The Faze
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The Faze

Moreno Valley, CA | Established. Jan 01, 2008 | INDIE | AFM

Moreno Valley, CA | INDIE | AFM
Established on Jan, 2008
Solo Hip Hop




"The Faze Impresses With Cali Spin On GZA's "Liquid Swords" Album"

After nearly 10 years in the rap game, California lyricist The Faze has showcased his newest source of inspiration for his career’s second wind. From the direction of his producer Henry, Faze decides to look no further than Wu-Tang Clan’s “Voltron head” GZA and his 1995 masterpiece Liquid Swords. Similar to the second verse’s opening lyrics in the album’s title track, The Faze is on a damn-near impossible mission to his balance and prove with his erudite lyricism without seeming like a biter or uninspired by GZA’s songwriting over RZA’s symphonic and prog rock guitar-heavy East Coast underground boom bap of yore, all in one swing of an album predictably titled Liquid Swords (A Cover Album).

The SoundCloud-only 11-track album opens with “4th Ave & Slauson,” which has the treble reduced for the first twenty seconds of the instrumental to GZA’s “Investigative Reports.” Similar to the original track, a female TV anchor details a police report of an armed department store robbery in the area the same night and time period that Faze and his friend coincidentally end up being in the wrong place at the wrong time. The allegory falls into Faze’s sense of normalcy being racially profiled and physically violated by police at that 4th Ave and Slauson intersection in Los Angeles.

Perhaps the most direct influence on Faze’s songwriting on his album unrelated to this cover album is established on the second track “Black Slim Shady” over the beat to “Duel Of The Iron Mic.” Faze blatantly duplicates the “I Just Don’t Give A Fuck”-era Eminem off the late 90s with a nasal, slight Midwestern twang and intonations from Em’s origins, and freestyles to fit as many rhymes and grotesque imagery in his metaphors as possible. He does the same for the same-titled cut “Gotcha Back” in which he spits flames over GZA’s ad-libs in the background and repeats the song’s original chorus.

The Faze’s iteration of Liquid Swords is a SoCal roguish, more animated take in his resounding sneer than GZA’s leisurely, less-is-more approach to crafting bars and plays off syllables. There’s great songs like “41 E’s” over GZA’s “Gold” beat, and the hilarious “Uber Driver” about picking up random Uber users from all walks of life that remind you of a Millennial’s version of Robert De Niro in the iconic 70s film Taxi Driver. On the “Dog a B!tch Radio” interlude, The Faze dramatizes himself as local radio host getting multiple complaints from a disgruntled caller hearing the beat to “Killah Hills 10304” on the fictitious radio show, showcasing how some of his Cali-based peers remain haters of anything that are foreign to the prototypical West Coast hardcore gangsta and modern funk motifs.

“Labels ‘Fuck Your Contract’” is a revisited middle-finger to rap record label executives, and “Marketing 101” runs down Faze’s list of business savvy pitches for celebrities and items that made them famous or infamous (“You see the plan that I had for O.J. Simpson to sell would’ve had him selling black gloves out of Bloomingdales/Even running backs and wide receivers, I’d make a killing off of Ray Rice selling wifebeaters”) along with Faze’s reverberant, cacophonous chorus “I can show you how to make this money!” The only thing mysteriously missing from this cover album is the title track “Liquid Swords,” the first song on the original album! That’s like covering Michael Jackson’s Bad album without performing the most important and initial single “Bad” atop the tracklist.

Most rap covers are hit or miss, with little room in between to be deemed as original. But this cover album is executed well and helps dismiss the malcontent argument that today’s rap artists are ambivalent to the preservation of the art of rap and Hip Hop history. Progression comes with objectivity to learn from personal and other’s works from the past without being entrenched in one’s own stead. But applying lessons learned from records that transcend time and legendary artists are key to a gaining adoration, respect, and success with a substantial return on investment, even though Faze didn’t monetize nor is looking to profit from this project. -

"Meet The Hungry, Young Rapper With The Balls To Remake GZA's "Liquid Swords""

As far as legacies in rap collectives go, it’s hard not to put the Wu-Tang Clan at #1 in any statistical category. The Shaolin MCs have more moving parts than an octopus, thus enabling them to rack on more wins on sheer volume alone.

But as even some of the Wu-Tang members or other Hip Hop legends have discovered, duplicating magic isn’t as easy as announcing it. So the likelihood of an up-and-coming artist winning off a remake doesn’t bode that well for excitement all the same.

Don’t tell that to The Faze, the Cali native whose name has been buzzing in his Inland Empire region for some time now. He’s been touched by the spirit of the GZA/Genius and RZA/Abbott beats for a Liquid Swords tribute mixtape.

And to top it off, he’s not even a super Wu-Tang Clan head. Go figure.

HipHopDX: Did you get a chance to catch up with any members of the Wu while they were out here for their show in L.A.?

The Faze: [Laughs] Nah, I didn’t go. I ain’t really a Wu-Tang fan like that, man.

DX: How are you not a Wu-Tang fan and you’re remaking Liquid Swords?

The Faze: Because! I was with the homie and I was freestyling and shit and every beat that came on, I was like ‘Yo!? what beat is that?’ And he, every one he played was from Liquid Swords so I was like ‘Damn! I’ma make a mixtape!’ Because I liked all the beats.

I’m not a super Wu-Tang fan but I respect it though! It actually made me go back and listen to the album. I thought it was pretty dope.

DX: The album is definitely considered a classic in many circles. So you didn’t study the album beforehand at all?

The Faze: Nah, that’s what I was saying. I went and recorded it after [I freestyled]. That’s why if you listen to them, the songs are so different. You can’t really hear any influence from Liquid Swords on that project.

DX: You can definitely hear the Cali influence you spliced on it. One of the standouts from GZA’s album has been “Labels” where he talks about the music industry and you flipped that concept well. Being an up-and-coming artist and using your experiences talking to different executives, would you say we need record labels these days?

The Faze: I would say if it’s like necessary for what you’re doing but at the same time, if you already have shit going and got your team or whatever, you really don’t need a label. You just need the right resources and know the right people to make it happen. It work for some people and for others, it don’t.

For me, I still got building to do independently. I’m still early in the game right now. I want to build a legacy.

DX: Leading up to this Liquid Swords project, how deep does your discography go?

Faze: Well I was on the Made in America mixtape that Baron Davis put out the Crips and Bloods documentary. That was like in 2008 and he did that with Don Cannon and DJ Drama. Kendrick [Lamar] was on there as K. Dot, Jay Rock, a few others. I put out a solo project [in 2013] called The Suicide Note. It made HipHopDX. I’ve been doing this for a minute.

DX: Which one of your producers put together the Liquid Swords joint?

The Faze: My man Henry! He does shit for Red Bull. They’re all the original RZA beats but he did do the mixing and mastering.

DX: Do you think you have any issues with the sample clearances?

The Faze: Nah, because we ain’t monetizing off of it. We just putting out on SoundCloud and YouTube and not really getting paid on it. I’m just sparring on it a little bit. Nothing big.

DX: You flipped GZA’s “4th Chamber” into “4th Ave & Slauson” for a real cinematic storytelling experience…

The Faze: That’s actually a real story. That just so happened when I was creating Liquid Swords so I just went in and told exactly what happened I put in the music.

DX: What do you think GZA’s reaction will be when he hears it — because he will hear it.

The Faze: It ain’t doing nothing but paying homage anyway. I’m not saying it’s the new Liquid Swords or nothing. It’s just me sparring on beats and paying homage to what’s already been done. And even though I didn’t even listen to it … I didn’t really know about it before I did it … I think his beat selection is dope. I listen to rappers’ beat selection and I liked all those joints.

DX: I think that’s a clearcut example how artists of today can go back to listen to classic rap albums and get inspired.

The Faze: Yeah, because a lot of people even say that [Liquid Swords] is one of their top albums and like I said, I didn’t even know about it. Because you usually hear about the Illmatics, Life After Deaths or Ready to Dies — something like that. Those are the joints I already knew but I really didn’t know about Liquid Swords like that. And it made me go back and listen to other Wu-Tang members too. I seen that they had some dope shit! -

"Stream The Faze's GZA Tribute "Liquid Swords (A Cover Album)""

More than 20 years after its release date, GZA’s Liquid Swords remains arguably the Wu-Tang Clan’s best solo album and one of the most revered works in Hip Hop history.

Cali rapper The Faze has decided to test his hand at moving the chess pieces found on the iconic graphic cover art and has released Liquid Swords (A Cover Album), a full-length homage to The Genius’ magnum opus and a HipHopDX premiere. Fan favorites like the Industry Rule-#4080 blasting “Labels” have been morphed into “Labels ‘Fuck Your Contract'” while a classic posse cut in “Investigative Reports” has flipped into the cinematic true story, “4th Ave & Slauson.”

Liquid Swords (A Cover Album By The Faze)
During a recent interview with HipHopDX, The Faze admitted he wasn’t a Wu-Tang fan before deciding to create the project and relayed how the album came out organically.

“I was with the homie and I was freestyling and shit and every beat that came on, I was like ‘Yo!? what beat is that?’” The Faze recalled. “And every one he played was from Liquid Swords so I was like ‘Damn! I’ma make a mixtape!’ Because I liked all the beats.”

Hence the finished product rap fans are currently being subjected to.

All songs on the Liquid Swords (A Cover Album) retain their original RZA production and were written by The Faze, while the skits were performed by Mi Hue, Cadillac Freeze, and Jerome Meyes. The album was also mixed and mastered by Henry “Prof.H” D’Ambrosio and is published courtesy of 3rd Republic, LLC.

Follow @TheFaze on Instagram and hit @TheRealGZA on Twitter to get his reaction on the LP. -

"#DXclusive: The Faze Unearths "Liquid Swords (Lost Freestyle)""

Despite The Faze’s recently released Liquid Swords (A Cover Album) managing to catch skeptics off guard, longtime Wu-Tang fans couldn’t help but notice that the GZA’s famed title track was missing from the tribute.

According to the Moreno Valley rapper, there’s a logical explanation for that, as he explains to HipHopDX in light of the premiere of the record that didn’t make the final cut.

“This was actually the beat that kicked everything off the night I heard the Liquid Swords instrumentals,” the self-admitted non-Wu-Tang Clan fan explains. “Right when it came on, I started bobbing my head like ‘WTF is this?’ And that’s when the homie started rapping the hook tripping off the fact I never heard it and proceeded to play more beats off the album. Personally, its one of my favorite verses I did off this project as well as one of my favorite songs on the actual Liquid Swords album. GZA killed it and the hook is flawless. I ended up leaving it off the project because we were having issues with the vocals in the mix which I ended up re-recording but not in time for the release.”

The HipHopDX review of the em>Liquid Swords (A Cover Album) eclipsed the 4.0 mark and praised the LP for its astute storytelling and a wide range of lyrical flows.

Listen to the “Liquid Swords (Lost Freestyle)” up above and click here to stream the full project. -

"The Faze Shares Details From "The Suicide Note" EP & Advice From Royce Da 5'9"

According to a study by independent marketing firm, Strategy Analytics, global physical music sales will reach $13 billion in 2013. That figure is nearly half of 2007’s physical music sales, but one artist has not let the shrinking demand for packaged product change his strategy.

“Even though I’m not on a major label, I see it as my first project,” Moreno Valley emcee The Faze said in regard to his debut EP, The Suicide Note. The Faze released the nine-song collection on December 3 with Sarkis Ter-Minasyan via BLIND R3PUBLIC (a full service production company out of Southern California) to form the “Righteous Rebel Republic” or 3RD REPUBLIC imprint.

The Suicide Note was promoted via a face-to-face campaign that saw the pair selling physical copies of the EP to listeners for $10 each. “I felt it was good enough to sell, and we put a lot of money, time and work into it,” The Faze said. “A lot of people love it. Everybody’s buying it and since I’m from Moreno Valley, they’re really supporting it.”

While some may interpret the EPs title as somber, The Faze said it’s a positive message meant to keep negative behavioral patterns from becoming self-fulfilling prophecies.

“I wanted to do a project mirroring society and showing the problems we cause for ourselves,” The Faze said. “We end up writing our own suicide notes. If you’re smoking cigarettes, you’ll end up with lung cancer. If you gang bang, you might end up dead.”

As it relates to the aforementioned habit of smoking, The Faze pointed to some advice he received from a fellow emcee to help him improve his craft.

“In ’08, I spent some time with Royce Da 5’9 in the Bay Area,” The Faze said. “We recorded five records, and he’s a really good dude. Back then, I was smoking heavy, and I couldn’t even record without smoking. I remember one time we were chopping it up, and he told me, ‘Treat this like a business. If you had a corporate job, would you go to work high?’ That really stuck with me.”

The Suicide Note features appearances by Gilligan Gatsby and Sondra Clark. And when he’s done promoting and performing material from the EP, The Faze has another project exclusively produced by Willie B—whose discography includes work with Kendrick Lamar, Wale and Childish Gambino. -


The Suicide Note EP

#ImFromMV - SoundTrack

Liquid Swords (A Cover Album)



It seems as if the potential for greatness as well as the strive to achieve it has become a lost art in the Industry of Hip-Hop. At 27, Faze is the rarest of exceptions to the new wave of artists who will represent the future. By utilizing his ability as a storyteller, Faze’s music can be described as cinematic, dark & soulful with a sound that targets the “REAL” hip-hop audience, while bringing forth his movement & lifestyle called 3RD REPUBLIC. A lifestyle which is full of youth personifying an image from the 80’s and 90’s golden era. Hailing from a city called Moreno Valley, located in the outskirts of Los Angeles California, Faze plans to transform as well as revolutionize Hip-Hop and becoming, if not the greatest, one of the greatest to ever do it.