In his book, The Wu-Tang Manual, MC/producer RZA quotes a Ch’an Buddhist proverb: “When you see a swordsman, draw your sword. Do not recite poetry to one who is not a poet.” However, this advice may not apply to the Wu-Tang Clan, because ever since its 1993 classic, Enter The Wu-Tang (36 Chambers), they’ve transformed their verses into fatal flying guillotines. Armed with raw slang, kung-fu films, Supreme Mathematics, Taoism and hip-hop swagger, the Clan created a new-age Shaolin in which cloaked monks met behind temples, exchanging secret handshakes and forgotten wisdom. Though they’ve chopped many heads as solo artists—GZA’s Liquid Swords, Method Man’s Tical, Ghostface Killah’s Supreme Clientele, Raekwon’s Only Built 4 Cuban Linx, and so on—their lyrical daggers are deadliest when they collectively converge like Voltron. They’re doing it tonight, as founding members RZA, GZA, Meth, Ghostface, U-God, Inspectah Deck and Masta Killa rock the Troc.
Fri., Dec. 16, 10pm. $45. Trocadero, 1003 Arch St. 215.922.6888. thetroc.com
PW's Music Issue 2014