emcee as proven a few times).

    none of these songs would rank among GZA's best songs although there are several highlights. i still think this is his weakest album, that only true Wu heads like ourselves should have in our collection. i probably give it 3.25/5 in ratings, to me it felt very rushed.



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  8. #8

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    Quote Originally Posted by THE GENIUS View Post
    Yes, Priest' verse was fire, but GZA came better the first couple of sentences are mindblowing; On a man-made lake, there's sheet of thin ice, where unskilled skaters couldn't figure-8 twice. This is extremely clever. Killah Priest verse is beautiful, but I wouldn't say it's as lyrical as GZA's. Grandmasters to me is better because almost the whole album relates to chess. It's more of a concept than Beneath the Surface, it's random topics on Beneath the Surface. Grandmasters is more focused on it being an album. Beneath the Surface had some beats that weren't great, all of Grandmasters beats are good. Beneath the Surface (song) is definitely a classic though and there are more classics on Beneath the Surface and I actually do like the skits, but some beats aren't great.
    I've listened to it countless time and there is something which separates it from GZAs, just a crazy example of storytelling. No GZA verse really gets outshone, I just prefer the Priest verse kind of like how I prefer his verse on 4th chamber but he doesn't really outshine anyone on the track, from Ghost to RZA to GZA, everyone comes correct.

    I think there are like two beats which stand out on Beneath the Surface which are not as good as the rest, and I still don't have a problem with them. Theres about 8 truly great songs on BTS. I see what you're saying about Grandmasters, I'll have to bump it again sometime soon. It def is a great record, might even have greater quality overall but I don't think it's top songs are as good.

    Yeah the skits are ok I could just see them messing up the flow for certain listeners. Especially the part with two skits in a row.
    Quote Originally Posted by claaa7 View Post
    i have to disagree on you on this one Saverio.. i bought "Pro Tools", like any other Wu release shortly after it was released and while it has many great songs i think it's sub-par for a GZA release. GZA's delivery is just one of them, i can handle that though, on some songs it even sounded like good like on the one with Roc Marcy. the mixing however, a track like "Path Of Destruction" which had a great beat and even pretty good lyrics by GZA - due to the mixing, it sounded very poor, GZA's lyrics drowned out under the beat. the first times i heard it i didn't even realize GZA has started his verse but thought he was either doing the hook or intro.

    "0% Finance" was very cleverly written but the beat didn't do ANYTHING for me plus it was even re-used and i prefer the sample when he used it for "Legend Of the Liquid Swords". "Paper Plate" was horrible, one of RZA's worst beats - sounded like some Casio shit, and i understand that they were aiming for an old school type of feel to show 50 that he should not fuck with the veterans in the game. it also felt a bit like a way to boost record sales just by dissing the biggest artist out there. still the record didn't do well.

    "Cinema" was ok but not really a song for me. same goes for "Life Is A Movie", it had good verses, good verses but i couldn't fuck with the chorus.. too much indie-rock for me. Same goes for "Elastic Audio", the bonus live performance - it was a cool inclusion but for a 40 minutes album it felt like they added a live song that had already been released just to bump up the length.

    as for what I liked about the album, Dreddy Kruger's intro set the mood well and was very ill produced and transformed well into "Pencil". The latter is a song i really like, typical Mathematics beat with the vocal loop and hard drums, with GZA, Masta Killa spitting great verses and then RZA comes through dropping one of his best veres in years. kinda reminds me of "Fam Members Only".

    "Alphabets" was the first song i heard from the LP and it fucking blow me away. True Master and GZA again? GODDAMN!!! the way GZA rhymes on this, with more energy than the majority of the rest of the album, and how the hook goes from A-Z in a 5% lesson makes for nothing short of a masterpiece. easily the best song on the album!

    "7 Pounds" follows "Alphabets" perfectly since it's basically almost equally good. one of the best beats of 2008 and one of my favorite Black Milk beats + GZA really killed this one. as you say, Black and GZA needs to work more down the line.

    "Groundbreaking" had a cool beat, GZA was pretty good here but i thought Justice sounded really weak on this one. he don't have the voice, at least not here, to rhyme. luckily he wasn't on it too much. the concept was cool too.

    i heard "Short Race" gets knocked but as a big fan of both Roc Marcy's vocals/skills and production i thought this was a stand-out on the album. great storytelling from both, this is probably one of my favorites of the album. Roc Marcy also produced "Firehouse" that only features GZA on hooks and the verses are handled by KA, Marcy's Long Island brethren who does a great job conveying the street life into rhymes - something GZA don't do often these days. good song, but maybe it's a little malplaced on "Pro Tools".

    i think the last song i haven't mentioned are "Columbian Ties", another dope song. Bronze on the beat when he's hooking it up for generals rarely lose and storytelling rap over great production like this together with True Master (an extremely underrated emcee as proven a few times).

    none of these songs would rank among GZA's best songs although there are several highlights. i still think this is his weakest album, that only true Wu heads like ourselves should have in our collection. i probably give it 3.25/5 in ratings, to me it felt very rushed.
    I'm actually a fan of Path of Destruction and Paper Plates. I like the beat for Path but see what you're saying about the mixing of it. Too bad how often that harms what could be a doper track. The lyrics on Paper Plates are dope enough that I used to bump it a lot.. I'm indifferent on the beat. Def not up to RZAs standard. Doesn't have it's own boundless energy.

    I enjoy Elastic Audio, but agree with your point about it sorta being thrown in.

    It was undeniably rushed, but considering the quality of its like top 6 songs and bad ones I think it catches too much flack. For basically 4 days its real impressive I'd say. Saigons All In A Day's work is probably moreso, but Sai isn't really seeing GZA as far as lyrics are concerned (no disrespect, I own and like The Greatest Story Never Told I just think very few people are on GZAs level as far as lyrics).

    Admittedly I'll be disappointed if his next projects come out in a similar vein, but for what it is, I enjoy it a lot. I'm just hoping GZA comes with something only he can drop when he puts his mind to it. He's been saying "my pen's on fire" a lot and putting a lot of time into this and the documentary and books hes been working on. I hope it pays off.

    I got my friend pretty into Wu Tang and left Pro Tools in his car, he was impressed. He's not familiar with too much of the catalogue, and I think it's a good barometer. He doesn't have too many classics to compare it to and thinks its a dope album. It's only when you set it up to the standard Wu has set that it's flaws become glaring I think. For a GZA album it's disappointing.. standing on it's own it's an impressive lyrical display with a handful of great songs with nothing weak.
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    gza pen game is crazy he is incapable of writing shit that isnt ill....

    problem is it seems like he recorded the entire album in 24 hours on a drinking binge....

    at times he sounds flat out exhausted... likes hes hammered and nervous about the ride home... i think if he actually cared, or if the engineer wasnt a pussy... theyd tell him to rekick that shit some other day....

    that being said i can bump it pretty much start to finish and its a good listen...

    not up to par with any of his other LPs... legend of the liquid sword was ill....

    i didnt really like life is a movie first time i heard it... mostly cuz i always thought gary numan was a queer... but that back n forth tradeoff is pretty ill and GZA sounded lively...

    paper plates beat is incredibly wack... nigga may as well have rhymed over a doorbell and white noise... shit was WACK!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    see a joint like CINEMA... love the concept, i get what he was tryin with the whipser flow... but id tell that nigga to do another take when hes feeling awake some other time... the lyrics/visuals are incredible on that shit and the beat is hittin... just needed some fine tuning.... story of the album...

    someone post the 0% finance remix blue sky black death did it destroys the original... cant find it anywhere...

    GZA gave 2 shits about this album and it still came out pretty good.. im sure GZA was smashed and did it for a quick check... he should do it again sometime!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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    Secret Rival MaskedAvenger's Avatar
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    Yeah, I seen a interview with him when they asked him why he named the album Pro Tools and he said that after the album was done they asked him what does he want to call it and he looked around the room and seen the Pro Tools box on the table and said just call it Pro Tools, that shows the little amount of effort he put into it and the care factor was low. I still like the album though.





  11. #11
    DuncanHine Monument Cakes CEITEDMOFO's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by angry! View Post

    paper plates beat is incredibly wack... nigga may as well have rhymed over a doorbell and white noise... shit was WACK!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    ^ FAG

    PAPER PLATES IS CLASSiC


  12. #12

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    ""Paper Plate" was horrible, one of RZA's worst beats"

    It wasnt him, improperly credited to him but that beat is Tru Master

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    Winter is Coming THE MASON's Avatar
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    i like it

    havent listened to it in ages though, its one of those dope at the time but rarely gone back too albums.

    as for Beneath the Surface that shit is fire, as is legend of the liquid sword. both are never spoken about when it comes to quality GZA material. Grandmasters and obvioulsy LS are the most spoken about.

    i always thought BTS was close to being as good as Liquid Swords, just didnt have that little extra

  14. #14

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    ^ Right, I read that somewhere also that TM produced it. I dont mind the beat, i dont think its wack, but it is underproduced. But im thinking that was sort of the point. The track is called "paper plate" suposedly becasue of the weak disposable shit 50 puts out. So im thinking gZA had this in mind when dedicating a album track to 50. 50 is a throw away rapper and so is the beat he chose to nail him with. But in the end Gza wins becasue the degree in which he burned 50 was undeniable. He addresed every aspect of 50's life. His music, his integrity, his artistic integrity, his crew, lifestyle, legacy, ethics morals etc Everything you can say about that nigga was said, and said cleverly and artisticly with ease. Id rather here that than a bunch of hyped up empty threats with no blaze. Tryna mean?

  15. #15
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    protools is excellent. i def enjoyed it better than legend of liquid sword.
    i belive its up to par wit the grandmasters as well if not better.
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