Getting the numerous members of Staten Island hip-hop titans Wu-Tang Clan in the same room at the same time has proved such a challenge over the years that these days their fans will happily hoover up live appearances in any configuration they can get.
In a big week for Clan devotees, Dennis Coles, aka Ghostface Killah, hit The Arches stage (fashionably late) only a matter of days after his bandmate Method Man had played in the city.
Technician The DJ warmed the waiting crowd over again with a megamix of mostly old school hip-hop, plus samples from the Iron Man cartoons in reference to another of Coles’s alter egos. When he did make it to the stage, Coles conducted himself purposefully, like an elder statesman, in contrast to the fiercer flow of designated wingman and energetic foil Sheek Louch.
The pair served up a mix of material from their respective catalogues and those of their associates – including the Barbra Streisand-sampling Tearz, The Lox’s Money Power Respect and Ol’ Dirty B*****d’s incorrigible come-on Shimmy Shimmy Ya – which was generally dispatched in short, sharp bursts, giving the set a staccato momentum.
Two guest rappers were selected from the audience to handle a couple of verses from Wu-Tang Clan’s debut single Protect Ya Neck – one met the challenge, the other got the gladiatorial thumbs-down. But it took so long to establish who was rapping what that the impetus of the performance was lost, never to be retrieved.
(Seen on 15.07.14)