Within the piece, which is titled “The Lost Art of Lyricism”, GZA states that although there are great lyricists in Hip Hop today, lyricism within mainstream Hip Hop “is gone.”
“There are some artists out there that think they’re great storytellers, but they’re not,” he writes. “Nowadays, there are certain things I don’t hear anymore from rappers: I haven’t heard the word ‘MC’ in so long; I haven’t heard the word ‘lyrical.'”
GZA categorized Nas, Big Daddy Kane, Melle Mel and Biggie as artists who rhymed about a message through their music.
“Nowadays, it’s changed,” he says. “It’s not about the art form anymore.”
The Shaolin-native goes on to say that he thinks “most rappers’ imaginations are sterile.”
Throughout the piece, GZA sprinkles in a few lyrics of his own, including some from his 2002 album, Legend of the Liquid Sword.
“If you hear people talking about the Golden Era of rap, they’re usually talking about the early-Wu Tang Clan era,” he writes. “When I was in Wu-Tang, and even before that, it’s always been about being lyrical — who can craft the wittiest, the most intellectual, the smartest and the cleverest rhymes. It’s always been that for us as emcees from Day One. It’s the same for me now. It’s all about the story.”
You can read the full letter here at Cuepoint.