In 2012, I got the legendary chance to see Raekwon & Ghostface Killah live in concert twice. That was phenomenal, because over the past 20 years; that’s 2 decades worth of fans, and the fact that they still hold relevance is just amazing. I’ve seen a few legends perform on stage, but that was pretty big.
Let’s fast forward to 2013; not only did I not know that Method Man going to be in town, but I was invited out by an unlikely friend, but nonetheless, I’m glad she did. Shout out to Mirna, one time. Waiting in the cold and dealing with coat check is a pet peeve, but it’s what you sometimes have to deal with when you go out; that’s nothing new. The atmosphere instantly transformed into a late 1980s – early 1990s vibe with the DJ spinning some serious Boom-Bap ‘Golden Era’ Hip Hop. I mean to the likes of: Onyx, Gang Starr, Heltah Skeltah, Mobb Deep, Biggie, ATCQ (A Tribe Called Quest, for those unfamiliar with the acronym), Mos Def, Talib, BDP, and I noticed that it was all East Coast; suitable, given the fact that Wu-Tang is based in New York.
After the first couple of hours, it didn’t cross my mind that there would be any openers, because they would have at least showed up after the first hour of opening the doors – this wasn’t the case. Instead, we waited a good 3 hours, while Sir Lancelot was entertaining to the best of his abilities. He was a good host; knew his hip hop, engaged the crowd; and the DJ kept delivering good hip hop.
Raz Fresco & The 6th Letter have really come a long way with their young and budding careers. First saw them last year at The Opera House opening for the likes of Big K.R.I.T & Juicy J, and since then, it seems like you can’t go to a hip hop show without seeing them perform, and the crowds are only getting bigger. They came out in the 11th hour of the night and straight up rocked it. Minus a few slip ups, restarts, and what have you (everyone has them), they put on a great set.
Raz did the majority of the work, while 6th was merely the supporter. He performed a batch of songs from his Cakey Pocket$ mixtape (oddly enough, I haven’t got around to listening to it) and with the blend of today’s ‘turn up’ sound mixed in with lyrical ability on boom bap beats, the crowd was rocking, participating and if you go to Toronto hip hop shows, you know how difficult it is to move the crowd. They did it successfully.
Enough of the local praise, it was on to the main event, and when you wait like 4 hours, you grow impatient, but the energy and the W’s went up with full force as soon as Method Man came to the stage.
To the chants of ‘WU-TANG’ and ‘SUUUUUUUUUUU’, it felt like you were just transformed back into time. Meth performed classics from his catalogue: Bring the Pain, What the Blood Clot, M-E-T-H-O-D Man, All I Need; his verses from Protect Ya Neck, Shame on a Nigga, Clan In The Front, Ain’t Nothin Ta Fuck Wit, and a host of other Wu Tang classics like a great tribute to Ol’ Dirty Bastard, C.R.E.A.M, and Ghostface’s Mighty Healthy.
His energy is insane. I’ve seen some great performers over the course of a year, but he’s up there with his presence, entertaining the crowd and holding the energy on high at all times. Not many rappers can do that; it’s great that he was able to do it. Stage diving galore, throwing his hat and shirt into the crowd, and even dismissing media from the front of the stage – it felt like a real hip hop show, and he even said it himself:
“I wanna take it back to the days when it was just an emcee, a DJ, and 2 turntables”
With the assistance of long time Wu Tang collaborator, Streetlife, the two had a great dynamic together but Meth on his own was crazy enough. He went back into his collection and performed his verses with tracks that he did with Redman like: I Get So High, Ayo (which he brought out Socrates – cool moment), and the CLASSIC and a personal favourite, Da Rockwilder – he did the whole song. After leaving the stage, he came back and performed Gravel Pit (another personal favourite), before finally exiting the stage in front of a raucous crowd. It was a great time, and one of the best shows I’ve been to.
Wu Tang loves Canada; Rappers love Canada, period, but the problem with being a fan in Canada is our border. Method Man had a short story before he broke out performing ‘Nothin Ta Fuck Wit’, and he stated this:
“Ay look, y’all border keeps you safe and that’s tight, but rappers just wanna come up here and party with the people. They just assume they’re bringing trouble. They almost didn’t let me in here because I had a DUI.”
I had to paraphrase it a bit, but of that context, that was said, and it’s true. The border has to chill. Entertainers are here for like 3 days: They chill; they do a show; they leave. We just want to see the people perform without having the need to travel to NY (or other states 17 hours away) just to see them do that. Hopefully in 2013 (although that’s asking a bit much) the border finds some compassion in their spirits to let the entertainers do their job – entertain.
Also a great moment – during the show, Method Man was in the crowd and he stood, yes I said stood on the hands of the fans while they supported him up. I’ve NEVER in my LIFE ever seen that.
That was amazing, and it just emphasized the magnitude of the show’s energy. Wasn’t a dull moment, and it was a great experience. He set the bar high for other show’s I’ll be attending this year, but it already looks like it won’t be topped. Thanks for Toronto’s own clothing brand, Legends League, for putting this together, and for Sir Lance for hosting. Wu Tang Forever. But, for now, until the next show
That’s My Word & It STiXX