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Live in L.A.

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

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Wed, Dec 1, 2010 at 10:08 AM

click to enlarge 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?

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