Raekwon’s hoarse voice was no detriment on Sunday night. It could have been a totally legit alibi for him to pull out of the show and allow his new Ice Water labelmates, Capone-N-Noreaga, to carry out the meat of the ocassion, but instead, The Chef persevered and gave his Wu-Tang fanatics what they came to see–“The Purple Tape” in action. The gift and the curse of a newly delivered Only Built 4 Cuban Linx: Part 2 LP is that while it’s a ritzy sequel, it still can’t compete with its praised predecessor-the original classic LP, OB4CL.
A crowd full of hoodied-up and ball-capped Raekwon fans rapped along to the remembered lyrics from the first Cuban Linx installment, but the only thing that seemed to translate to the crowd from the OB4CL2 album was the opening beat to each of its songs, like “10 Bricks”. The lyrics weren’t quite as familiar. The song sounds great in the car but in-concert, the words aren’t as decipherable, added to the fact that the song’s lead emcee has lost his voice to the flu. In Raekwon’s defense though, it’s not like he’s spewing Dr. Seuss rhymes, so a lot of his material takes time to remember and repeat verbatim.
With any Wu-Tang show comes the obligatory Ol’ Dirty Bastard tribute song, but unfortunately, instead of performing his J. Dilla-produced “Ason Jones” obit-banger, Rae went into a version of “Shimmy Shimmy Ya” that brought his audience back to it’s original Wu-Tang foundation despite .
There was a weird point in middle of the show where Raekwon gave a shout-out to “white people” for supporting his music. While it’s no secret that white kids have been getting the Wu-Tang logo tattooed on their arms for past ten years, Raekwon’s acknowledgement of them in the middle of his concert was very non-sequitur. Speaking of off-kilter . . .
Don’t let Noreaga’s 57thAve. blog fool you; he’s not as enthusiastic as you would think. In fact, Noreaga and his pal, Capone performed like they weren’t even supposed to be on the bill. Anytime you see that Noreaga is scheduled to perform, you expect a night of fun-filled absurdity, right? Well, that wasn’t wasn’t the case Sunday night. Capone-N-Noreaga lazily ran through their set, which easily could have been performed by anyone else in the crowd. Maybe this tweet might be the reason why. “Hanghang water” isn’t something I’m too familiar with, but it seems like a powerful excuse. Noreaga’s “Superthug” was more like “Normalhooligan” and the two didn’t even do much of their “The War Report” LP like the crowd was expecting.
Luckily, Raekwon left “Incarcerated Scarfaces” for last. It’s the royal song from OB4CL and it was the perfect way to end the night. Rae may not have had his voice or his fellow Wu-Gambino, Ghostface Killah, but he still had his loyal fans there to help him get through the night.