Wu-Tang Clan Brings Da Ruckus to the Agora
The year is 1993. A cassette is placed into a tape deck and played. After a series of beeps, a kung-fu sample plays, followed by a war cry of “Bring the muthafuckin’ ruckus, bring the muthafuckin’ ruckus” repeated over and over. A man begins to rap — “Ghostface, catch the blast of a hype verse/My Glock burst, leavin a hearse/I did worse.”
And thus begins the Wu-Tang Clan’s landmark debut album Enter The Wu-Tang, which turned 25 last year. At times it’s hard to fathom that this group of nine men left such an indelible mark on hip-hop. Enter the Wu-Tang was released on the same day as A Tribe Called Quest’s Midnight Marauders and just two weeks before Snoop Doggy Dogg’s blockbuster debut album, Doggystyle. All three albums changed the game as we know it, but Enter the Wu-Tang had lingering effects that resonated beyond hip-hop. Almost immediately, the concept of the Wu-Tang Killer Bee began to take shape on a global scale as the swarm grew larger and larger, spreading to countries all over the world. A bit of the phenomenon was captured in the 1995 hip-hop documentary, The Show, and more recently with the Showtime series, Of Mics and Men.
To celebrate the 25th anniversary of that debut album, Wu-Tang Clan has taken their show on the road and brought it to the fans who’ve helped to keep them relevant throughout the years. The tour came to the Agora last night.
There was a buzz in the air outside and black and yellow Wu-Tang shirts were in abundance along Euclid Ave., some of them with signs of the wear and tear of battle while others were newly acquired from street vendors hawking them on the corners.
Inside, the infamous Wu-Tang logo was pulsating on a video screen while classic hip-hop tunes from the ’90s and 2000s were spun. The crowd was a figurative melting pot with people of all ethnicities and ages — all gathered in the name of Wu to witness something that few thought would ever happen again.
Following a trailer for a movie by Rza, the man himself walked out and was showered with cheers from an adorning audience who had been rocking the arena with random “Wu-Tang” chants all night.
Just as Enter the Wu-Tang began in 1993, the group’s 2019 performance began with “Bring Da Ruckus.” One by one, the members emerged from backstage to perform their verses. Ghostface Killah came out first, then Raekwon, then Inspectah Deck and finally GZA. At the song’s conclusion, RZA announced that the crew would be performing the debut album in its entirety and also that all of the late Ol’ Dirty Bastard’s rhymes would be performed by his eldest son, Young Dirty Bastard.