Category: Wu-Tang Clan

Wu-Tang Clan reuniting for Club Nokia show

Wu-Tang Clan
Hip-hop group Wu-Tang Clan will reunite for a gig at Club Nokia in January, the group announced  Wednesday.

Original members Gza, Method Man, Raekwon, Ghostface Killah, Inspectah Deck, U-God, Masta Killa and de facto leader RZA are all expected for the Jan. 21 show.

Wu-Tang’s Club Nokia date is part of a handful of shows the group will do, including stops in Anaheim, Las Vegas, Boston and New York. Given their track record for lineup switches, fans shouldn’t be too surprised if a member or two isn’t present for a gig –- RZA, in particular, has been known to miss Wu gigs, regardless of what the advance billing says (though there's no indication this will be the case for this tour). Their last gig at Club Nokia was in December and RZA was absent.

Tickets are currently on sale through Ticketmaster. General admission tickets are $45 and VIP tickets go for $65.

The band reportedly is at work on the followup to 2007’s “8 Diagrams,” slated for release sometime in 2012.


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Photo: RZA, center, with his fellow Wu-Tang Clan members in 2000. Credit: Los Angeles Times

Lauryn Hill, Nas, Cypress Hill, Black Star, Mobb Deep to perform classic albums at Rock the Bells 2011


Traveling hip-hop festival Rock the Bells is taking a page out of the genre’s history books by focusing on a set of game-changing albums for this year's showcase.

Though still relatively downsized from lineups of the past, a who’s who of rap royalty, including Lauryn Hill, Nas, Cypress Hill, Mos Def and Talib Kweli, Mobb Deep, Raekwon and Ghostface and the GZA, headline the bill for the eighth year of the multi-city festival that begins Aug. 20 at San Bernardino’s San Manuel Amphitheater.

Continuing last year’s move to highlight influential albums, this year’s batch of headliners will take on entire sets from the albums that made them respected giants in the game: Hill performs “The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill,” Nas tackles “Illmatic,” Cypress Hill will do “Black Sunday,” and fans pining for Mos Def and Talib Kweli to reunite as Black Star will be rewarded as they performs their 1998 self-titled debut album.

At a launch party for the concert at House of Blues on Tuesday night, the excitement from eager reporters was matched by the batch of performers who assembled onstage for the announcement.

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Album review: Chef Raekwon's 'Shaolin Vs. Wu-Tang'

51CLimIkXNL._SS500_ Three years ago, the Wu-Tang Clan revolted. Disenchanted by the RZA’s operatic direction, Raekwon, Ghostface Killah and Method Man opted for a Puritan approach, returning to the essence on 2007’s “8 Diagrams”: kung fu clips, spectral soul samples, cryptic criminal slang, dirt-nap drums, even a snippet of Ol Dirty Bastard. After all, as that late clown prince once said, they like it raw.

Like its immediate predecessor, “Only Built 4 Cuban Linx 2,” Raekwon’s modus operandi on “Shaolin Vs. Wu-Tang” is to make you forget the decade-era fugue that followed “Wu-Tang Forever.” Busy directing his first feature film, the RZA is nowhere to be found. Instead, Raekwon recruits a production team compromised of longtime Clan affiliates (Mathematics, Bronze Nazareth, Cilvaringz) and likeminded cellar-dwellers (Evidence, Alchemist, Scram Jones), who faithfully re-create the RZA’s sword-swinging and bell-ringing aesthetic.

The Chef also recruits Rick Ross and Lloyd Banks to go along with fellow ’90s icons Busta Rhymes, Nas and Black Thought, as well as the remaining relevant Clansmen. Most impressive is the way in which the diffuse cast is seamlessly assimilated into the Wu cosmology (save for the awkward Jim Jones-collaboration “Rock N’ Roll”).

On “From the Hills,” Raheem DeVaughn channels OutKast via Curtis Mayfield, while Method Man and the Chef re-create gritty days of being stick-up kids escaping through sewers. “Molasses” finds Ross, Raekwon and Ghostface riffing on the GZA’s “Shadowboxing” as they hang out at the “Stephen King mansion.”

Out of the clouds of smoke and “40 slammin’ while eating salmon,” Raekwon possesses a crystalline vision. “Shaolin Vs. Wu-Tang” is his successful quest to return to the days when it was simple, blessed with the wisdom to know which philosophies work.

— Jeff Weiss

Chef Raekwon
“Shaolin Vs. Wu-Tang”
Ice H20/EMI Records
Three and a half stars


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