Friday, 11 November 2011
FOR THE RECORD: GHOSTFACE KILLAH Live @ Kazimier, Liverpool, England (10/11/10)
His 'Killah' sound is never Ghost.
This writer has to admit, he's a bit of a hip-hop purist, meaning he's a bit of a die-hard Wu-Tang Clan fan, meaning he's a massive Ghostface Killah geek. I've been lucky enough to see Shaolin's finest rapper three times before (two solo sets, and one with the Wu) and this top five rapper who's about to celebrate his 20th anniversary in rap never gets old.
The first time I saw him live I met him and got a photo, the second time I got his autograph and the third time I laughed with him about the first two times and how young I looked on the photo. Still the fourth time was the charm as I took a balcony view on Liverpool's cool, intimate Kazimier venue and just enjoyed another great show from Pretty Toney.
Iron Man showed that despite being in his 40's he can still keep up with the young bucks with an energetic stage presence. With a real steal set, this guys rhymes, swagger and enthusiasm was contagious. He had the crowd jumping around in the cramped, but classic feeling hip-hop venue like it was the House Of Pain. We may have been in The Beatles town of Liverpool last night but it really felt like a New York setting, Staten Island to be exact.
When Ghost came bounding out to rhyme partner Raekwon's 'Criminology' the crowds spirits were instantly raised. As Ghostface unleashed killer track after 'Killah' track the crowd knew and sung it all. He came out swords blazing, from spitting sharp 'Metal Lungies' to encoring the beautiful 'Baby', chorus to chorus, over and over again. While making his way through his classic, ever growing catalogue he declared "I've got too many F$£*$&$ albums", while name dropping the classics 'Supreme Clientele' and 'Bulletproof Wallets' drew speaker busting cheers. As usual he got the crowd involved challenging a young man and women to recite parts of the Clan classic 'Protect Ya Neck'. The man was so perfect he won the respect and admiration of everyone including Ghost, all the young lady could do in response was run off scared. How could she follow that?
Ghostface's setlist also made it's way through his group classics and even he solo songs of his Wu-tang Clan brotherhood. From paying tribute to the late, great Ol' Dirty bastard's 'Shimmy, Shimmy, Ya' to giving the Kazimier crowd another taste of GZA/Genius' 'Liquid Swords' (the GZA was at this very venue months back encoring his classic). Ghost even did his trademark dropping of Marvin Gaye's 'Distant Lover (Live)' classic and showed his passion, love and influence of soul music. Telling the crowd that if it wasn't for guys Like Gaye, Stevie Wonder, Sam Cooke and Al Green he wouldn't be here. While closing his eyes and looking to the sky, classic respect was served as he truly bared his soul.
With Trife Da God and other members of the Theodore Unit hyping him all night and a packed crowd strapped to his every word it couldn't get much better. The stage looked like a cipher, the crowd had a street hungry feel. That was until Killah met Killah and legendary, cult hip-hop icon Killah priest came out as a surprise and this real hip-hop fanatic crowd knew who we was. As he performed his classic 'B.I.B.L.E. (Basic Instructions Before Leaving Earth)' this testimony was what the Kazimier faithful wanted to see at the GZA gig. It seems that the Wu-Tang Clan are making a home for themselves in Liverpool like their names were John, Paul, George and Ringo and know one his making himself more comfortable than Ghostface. He's more than welcome. Mi casa es su casa. TIM DAVID HARVEY.
FOR THE RECORD: GZA @ The Kazimier, Liverpool
Review: GHOSTFACE KILLAH-APOLLO KIDS