Wu-Tang Clan: Melburn’ City

Concert

Wu-Tang Clan, the legendary hip-hop group that managed to make hip-hop ‘cool’ amongst a whole lot of white kids. While this is a super feat in itself, the real genius behind the clan is thankfully found in their music and not their popularity. Their first album ‘Enter the Wu-Tang (36 Chambers)’ released towards the end of 1993, is still regarded as one of the monoliths of hip-hop recordings. The album solidified the clan’s reputation for extensive use of sampling – particularly from old samurai flicks such as Shogun Assasin (1980) – and their use of dark and grimy beats, crafted and produced by the head of the clan, RZA. The clan contains 9 members: RZA (Rizza), GZA (Gizza), Ol’ Dirty Bastard, Inspectah Deck, Raekwon, Ghostface Killah, Method Man, Masta Killa and U-God, and their first single ‘Protect Ya Neck’ was one of the first hip-hop recordings to feature 8 rappers dropping verses (Masta Killa was in prison at the time). Big L later released a song titled ‘8 Iz Enuf’ which also featured 8 rappers, in response to ‘Protect Ya Neck’. Each member had a distinct style and brought something individual to the table, it never sounded like you were just listening to 9 black dudes yo’ing all over the place. Of course, a few of the members weren’t all that great (U-God, Masta Killa…) but despite this each member all went off to deliver very successful solo albums, with the cream of the crop being GZA’s ‘Liquid Swords’, Raekwon’s ‘Only Built 4 Cuban Linx’ and Ghostface’s ‘Ironman’ in that order of greatness.

Wu-Tang went on to release a few more great albums, which I will let you discover for yourself (chances are you’ve already listened to them already), and a whole lot of amazing solo albums and Wu-affiliate albums by groups such as Killarmy and GP Wu. I had the great fortune of being able to see Wu-Tang Clan live just a few weeks ago (7th of August) at the Festival Hall in Melbourne, Australia. Lining up was a bitch… the constant smell of weed reminded me that I had absent-mindedly forgot to bring any, my drinks were confiscated off me from security, it was raining like crazy, and every second white dude would ask me or someone near me what their favourite Wu-Tang album was… There was also a pretty impressive fight that broke out in the line, a security guard got involved and it got ugly. Eventually I found out I was lining up in the wrong line, as there was about 5 or 6 different entrances to the venue. Thankfully I only missed out on the opening act; some nobody black rapper that no one came to see. Considering the clan had recently released the biggest flop of an album ‘8 Diagrams’ and an ok albumLegendary Weapons’, there was a good chance that the concert was going to be a massive self promotion-fest of their new songs. But the Wu knew that they didn’t have to promote their new music as the fans would check it out anyway, so instead they played the songs that made them who they are today, the good shit. Compared to listening to the albums at home or in the car, the music was pretty lame, hip-hop isn’t really that great live. But it was still awesome to hear some of the songs they played. It was a night that will be hardwired into my memory even when I’m too old to remember my own name. The track list was as follows:

  • Bring Da Ruckus (Enter the Wu-Tang: 36 Chambers)
  • Da Mystery of Chessboxin’ (Enter the Wu-Tang: 36 Chambers)
  • Shame on a Nigga (Enter the Wu-Tang: 36 Chambers)
  • Clan In Da Front (Enter the Wu-Tang: 36 Chambers)
  • Duel of The Iron Mic (Liquid Swords)
  • Ice Cream (Only Built 4 Cuban Linx)
  • Liquid Swords (Liquid Swords)
  • Raekwon Freestyle
  • Wu-Tang Clan Aint Nuthin’ Ta Fuck Wit (Enter the Wu-Tang: 36 Chambers)
  • 4th Chamber (Liquid Swords)
  • It’s Yourz (Wu-Tang Forever)
  • C.R.E.A.M (Enter the Wu-Tang: 36 Chambers)
  • Shimmy Shimmy Ya (Return To The 36 Chambers: The Dirty Verson)
  • Gravel Pit (The W)
  • Triumph (Wu-Tang Forever)
  • Protect Ya Neck Encore (Enter the Wu-Tang: 36 Chambers)
  • Uzi (Pinky Ring) Encore (Iron Flag)
  • Masta Killa Freestyle Encore
  • Billy Jean Freestyle Encore
  • ODB’s Son Freestyle Encore

Wu-Tang Clan played for about 20 minutes over their scheduled set time, and Ghostface Killah even made a speech about how much he loves Australia. Damn right.

One thought on “Wu-Tang Clan: Melburn’ City

  1. Pingback: Ghostface Killah | end of the game

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