There were 3,000 handmade Ws held high in the air. Three thousand fans were ready for the reunion they never thought they would live to see, 20 years after the release of 36 Chambers. They told us they ain’t nothing to fuck with. They told us that they are forever. And they showed us why. With just a few members short, Wu-Tang Clan brought the ruckus to Toronto and the city returned the favour.
By 9 p.m. on a cold Thursday night, Toronto’s Kool Haus was rammed with hundreds of Wu-Tang Clan fans lined up around the venue. Hundreds of which, were turned away, promised to be refunded for their pricey tickets as the show was oversold once the second Wu concert organized for the same evening was cancelled.
Comedian Trixx, who hosted the night’s celebration, handed out shots to the sardined crowd before the (thankfully) short list of opening acts hit the stage. Performers such as Symmetry, Roney and GetAtKAT showcased their skill to the fans, who were obviously uncomfortable by their cramped surroundings, yet managed to show the performers enough love.
One of the men responsible for bringing the clan to Toronto, Peter Jackson, along with Trinity Chris, G5ive, Gangis Khan and a live band performed a melody of bangers, jumping into the media pit to interact with the thousands of people who came for a legendary hip-hop show.
After their set, DJ Dames Nellas, spun Biggie, Nas and Tupac to try and calm the mushed, frustrated, and ever growing, crowd but audience members weren’t having it. With so many people crammed into the venue, there was no room to move, let alone go to the washroom, make it to the bar, or even link up with anyone else in the venue. After an hour of an empty stage, the Wu fans began to get aggressive. An outcry of boos was heard and soon the stage was littered with empty beer cans from fed up fans chucking their empties on stage.
Just before it seemed like a riot would break out, they emerged. One by one, Ghostface Killah, Raekwon, GZA, Inspectah Deck and U-God came out to a now ecstatic crowd performing “Bring Da Ruckus”.
Method Man then emerged to “Wu-Tang Clan Ain’t Nothing To F With”, obviously the most energetic member in the Clan, with more energy than the majority of young emcees out now. RZA and Masta Killa weren’t present, but the show went on without them.
Wu slaughtered the show, performing “Da Mystery of Chessboxin’”, “Protect Ya Neck”, “Wu-Tang: 7th Chamber” and “C.R.E.A.M.” as their die-hard fans rapped along to every single word to every single track.
No matter the issue, whether it was overcrowding, disorganization, wait-time or something else altogether, the Clan came out and made up for it.
At one point, Method Man walked on the hands of fans like the hip-hop god he is, falling back and letting them catch him before jumping back onstage to continue with the show.
But each member also had his own stage time to shine with solo work before the group held up a giant picture of the late ODB and collaboratively performed “Shimmy Shimmy Ya”. Raekwon, a Toronto regular, made sure to express that there was no other place the Clan would want to celebrate the 20th anniversary of 36 Chambers than to perform for Toronto.
No matter the issue, whether it was overcrowding, disorganization, wait-time or something else altogether, the Clan came out and made up for it. It was American Thanksgiving and at the risk of sounding corny, Wu-Tang gave Toronto something to be thankful for. The gods put on and the crowd got a rare opportunity to witness it.
Words & Photos By. Samantha O’Connor