REVIEW: GHOSTFACE KILLAH (@GhostfaceKillah) LIVE IN LONDON

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Sunday 24th Septem­ber saw U.S. hip hop roy­alty grace Clapham’s The Grand, with the one and only Ghost­face Kil­lah of the mighty Wu Tang Clan.

Open­ing up pro­ceed­ings and first to try to rouse the sleepy sunday crowd was High Focus Records’ Flipt­rix, part of the Four Owls and a main­stay of the label that has been a major influ­ence in the ongo­ing reju­ven­a­tion of the UK hip hop scene over the last few years. Backed by DJ Molotov, Flipt­rix held the stage, spit­ting bars from a hand­ful of the biggest tracks from his last two LPs includ­ing ‘See The Sun’ and ‘The High Way’. Fit­tingly rep­ping for The Four Owls, he ended the set with his verse from the Pree­mo pro­duced banger ‘Think Twice’.

Fol­low­ing Fliptrix’s open­ing set there were sev­er­al short show­case cameos from artists that were part of Ghost’s entour­age, most of whom were rel­at­ively unknown acts. This included female new­comer from San Ant­o­nio, Trice Hood, the UK based artist Paperz, Wu’s hard talk­ing Ger­man con­nect Joe Young, and Brooklyn’s ShaneX­Sharps, who is one to keep an eye on for the future if the sound of his acapel­la on the night and his latest video ‘I Come From That’ is any­thing to go by.

Before Ghosts big entrance, his DJ named Tech­ni­cian let off a swift vol­ley of clas­sic tracks mostly made up of legendary New York bangers includ­ing ( the soon to per­form in Lon­don with the Juice Crew) Biz Markie’s ‘Just a Friend’ and ‘Phone Tap’ by The Firm (who just cel­eb­rated their 20th anniversary). It is always a treat hear­ing your favour­ite bars over dif­fer­ent clas­sic beats so it was a joy to hear Kil­lah Priest, although with a slightly gruff voice, totally smash the granny out of the mic with some of his best bars over clas­sic beats such as Pharcyde’s ‘Passing Me By’ and Big Pun’s ‘Beware’, all delivered in his trade­mark dom­in­ant style and dis­tinct­ive tone.

A qual­ity show on a Sunday night is always a treat. How­ever, most people are spent by Sunday after a rowdy fri­day or sat­urday, so any­one put­ting a show on on a Sunday would always do well to rouse a crowd up to full energy levels. And that is exactly what Ghost­face man­aged to do.

When he did emerged on stage to the clas­sic Bad­boy Enter­tain­ment pro­duced ‘Spe­cial Deliv­ery’, he spat his bars to per­fec­tion and soon we were thrown into a set filled with some of his most power­ful tracks and some of the Clan’s greatest hits.

For a sec­tion Ghost­face ran through a few tracks from the Wu Tang Clan’s first album, ‘Enter The 36 Cham­bers’. At one point there was even a call for onstage par­ti­cip­a­tion and a ran­dom female and male were plucked from the crowd to respect­ively spit Meth­od Man and Ol’Dirty Bastard’s bars from ‘Pro­tect Ya Neck’, with the ran­dom lady doing so well on the mic she drew a huge applause.

Spit­ting his verses from ‘Ice Cream’, ‘Mighty Healthy’ and ‘Tearz’, the crowd star­ted to vibes and the energy peaked once that moody bass­line and jar­ring sample from ‘4th Cham­ber’ dropped, with the crowd turn­ing to a mosh like state while Ghost and Priest spat their time hon­oured bars. Ghost also squeezed in his verses from ‘Back Like That’ and ‘Cher­chez La Ghost’ much to the crowds’ ecstasy.

There was even a moment to appre­ci­ate Al Green, with the crowd join­ing Ghost, Priest and Tech­ni­cian in bel­low­ing out the sweet hook of ‘Love and Hap­pi­ness’.

Its great to know that mem­bers of the Wu are still pro­du­cing the kind of moments that help keep the fact in mind that Ghost­face Kil­lah always has and always will be regarded as a fierce live per­former and a con­sum­mate pro­fes­sion­al.  Nights like this show why Wu Tang is Forever.

 

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Phil Tang
A freel­ance journ­al­ist content/copywriter who formerly wro­te for Word­play magazine, Phil Tang has been a fan of hip hop for over 20 years. Hav­ing writ­ten a dis­ser­ta­tion on the com­modi­fic­a­tion of hip hop and even been an emcee him­self, he has always been rel­at­ively well placed to com­ment­ate on the music and the scene.He is cur­rently writ­ing for I Am Hip Hop Magazine and pur­su­ing dreams of world dom­in­a­tion, equal­ity for plants, and a ver­it­ably over­stacked cheese board.

About Phil Tang

Phil Tang
A freelance journalist content/copywriter who formerly wrote for Wordplay magazine, Phil Tang has been a fan of hip hop for over 20 years. Having written a dissertation on the commodification of hip hop and even been an emcee himself, he has always been relatively well placed to commentate on the music and the scene.He is currently writing for I Am Hip Hop Magazine and pursuing dreams of world domination, equality for plants, and a veritably overstacked cheese board.