New York hip-hop legends Wu Tang Clang arrived at their show at Roskilde’s Orange Stage a cool 20 minutes later than scheduled as replacements for one of this year’s most anticipated acts, Chance The Rapper.
No strangers to bailing from big moments themselves (a 1997 internal brawl at New York airport saw them miss their flight to their show at Roskilde), one might have been excused for feeling that the nine-man strong act owed Roskilde’s masses a strong performance. Unlike Chance though, at least they showed up and honoured their commitments, at least partially, for there were actually only eight of them present.
Masters of cover
Spitting out veritable classics such as ‘Severe Punishment’ and ‘Duel of the Iron mic’, the clan’s frontman Ghostface Killah did his bit to breathe life into a concert that, despite his best efforts, didn’t end up hitting the heights one might have anticipated.
Refreshingly, however, the old school virtuosos did showcase their versatility by doing an array of covers – everything from The Beatles to Nirvana got the Wu-Tang style-up. Top on the list of these was, unsurprisingly, their rendition of House of Pain’s mammoth ‘Jump Around’, which stoked the crowd into a frenzy, but then again, when has this track not done so?
This notwithstanding, there are no doubt plenty of aficionados of the old school of hip-hop who had perhaps wished that Wu-Tang had stuck to their guns and kept their rhymes within their extensive repertoire of some of the best hip-hop that has ever been produced. Moreover, their own tunes were delivered shorn of the panache and personality that the missing members of the group on the evening (Method Man and Raekwon) could and would have given them – all in all making for a performance that didn’t quite live up to the expectations one had of it.
Underwhelming at best
As one of the few representatives of hip-hop of old at Roskilde this year, it is fair to say that one would have expected more of the New York boys, who spurned the chance to mirror, if not better, the performance of another old school legend (Nas’s) show on the same stage in 2017.