Saturday, December 19, 2009
Raekwon Irving Plaza NYC Concert Recap
As reported by Ben Ratliff at the New York Times
Backed only by DJ Symphony on turntables and Raekwon’s brother Don P on vocals, the set could have used the energy of the other rappers who invade the album. Raekwon’s set ran to 90 minutes, but it felt here and gone. It included the appearance of a huge cake in the shape of a purple cassette — the original “Cuban Linx” album, from 1995, is commonly called the Purple Tape — and an assortment of friends and business associates, either texting or appearing to smoke weed onstage. Two notable things happened, neither musical.
The songs came fast, one after another, without stagecraft or pacing. The set went back to early tracks by his old collective, the Wu-Tang Clan, touched on “Cuban Linx” Part 1 and settled in for stretches of the new album, including the scabrous, seedy “Gihad” and the imagistic, violent “Surgical Gloves.”
There weren’t as many Wu-Tang Clan cameos as might have been expected, aside from Cappadonna, who rapped verses on “Ice Cream.” But halfway through, another member of the extended Wu family appeared: Cherry Jones, the mother of the Wu-Tang rapper Ol’ Dirty Bastard, who died in 2004. She and Raekwon hugged, without speaking, for nearly a minute. Raekwon praised Dirty and his mother and then performed “Ason Jones,” a tribute to Dirty on the new CD, with some emotional difficulty, his movements creaky, as if he needed oil. (He stopped the song at one point, shaking his head in sorrow, swearing and then collecting himself.)
Near the end — after the duo Capone-N-Noreaga briefly hijacked the set — Busta Rhymes, a longtime Raekwon booster, came onstage to congratulate his friend. Busta Rhymes likes to talk. Ten minutes later he was still there, praising Raekwon’s rhymes and metaphors. Raekwon slumped against the opposite wall, looking humble, grateful and worn out.
Read the full review here:
New York Times - Amid Tales of Thug Life, a Wu-Tang Family Reunion
more fan shot footage below.
(video footage courtesy of The Life Files, infblack3 & BigSheyShizzle)