Raekwon @ Apollo Theater - 2003-10-02 17:55:00

© The Wu-Tang Corp.- 2003-10-02

Raekwon was performing Tuesday at New York's Apollo Theater during most people's happy hour.
"Call me in 30 minutes," the Chef of the Wu-Tang Clan said. He and his posse end all phone calls with a friendly, drawn-out "Peace." Then, "Call me in five minutes."

Five minutes later, his cell phone's in use. The rapper from the notorious clan phones at 12:32 a.m. his time, perhaps the only time between flights and performances to catch him.

Once he gets here, says the rapper, "What I bring to the table is jewels and food for thought."

There's no keeping up with Raekwon.

The closest you get is in a dance club, following along with his rhymes while he's freestyle rapping to beats like the sexy flute rhythm to "Nothin' " by Noreaga.

This weekend, there's one other way.

The street cat is coming to the Aggie Theatre on Saturday.

"He demonstrates what hip-hop should be," said Josh Carruthers, director of sales and marketing for Szango Inc., which booked the act. "What I remember best is the song 'Ice Cream.' That was a jam back when I was in high school -- 10th or 11th grade.

"He's an original member of the Wu-Tang Clan," Carruthers said. "He's one of the sharpest MCs in the rap world. He tells stories about life in New York City, about hard street life."

The Wu-Tang Clan is made up of nine rappers who grew up together in the different burroughs of New York City, rap together, record together and have solo careers and record deals on the side.

They started as an underground group and gained worldwide notoriety in the rap world.

The group now holds the rights to several kung-fu movies and has its own clothing line.

The group set out to reshape the music industry with its keen business acumen. And it became a multi-platinum group.

As a soloist, Raekwon promises his own distinction.

"I bring a lot of slang to the game," he says. "My stories are so visual and vivid that fans are going to be like, 'I understand exactly what he's talking about.' I'm like Oliver Stone with this."

Raekwon's appearance is the first since Szango's return to the local music scene. Szango Inc., formerly Szango Productions, last year booked artists like Israel Vibration, De La Soul and John Brown's Body to Fort Collins among many hip-hop and reggae shows designed to bring more culture and diversity to the area through music.

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