The past few years have been peppered with the bizarre and unexpected reunions of many musical groups, both important and otherwise. Not to be overshadowed is the reconvening of the very Wu that started it all.
The East Coast rap amalgam returns on a grave note after the death of one of the most distinctive rappers ever: Ol’ Dirty Bastard (a.k.a. Unique Ason, Dirt McGirt, Dirt Dog, Osirus and Big Baby Jesus). Somber but not grief-stricken, the GZA Genius and his associates, minus the contributions of Redman, will make two performances at the 9:30 Club on Monday.
The Wu-Tang Clan looks to rehash the explosiveness of their first release, Enter the Wu-Tang (36 Chambers), which brought them to the forefront of hip-hop.
By 1997, Forever marked the return of the Wu with its inventive follow up to 36 Chambers, re-establishing the group’s relevance. Forever proved to be a sonic catharsis giving the Wu arguably their best album to date.
Despite adequate commercial success and relatively positive reviews, the two albums (The W and Iron Flag) that brought the Wu-Tang Clan into the next century paled in comparison to their earlier work. Mirroring much of their past and even reusing some old material, the Wu-Tang Clan had fallen into the spell of mediocrity that many recognize them for today.
But the spotlight returned to the super group after the sudden death of Ol’ Dirty Bastard shook its foundation. Buried under his Christian name, Russell Jones was laid to rest with his death ruled an accidental overdose in November 2004, leaving his many illegitimate children fatherless and a gaping hole in his Wu-Tang Clan.
Their return comes with the momentum of individual success over that of the group as a whole. But like any reunion tour, the shock and intrigue of the group’s return fuels the purchase of the wildly overpriced tickets and burning need to pay witness to the Shaolin style that has been absent for the past few years. n
Wu Tang Clan will play two shows at the 9:30 Club on Monday. The 7 p.m. (doors) show is sold out, but $50 tickets are still available for the 10 p.m. (doors) show. The show will feature RZA, GZA, Raekwon, Method Man, Masta Killa, Inspeckta Deck, U-God, Ghostface with Cappadonna, Street Life, and Mathematics.