Wu-Tang’s GZA at Fortune Sound Club (Live) [Photos/Review]
Vancouver, B.C. – It may be a cold world, but the prolific Genius aka GZA gave this city a little heat last night. GZA’s muted flows and clipped lyricism dominated the crowd, weaving tales in and among the throngs.
Of course, let’s not forget who got that crowd warmed up: DJ Seko was hard at work on the tables for much of the night, keeping the enthusiasts happy. JayKin treated us to some tales of his own – “Japan Love,” and “Get It In” were well received, and Son Real came out to accompany his pal for a minute as well.
But of course it was the shouts of “Wu-Tang” – that one inevitably hears when a bunch of hip-hop heads are drinking PBRs in a tight space – that was the true barometer for where the evening would lead. GZA took his sweet time tho – over an hour after the opening act and he was still nowhere to be found. Anticipation built and rowdies got rowdier.
And then, when it seemed like the night would go on forever, the Genius emerged, breaking into 36 chambers like he was the whole crew manifest. There followed a lot of chanting – “roll that shit, light that shit, smoke it” – that one might expect at any Vancouver hip-hop show, and then straight into the chilling beat of “Cold World.” Of course “Liquid Swords,” the unofficial GZA anthem, got everybody pretty riled up, and why not? Within those words exist a foundational narrative to the Wu-Tang – “When the MCs came,/ to live out their name…”
GZA’s a great performer because he commands a god-like presence on the stage. The words he spits are not empty, but he’s also not boring. He managed to hit all the greats – like “Shadowboxing” and “I Gotcha Back” – which are normally collaborations, but it never felt like the songs were half missing. Songs like “Animal Planet” and “Breaker Breaker,” which are solo joints, were tucked in among the Wu chants, but seamlessly so. It would have actually been nice to hear a few more strictly GZA jams, maybe some more Pro Tools, but it’s important to hype the crowd so each C.R.E.A.M incantation and “It’s Wu muthafuckas” was in a way mandatory.
So as a myriad upwardly-mobile Ws came into view, it was apparent that GZA is not only loved and respected as an individual artist, but that he’s an inseparable part of an entire artistic Wu movement.
Written by Amalia Judith for HipHopCanada
Photography by Tyler Simpson for HipHopCanada
Photography by Tyler Simpson