NEW YORK — Being part of such an acclaimed motley crew as the Wu-Tang Clan, you become accustomed to getting screams while you’re rocking shows. Even the most devoted Clan member, though, has to wonder every now and then, “Just how many people actually came to see me?”
On Tuesday night, despite the entire Wu not turning out in full force, fans poured into B.B. King’s club to support one of their favorite Clansmen and the night’s main attraction, the GZA.
In celebration of his latest LP, Legend of the Liquid Sword, GZA took to the stage, starting things up by representing for the Wu iron flag on “Reunited.”
“It’s Wu muthaf—a,” a DAT recording of a woman’s voice rang out over the RZA-crafted violins and bass, while the witty line-dropper took fans back to Wu-Tang’s double LP, Wu-Tang Forever.
“Reunited, double LP world excited/ Struck a match to the underground, the industry ignited.”
GZA continued to fire things up with a smattering of his solo cuts and such Wu collaborations as “Clan in Da Front,” “Bring Da Ruckus,” “Cold World” and “Liquid Swords.”
Coming full circle from the title track of his first solo LP to his new album, GZA went into “Animal Planet,” which features a slow sample reminiscent of some of RZA’s early work.
“I mention a lot of animals in the song,” the Genius explained of the song a few weeks ago on the set of his “Knock, Knock” video in New York. “I said ‘Welcome to the jungle where the cats love to scratch/ The rats squeal and the polar bear feasts off the blubber of seals/ The pack of wolves be scheming on a bunch of gazelles/ Where the leopard grab the wildebeest down by its tail.
“I [also] got a track [on the LP] called ‘Luminal,’ produced by DJ Muggs of Cypress Hill,” he continued. “It’s a rhyme about a serial killer. It’s a crime drama thing. The beat is banging. Luminol is a substance they spray on the wall at murder scenes and it reveals blood you can’t even see with the naked eye, even if you sprayed it down. I called it ‘Luminal’ because it’s a mystery murder thing. It’s about this crazed individual that’s out, he’s killed so many people. You don’t know if he’s out, if he’s caught. I like doing my own things. I get to experiment with a lot more things but I also like working with the group.”
While most of GZA’s group members weren’t present for his show, Masta Killa did come out, lending vocal support on “In the Hood,” from Wu’s Iron Flag album. He also performed the first single and title track from his almost-forgotten-about solo album, No Set Date.
“How many of y’all ready for a Masta Killa album?” the Clan’s quietest and only member not to have a solo LP released asked before going into a call-and-response with fans, getting them to yell “No set date!”
While there is also no set date for the Wu’s 10th anniversary album that the RZA has been talking about, GZA did round off his show reminding fans of why they fell in love with the Shaolin collective a decade ago, performing their first single, “Protect Ya Neck.” Later, he followed with his current single, “Knock, Knock.”
Masta Killa, Inspectah Deck, Ghostface Killah and RZA are among the guests on Legend of the Liquid Sword. RZA also provided a track for the album, as did Jay “Waxx” Garfield, Bink and Jaz-O.
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