Ghostface Killah & Raekwon April 13, Brooklyn Bowl.
You have to hand it to Ghostface Killah and Raekwon. For a couple of steam engine-sized 40-somethings, their pipes blow like sousaphones during a Mardi Gras parade. No, they didn’t rush around the Brooklyn Bowl with the frantic hunger of their young opener Trade Voorhees or the big slamming hook drops of direct support Marion Write (both locals, both extremely worth a listen). But they performed songs like they were in their ’90s super-prime and didn’t rely on historical significance to shoulder the weight like plenty of aging rappers with their prestige and diminished lung capacity might.
But what else did you expect from the two most titanic members of the Wu-Tang Clan mega-collective, still able to make the Brooklyn Bowl look crowded 30 minutes tardy on a Monday night? What do you expect the crowd to do besides lose its ever-loving sh*t at “Bring da Ruckus” and “Protect Ya Neck,” especially when the duo brings members of the crowd to pick up a verse or two on the latter? Everything and nothing, in that order. If “they’ve still got it” ever needed earnest application, this performance would be it.
While the performance energy was better even than Talib Kweli during his last visit, it cast a wave of reality over the evening: Wu-Tang’s getting old. It didn’t stop the duo from killing Monday night, but it will sooner than later. And it’s at that point they’ll have to decide whether to go until they physically can’t—or retire and live on in the Throw Back Thursdays of music history.