Labels is my favorite song off of GZA's Liquid Swords album, if not one my all-time fav GZA song. It goes by pretty fast at just under 3 minutes, but it's packed with some ingenious lyrics (in my humle opinion). If you haven't notice, it's a gimmick song. Every link in the song is hard linked or pipe linked to a record label. A person who doesn't know the names of any record labels might wonder why someone would write such inane nonsensical lyrics; while a savvy music aficionado will recognize at least one record label every other line or so. I found a list on the 'net that had most every major record label and I checked and double checked everything I linked. The only one that stands out to me as out of place is "Central Broadcasting Systems." A German website that when machine translated gave me this:

The two journalists were on the occasion of the signing of a co-operation agreement of the German wave with the publicly legal broadcasting station Central Broadcasting System (CBS -- not identical to the US-American "Columbia Broadcasting System") in Taiwan.

Is the CBS reference referring to CBS the American television giant, or CBS the Chinese radio station conglomerate? The short answer is that he probably meant Columbia and not Central: in January 1988, CBS Records Inc. was acquired by Sony and later become Columbia Records. However I still hold out hope that Central Broadcasting System has released records, as I'd be crushed that someone named The Genius was able to commit such an egregious error.

Artist: Genius/GZA
Album: Liquid Swords
Track # 6
Title: Labels

A lot of people, you know what I'm saying, they be getting misinformed thinking everything is everything, that you could just get yourself a little deal, whatever, you know what I'm saying you gonna get on you gonna get rich. And all these labels be trying to lure us in like spiders, into the web, know what I'm saying. So sometimes people gotta come out and speak up, and let people understand, that you know you gotta read the label you gotta read the label if you don't read the label you might get poisoned.

Tommy ain't my motherfucking boy
When you fake moves on a nigga you employ
Who'll emerge off ya set now ya know God damn
I show living large niggas how to flip a def jam
And rough up the motherfucking house
Cause I smother you cold chilling motherfuckers I still want a brother
I'm ruthless my clan don't have to act wild
That shit is jive an old sleeping bag profile
This soft comedian rap shit ain't the rough witty
On the reel to reel it wasn't from a tough city
Niggas be game thinking that they lyrical surgeons
They know their microphones a virgin
And if you ain't boned a mic you couldn't hurt a bee
That's like going to Venus driving a Mercury
The capitol of this rugged slang is Wu-Tang
Witty Unpredictable Talent And Natural Game
I death row an emcee with mic cables
The epic is at a Rush Associated Labels
From east west to Atco I bring it to a next plateau
But I keep it phat though
Yo I'm hitting batters up with the wild pitch style
I even show an Uptown/MCA style
Who thought he saw me on 4th & Broadway
But I was out on the island bombing emcees all day
My priority is that I'm first priority
I boned a secret out a bitch in a sorority
So look out for A&M the abbot and the master
Breaking down your pendulum
As I fiend emcees out with a blow that'll numb the a-
ppendix I'm holding more weight than Columbia
Index interscope we are see a
Clan that's coming with a plan to free a
Slave of a mental death MC don't panic
Throw that A&R nigga off the boat in the Atlantic
Now who's the bad boy character not from Arista
But firing weapons released on Geffen
So duck 'cause I struck with the soul of Motown
While central broadcasting systems is low down
And dirty like that bastard
It's getting drastic
Read the label and say it loud
Another Wu-banger
Thirty-six chambers
Through your area

And for the life of me I can't find that record label list, you'll just have to downvote me for my sins.

This writeup (except for the lyrics, which are copyrighted and presented under fair use) is released under the GFDL, version 1.2 or any later version.

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