|© The Wu-Tang Corp.- 2003-10-15
Raekwon the Chef and his new group Ice Water rocked Eureka on Friday at the Six Rivers Brewery.
Photo by Karla Rivas
Raekwon's new group showed a lot of musical skill as it performed some of their new music, which embraces a lot of the Wu-Tang beats and lyrical styles.
They also performed many of the Wu-Tang classics from the "Enter the Wu-Tang (36 Chambers)" album. Such songs like, "C.R.E.A.M," "Wu-Tang Clan Ain't Nuthing To Fuck With," "Can It Be All So Simple," "Protect Ya Neck," "M.E.T.H.O.D. Man" and "Bring The Ruckus."
This was the first time that Raekwon ever performed in Eureka. He is touring the bay area, which are also places he's never toured before.
"I like rocking for 100 to 400 people," Raekwon said. "I like to make a statement and see where people respect my music."
Even though Eureka does not have the population of the big cities where Wu-Tang performed before, The Chef still decided to bring the Clan to the North Coast.
"I liked it here in Eureka, even though the system was all fucked up, it had nothing to do with the vibe I got from the crowd. We are the type of rappers who go anywhere and who will never stand anyone up. As far as I know it can be my biggest market."
At the moment Raekwon and his group, Stomach, Polite, PC and Cigars, are on a promo tour--heading to San Juan, San Jose and San Francisco. Their new album, which took one year to record and consists of 16 songs, will come out on Dec. 16.
"This album is more lyrical and more gutter," said Raekwon. "It's seasoned-up, which makes it more exciting and special. It's more on the conscious side because I talk to the neighborhood where I came from. I talk to it like a person."
"It also contains a lot of storytelling and dialogue,
classic Raekwon. As far as beats go, we have new producers and old producers all mashed together to one."
The rest of the eight members of the Wu-Tang clan, the RZA, Genius/GZA, Ol'Dirty Bastard, Method Man, Ghost Face Killa, U-God, Inspecta Deck and Masta Killa are all working on their own side projects and touring music all around the world.
"We are dropping movies, albums for our own success," said Raekwon, who plays a short comedic role in the new movie "Scary Movie 3," which will be released on Oct. 24.
However, the group should be getting back together sometime next year to bring out another Wu-Tang album around Christmas. "It'll be a Christmas present," Raekwon said.
The Wu Tang Clan deliberately puts out its albums sporadically.
"We don't like to throw Wu-Tang albums all the time," Raekwon said." The members are trying to do their own thing and then get back together."
When asked, about the new hip-hop and new artists, he called it corny and more commercial, with no original lyrics.
"I don't understand how people can pass a good lyricist over commercial albums. Hip-hop is not the same anymore."
The MCs who influenced Raekwon when he first started were KRS-One, Rakim, Big Daddy Kane and Run DMC, he said, "I'm a versatile MC who is a ball of clay with these artists." He showed respect for Mobb Deep and Ghost Face Killa saying, "We proved to the world that we got it."
Raekwon said he believes the hip-hop of today is more about sales.
"Artists get caught up in the glamour more than the music itself," he said. "It used to be something exciting and different that had nothing to do with glamour and stereotype."
A student of Islam, Raekwon's birth name is Shallah Raekwon, which means "knowledge of self."
"I didn't want to come into the game with Shallah because it wasn't catchy," Raekwon said. "The group named me Raekwon the Chef because I bring food of thought to the table and I be cooking up some marvelous shit."
The name Lex Diamonds, Raekwon's moniker on his "Only built 4 Cuban Linx" album, came from his flashy personality. He likes to wear a lot of diamonds on his rings, necklaces and watches. "You're going to know when you see me," said Raekwon laughing.
Raekwon and his new group Ice Water definitely pumped up the crowd with classics and proved that their new music has the same unique storytelling dialog that the Wu-Tang embraced. Every song has a story to tell,about realistic events in their lives.
Written by Karla Rivas for Merge Media