Wu-Tang Clan @ HMV Forum, June 11,2011

When it comes to me and that W logo, something inside me just makes me snap. It doesn’t matter where it is, on  a CD, grafitti on the wall, on a t-shirt. So when I found out the clan were coming over here once again? Someone should have called up to send me for the asylum. I broadcasted it all over my facebook  for the world and especially the UK to see. I had my peoples use me as a pendulum to come with them to either the Birmingham show or the London show. The pendulum swung in London’s favor. Then in the week leading up to the show, I learnt that RZA, Raekwon and Inspectah Deck would not be in attendance. That is always a blow and a disappointment to Wu-Tang fans who were looking forward to not only seeing all the members on stage, but their favourite MC out of the 9 man juggernaut. However after I saw Raekwon live earlier this year and watch him pefrorm like he was all 9 members in one, and Slum Village later on with half the members and their strongest MC (Elzhi) absent, I was confident that the Wu would put on an epic performance regardless.

Big ups to Radio 1 Xtra’s DJ Semtex, who kept the crowd hype while awaiting the Wu-Tang’s arrival. While the selection he played ranged from the golden era all the way to the commercial era, throwing in classics and grime tracks, I would have preferred if he focussed on the golden era of hip hop after all that was where the Wu originated, but with a crowd of Wu fans spanning hip hop generations, Semtex catered for everybody, when he sensed that the crowd was growing stale, he’d throw out a secret weapon in his arsenal.

Supporting acts Yelawolf and YDB Boy Jones were not present on this night, however instead we had Hyro Da Hero. There were great hopes for this kid when he first come out, but then the skies quickly turned from blue to dark clouds as if it was about to thunder inside the HMV Forum when his rock band joined him. Now they say that rock and hip hop are distant cousins…and Hyro believed that if it could work for Rage Against The Machine in ’97, it could also work for him. Unfortunately on this night it was an epic fail for Hyro. Ten minutes in and the crowd were takin out their phones and updating their facebook or posting tweets on twitter. Others threw up their W’s and started chanting for Wu-Tang. Hyro hits the panic button and starts cursing out Lil’ Wayne, Drake and Nicki Minaj to regain fanfare, but it wasn’t enough…irritated fans threw bottles at Hyro and his band and 20 minutes later, they were booed off the stage in unison.

Half an hour later, and DJ Allah Mathematics shows up and declares war by throwing up his wings. Then the familiar Shaolin Vs Wu-Tang kung fu sample echos through the HMV Forum. Fans rush and squash to where I already was, the front. There they were, the five members in celebration Bringing Da Ruckus! However some fans don’t know how to act, it’s one thing to be rowdy, but in a capacity crowd, and guys were using their muscle mass to throw around, even attempts to pick-pocket people in the process, nearly and did cause multiple fights, even the women who were calling out for their favourite Method Man got hurt in the midst of it all, and talking of Method Man, it was no surprise that he was the superstar on this night. with Ghost and U-God coming a close second in terms of energy. I saw the signs early that Meth was gonna jump into the crowd when he took his jewellry off, and when he did, I had now joined the legions of Wu-Tang fans that have held Method Man upfloat.

I liked the fact that Masta Killa and U-God got their chance to shine also. U-God performed his hit ‘Dat’s Gangsta’, while Masta asked the fans when his album was droppin when the crowd replied in unison, “No Said Date“!!! Ghost and GZA filled in the shoes of missing members to perform C.R.E.A.M. and Meth surprisingly performed ‘Fallout’ from his album 4:21, The Day After. The Wu showed humor by doing the two step formation dance at the start of ‘Liquid Swords’, and in memory of fallen soldiers Nate Dogg, Jam Master Jay and Guru, DJ Allah Mathematics did a mixed tribute on the wheels of steel, taking off his sneakers, makin Meth catch em and mixin on the turntables with his feet!!! And not forgetting the ODB tribute that they do every show, Meth stated that ODB would not want a moment’s silence because he was that n!**@!!!

The 90 minute set ends with the colossal ‘Truimph’, followed by ‘Da Rockwilder’. On those two tarcks, while the crowd were still wildin’, headz were looking out for Cappadonna and Redman, but alas, neither emerged from the shadows. I also became one of the legions of Wu Fans to have Method Man’s sneakers in the palm of my hands as he stood in the crowd before he took his great leap into the crowd who struggled to distribute his weight!!!

In closing, the clan never fails to electrify a crowd, no mattter how many MC’s turn up, and this stands as one of the greatest shows I have been to since the J Dilla tribute jam. It was also great news to hear  Method Man announce his new album Crystal Meth coming later this year as well as the highly anticipated film (no pun intended) ‘How High 2’. With promises that he is bringing it to Tical/2000 Judgment Day flava, looks like the W Iron Flag is going to continue to fly high through the rest of 2011 and beyond.

(Mike Dogg)