Two days before the stars in the sky aligned to give us 070707, eight stars of a different kind aligned themselves to perform at London’s Hammersmith Apollo. Minus off course the irreplaceable Ol’ Dirty Bastard (RIP) and an AWOL Cappadonna. The strange phenomenon of the smoking ban in the bar somehow added to the surreal atmosphere of the event as the buzz in the air was almost palatable.
After listening to what sounded like someone’s ‘my trendy hip-hop’07’ i-Pod play-list for over an hour, the restless crowd’s primeval instinct took over… ‘WU TANG! WU TANG!’ louder each time, the call reverberated around the Apollo. 9.30pm… still no show. By now the crowd were fed up of listening to new Kanye shit and were booing LOUDLY!
Ten minutes later, The Abbot, The Rzarecta, Bob Digi, the unofficial leader for the Clan sheepishly walked on stage on his jones. In a flash, the stargate was open. ‘WU TANG CLAN AINT NUTTIN’ TO F*** WITH! WU TANG CLAN AINT NUTTIN’ TO F*** WITH!’ Rza proclaimed, simultaneously hyping and goading the audience. Gza, Inspectah Deck, Raekwon the Chef, Masta Killa, U-God, Ghostface Killah AND…. The Method Man swarmed the stage, backed up by Streetlife – with Mathematics on DJ duties. It was on!
The crowd’s earlier annoyance was now a distant memory as the Clan effortlessly belted out hit after hit. With each MC taking his turn to step into the spotlight and spit his 16s backed up by the rest of the crew, the Clan weaved in and out of timeless classics such as ‘Can It all be so Simple’, ‘Bring the Rukus’ ‘4th Chamber’ ‘Criminology’ to name a few.
When Hollywood favourite Method Man, began to spell out his name, ‘M.E.T.H.O.D MAAAN’ it was over! He dived into the crowd and rapped his famous lyrics whilst surfing the crowd on his back.
As the night went on, Meth began to take charge of proceedings with a fitting tribute to ODB, as the Clan let the whole Hammersmith Apollo rap the lyrics to Dirt McGirt’s ‘Shimmy Shimmy Ya’ and ‘Brooklyn Zoo’ The obligatory ‘lets get some skeezers to dance on stage’ skit was filled by 15-20 teenage girls gyrating to Dirty’s biggest commercial hit Got Your Money and although it was fun at first, the crowd soon started booing. As if on queue, Meth managed to get the girls off stage with a bucket of water. It was all in zest, as he later applauded them for having the courage to get on stage in the first place.
A clearly drunk, but happy, Raekwon sat out the last part of set in front of the DJ, whilst the rest of his crew tore through yet more bangers. The now standard call for ‘ONE MORE!’ from the crowd was met by WUs biggest commercial hit ‘Gravel Pit’ to end the night on a high. As the crowd emptied out of the Apollo they were all left in no doubt that Hip Hop lives because WU TANG IS FOREVER!
Review by: DJ Judge