Wu-Tang Clansmen Rza and Raekwon (pictured) will play a special one-off gig on October 3rd at Matter in The O2, to showcase group founder and producer Rza's new book on the Clan's labyrinthine mythology, The Tao of Wu. Yet after the row that engulfed the group a couple of years ago, it's remarkable that the pair are even on speaking terms, let alone prepared to share a stage.
The Clan's last album, 2007's 8 Diagrams, was scuttled when Raekwon attacked Rza's production style before the release date, deriding him as a "hip hop hippy" for daring to sully the Clan's trademark dissonant, edgy minimalism with guitar licks by decidely non-rap pals like John Frusciante of the Chili Peppers. Though most critics thought the album a return to form, Rae's barbed darts had their effect: 8 Diagrams stiffed in the charts, and it looked like a sad coda to arguably the most influential rap group in history.
Flash forward two years, though, and things look brighter. Raekwon in particular is riding high, with a critical smash in new album Only Built 4 Cuban Linx pt 2. The Staten Island, New York native has reconciled with Rza — the latter collaborates on three tracks and executive produces — and recaptured the verve of his similarly-titled 1995 solo debut, still regarded as among the finest rap albums ever made. Not bad for an artist pushing 40 in a genre not known for showing respect to the older gods. With Rza and Rae reunited, they'll take to the stage at Matter for a rap showcase promoting the release of the The Tao of Wu, another slab of group mythology and distilled missives from the Rza's bizarre philosophy of kung-fu, chess, and Confucius, and a follow-up to 2005's The Wu-Tang Manual.
We've got a pair of tickets to give away to the gig. Just email firstname.lastname@example.org with your name, contact details and the words "Wu Tang tickets" in the subject line to be in with a chance of winning. Comp closes September 21st.