Congress Theater; Sat 12
It’s been a long time since Wu-Tang was about the Clan. The collective hasn’t really had a hit since its first album, and RZA and Ghostface have become superstars with no real need for the group. With GZA appearing opposite Bill Murray in a Jim Jarmusch movie and Method putting the urban in suburban with his sitcom partner Redman, can anyone still remember a time when Wu-Tang was running around Yo! MTV Raps with machetes, scaring the shit out of everyone?
Regardless, there’s something about Wu-Tang that makes a Clan reunion enticing. Perhaps it’s that there’s nothing really controlled about the group’s chaos, and every gathering is an opportunity to watch the individual egos struggle to the top, having been alternately stroked (Ghost) and crushed (Masta Killa) by critical and commercial success and failure. Or maybe it’s just the soap-opera drama of watching a bunch of grown-up kids pretend like they’re still tight 15 years after they started.
As individuals, they’re working hard: Ghost is still a big seller, Raekwon has a new album out and Mef has one on the way. And while it’s never clear who will show up for a Wu-Tang show, a brief East Coast tour in February found all of the original members in perfect attendance, save Ol’ Dirty Bastard, who died in 2004. Maybe because of all the ever-encroaching questions of age, relevancy and cohesiveness, this is a prime time to check out the Clan—when, as a group, it has something to prove again.—Jonathan Messinger