Blues and Soul Music Magazine

Issue 1092

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Gza: Shepherd's Bush Empire, London 19/4/19

Gza: Shepherd's Bush Empire 19/4/19 @bluesandsoul.com
Gza: Shepherd's Bush Empire 19/4/19 @bluesandsoul.com Gza: Shepherd's Bush Empire 19/4/19 @bluesandsoul.com Gza: Shepherd's Bush Empire 19/4/19 @bluesandsoul.com Gza: Shepherd's Bush Empire 19/4/19 @bluesandsoul.com Gza: Shepherd's Bush Empire 19/4/19 @bluesandsoul.com Gza: Shepherd's Bush Empire 19/4/19 @bluesandsoul.com Gza: Shepherd's Bush Empire 19/4/19 @bluesandsoul.com Gza: Shepherd's Bush Empire 19/4/19 @bluesandsoul.com Gza: Shepherd's Bush Empire 19/4/19 @bluesandsoul.com Gza: Shepherd's Bush Empire 19/4/19 @bluesandsoul.com Gza: Shepherd's Bush Empire 19/4/19 @bluesandsoul.com Gza: Shepherd's Bush Empire 19/4/19 @bluesandsoul.com Gza: Shepherd's Bush Empire 19/4/19 @bluesandsoul.com Gza: Shepherd's Bush Empire 19/4/19 @bluesandsoul.com

A quarter of a century ago, the Wu-Tang Clan reigned supreme. "Enter The Wu-Tang" had already cemented its position as a hip-hop game changer, and individual members of the collective were a force to reckoned with in their own right.

Raekwon and Ghostface Killah both had bona-fide classics under their belt when the oldest Clan member showed what he could do.

Released back in 1995, GZA's "Liquid Swords" remains a masterpiece.
Such is the strength of the album that in 2019, the Staten Island rapper can still do a tour off the back of it.

His date at Shepherds Bush Empire was the final night of his UK performances, and it was no surprise that he packed the place out.

Now aged 52, GZA still revels in the adulation his work inspires... Bounding on the stage wearing baggy jeans and a Wu-Tang hoodie, he was soon high-fiving the hip-hop fans in the front row. "Dual of The Iron Mic" and "Gold" were delivered with the right level of swagger, showcasing an artist still at the height of his powers.

A refreshing mixture of ages came out to see the veteran wordsmith in action, and they were rewarded with a slice of classic hip-hop for the purists. "Cold World" sounds fresh all these years later, as does "4th Chamber", and GZA can't be accused of lacking energy.

It's no great shock that the opening bars of "Liquid Swords" were greeted with huge cheers from the audience, as the rapper transported us all back to the mid 90s.

Younger rappers could certainly learn a thing or two from the Wu-Tang giant.

With the Wu-Tang Clan set to perform in London next month, it's clear audiences are still enjoying the classic hip hop GZA and co serve up.

PHOTOS: DAVE BURKE
Words Dave Burke

From Jazz Funk & Fusion To Acid Jazz

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