Is there anything GZA can’t do? Following appearances at Harvard and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and preceding the imminent launch of his new website, the Wu-Tang Clan alum has revealed that he will be hosting a contest called “Duel of the Iron Mic,” Pitchfork reports. In the contest, fans and aspiring rappers will “put their MC skills to the test” to fight for a chance to appear on a future GZA album.
The contest is set to have many rounds, which GZA refers to as “chambers.” However, he has only announced the rules to the first “chamber” so far. In this initial round, hopefuls will record themselves rapping the first verse of the track “Liquid Swords,” upload it onto Vimeo and then post it to GZA’s website. The winner of “Duel of the Iron Mic” will be handpicked by GZA himself.
In a recent chat with Rolling Stone, GZA discussed his forthcoming album, Dark Matter, and what he refers to as “the globalization of hip-hop.” GZA hinted to such “globalization” in a statement on the inspiration for his upcoming contest.
“This contest was inspired by my countless tours all over the world where I would see my fans, many of them non-English speakers, reciting every lyric of the song back to me,” he stated. “It’s become clear to me that my music is appealing to a whole new generation: I’ve had a bunch of people tell me that they first heard my album because their parents listened to it. That might make some artists feel old, but I’m happy that my music is still relevant today. I am honored that ‘Liquid Swords,’ the song and album, have been so widely embraced for so long. This contest is one way of giving back to my fans, of letting them share their take on the record.”
Stay tuned to learn the rules for the rest of the “chambers” and whatever else GZA might have up his sleeve.