A funny thing occurred to me after I left the show… that the four members of the Wu that I have seen live solo (Raekwon, Ghostface Killah, GZA and Inspectah Deck) were on the Wu-Banga – Guillotine (Swordz)… and the other four (U-God, RZA, Method Man and Masta Killa) were on the Wu-Banga – Iron God Chamber… ODB will be always in spirit at every live Wu Show.
Here’s the thing about the Wu-Tang Clan; there are two sets of fans: The understanding fans, and the fans who stick to their own principles. The understanding fans are the ones who got the word from Inspectah Deck himself that he wouldn’t be at the Clan show last year after they already booked their tickets. Promoters already booked him elsewhere. After that, Raekwon, Ghostface and GZA appeared solo and rocked the UK strong, then half the clan returned again for Wu-Legends tour…so the clan’s Fifth brother has observed all this and thought to himself… LET ME AT EM!!!! Best believe he is gonna make up for lost time.
Big shout out to the organizers the Ones & Twos, C Cee Brown, DJ Timmi Hendrix and DJ Megastress on the wheels of steel…mixing and blending the finest in golden era hip hop that had the crowd rocking…and A Few Good Men’s Psykomantus. You gotta bless the host, because it’s not easy to hype up a crowd of grown people to make the most noise and repeat after you. The advertising on social media was on point, yet the turnout was disappointing and this is due to two or maybe even three reasons, one, it was a Tuesday. I found out about this show a few weeks before, so not everybody had time to book any days off work. Two, the place. It is easy enough to find, but it was ‘hidden’ at the same time, so it had that ‘underground’ feel to it. Three, if there was large advertisements out there on the streets, more people would take notice. The good side of it was that it was comfortable and you didn’t feel squashed up.
Because the show started at 9, heads were wondering if Deck was actually gonna come on stage and just skip the supporting acts, however, they were in attendance both preparing their 15 minute sets. Big ups to Big V who rallied the crowd by repeating in between his tracks “If you love hip hop, If you love life, If you love Wu-Tang, If you love Inspectah Deck make some noise…” Big V’s clearly shows that Music Is His Saviour. Amnesia then takes the relay baton, whose style was more diverse. I wasn’t so keen by his dub step and all that, but his track ‘Turn The Lights Down Low’ that tells a story on relationships was great to hear. peep the video below.
It is so hard for supporting acts to get the crowd to feel your performance, But Amnesia got a huge response from the crowd, but oblivious to him was the Rebel INS actually tried to walk past the stage in the back and hoped no one would notice. Amnesia soon realised what just happened and he took his leave soon afterwards. At 11.15pm it was showtime….time to sharpen your sword and Proteck Ya Neck, because the Clan party starter emerged on stage. The crowd quickly went into Tiger Style stance and chanted the Wu’s good name as Deck went into ‘For Heaven’s Sake’. Four firing verses from the clan’s Fifth Brother swung around the arena like a fatal flying ‘Guillotine’ and then he realised that like Ghostface Killah, ‘God is his bodyguard’ and he made the crowd his stage and it became an Uncontrolled Substance!
Now I can say that GZA seemed uneasy at first before he entered the crowd, Deck went straight in head first. The crowd went wild at this point because Deck went into his most memorable verses, namely from C.R.E.A.M. and Triumph, then he dropped the Heaterz on em and warned em that ‘One Of These Days’ it won’t be long before the clan will form like voltron again…
Before he moved on to more tracks, Deck rants on about the UK currency, the London crowd putting the Birmingham crowd down, and encourages the crowd to chant ‘f**k the radio’!!! Then he goes on to perform tracks that he blessed up with the fallen soldiers namely Big Pun and Guru of Gangstarr, Tres Leches and Above the Clouds respectively, and then he went on to honor the brother we all know and love, the Ol’ Dirty Bastard, whose tune ‘Brooklyn Zoo’ erupted in to widespread mosh pit!!! At this point the Inspectah had already returned to the stage, but it quickly became clear that the satge was not where he wanted to be…he changes character and becomes Rollie Fingers as he enters the Cuban Linx II side of things, with Jihad, Kiss The Ring and House Of The Flying Daggers…the J Dilla track that re-ignited the mosh pit!
The way Deck closed the show was an epic, heartfelt, but heartbreaking one…he bursts into an a capella freestyle lasting what seemed like 3 minutes non-stop – how many MC’s of today can do that??? Not many I can tell you. He announces his retirement from making albums with The Rebellion being his last one dropping next year, and he spoke his reasons, that not rocking chains, and all that tight skinny jeans that he will never see dead in, that’s what makes you relevant today… so yes he was blatantly dissing ‘that’ record label and the artists in it with no remorse or regret. The Inspectah crammed classic material throughout in 45 minutes, if only he performed his solo tracks – there was no ‘Let Me At Em’, no ‘Show N Prove’, and no ‘The Champion…I found that disappointing but it was all due to time.
It was an honor and privilege to shake Deck’s hand at the end of the night and show respect which he fully appreciated…and on this night, The Rainbow truly turned into the R.E.C. Room, and Inspectah Deck has shown that after he retires, “you never will conquer The Champion…….WUUUUU!!! COME NOW SELECTAH!!!”