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Wu-Tang Clan re-united - Brixton Academy review

by Andy Johnson. Published Sun 08 Aug 2010 11:36, last updated: 13/08/10
RZA and Raekwon
RZA and Raekwon

The Wu-Tang are a rap phenomenon which blew apart the record industry and demanded surrender to their vision and verbal power.

In recent years though, they have been plagued with reports of sub-standard, drunken performances - so hopes ran high that re-uniting the Clan would bring out their blistering best.

But when you collect that many sharp-rapping egos on one stage, they will naturally compete for dominance and RZA, Ghostface and Raekwon stole the show.

With honourable mention for Purple Revolver hero Inspectah Deck, who always holds his own and supports the rest with ferocity on the mic.

This tour was billed as the Clan back in Full Force but The GZA was deafeningly quiet, prowling the shadows at the back of the stage and Method Man was MIA - filming an episode of CSI.

RZA apologised belatedy for the charasmatic rapper's AWOL activities - explaining he 'was caught up doing some Hollywood shit.'

The songs showcasing The Ticalion Stalion at his best were notable for his absence. The Clan mumbled through most of Meth's raps, but burst into life for ODB's, especially a rabble-rousing rendition of The Mystery Of Chessboxin and Protect Ya Neck.

They were more than an hour late on stage, no doubt because they were warned off smoking on stage and were exchanging blunt words backstage.

Most of the fans throwing W signs in the air were in their early-20s, which proves the enduring legacy of the Wu, as they would have been toddlers when the Clan broke on to the world stage in 1993.

The Clan's attire made them look like they were heading for Sunday brunch at IHOP, with no Wu Wear in sight.

Most of the tunes were crowd pleasers from their first album and a special treat was Ice Cream from Rae's Only Built 4 Cuban Links. They belted out a few other Forever anthems, but none from later albums The W or 8 Diagrams.

But just as they were hitting their flow with Bring The Ruckas, their set had to be cut short by the Academy curfew.

RZA looked stunned when DJ Mathematics skipped the last few verses of ODB tribute O Baby I Like It Raw and tapped his watch.

The Abbot said: "It's 2010 and here we are with the Wu still rockin' it strong for London, but y'all got a curfew so we got to wrap it up."

RZA was the last to leave the stage after asking the fans whether they would get behind the Wu's foray into film as the Kung Fu buff is set to direct his first feature, Man With The Iron Fist.

The show closed with the self-styled 'Beatles of Hip Hop' rapping over the bassline of Come Together to rapturous applause.

The eager crowd were not left feeling stung by the killa bees £37 cover charge and shortened set and rolled out of the venue shouting Wu lyrics.

How can hip hop be dead when Wu-Tang is Forever?


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"not very good, heard 2 songs only, but i love wu no matter what" R. Marz, birmingham around 11 years, 10 months ago