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Is Wu-Tang without the RZA still Wu-Tang?

Not all of these people will be coming to Club Nokia next Sunday...

Not all of these people will be coming to Club Nokia next Sunday...

Next Sunday, concert promotion juggernaut Golden Voice is bringing what they claim is the Wu-Tang Clan to Club Nokia.

To be more precise, as Mikael Wood pointed out in this week's pick, they're bringing "seven of the eight original Wu-Tang members currently available for live engagements: GZA, Method Man, Raekwon, Ghostface Killah, Inspectah Deck, U-God and Masta Killa."

To be sure, the show should be fantastic and the sheer aggregation of talent is hella impressive.

But--just to play devils' advocate for a sec--can a group that's missing the LA-based RZA call itself "the Wu-Tang"?

What do you think?

Groups have been touring without problematic (aka, "genius") members forever--Beach Boys '66, anyone?--but there's something about the centrality of the RZA to the Wu-Tang that makes this gig in the Borg-like Live LA compound downtown a little... well, a little something we can't quite put our fingers on.

And you don't have to be an 8 Diagrams nerd to know that the battle for the soul, future and legacy of the Wu is still raging between these rogue hip-hop monks and their often-baffling, never ever uninteresting Abbot.

Again, the question we're throwing out is--is Wu-Tang without the RZA still Wu-Tang?