New York hip hop legends Wu-Tang Clan and Nas brought their N.Y. State Of Mind Tour to the FivePoint Amphitheatre in Irvine, California on September 30th, 2022. Busta Rhymes was a special guest, delivering one of the best performances of the night.
Founded in New York City’s Staten Island in the early 1990s, Wu-Tang Clan is comprised of members RZA, GZA, Method Man, Raekwon, Ghostface Killah, U-God, Masta Killa, Inspectah Deck, Cappadonna and the deceased Ol’ Dirty Bastard (ODB). Their name is a reference to a 1983 martial arts ﬁlm.
Nas (born Nasir Jones) grew up in Queens, NY and ﬁrst reached an international audience when his track “Halftime” was tapped by producer MC Serch as the opening cut on 1992’s Zebrahead movie soundtrack. The ﬁrst full-length album by poet and rhyme-master Nas arrived in 1994, titled Illmatic. The platinum hip hop landmark featured “It Ain’t Hard To Tell”, “The World Is Yours” and “One”; this album is still considered to be one of the most influential hip hop albums of all time.
Busta Rhymes (born Trevor George Smith Jr.) grew up in the East Flatbush neighborhood of Brooklyn. At age 12, Busta’s family moved to Uniondale, Long Island. He gained fame performing features with A Tribe Called Quest, Big Daddy Kane, The Notorious B.I.G., KRS-One, Mary J. Blige and TLC.
Hip hop is currently in the midst of celebrating 50 years as one of the greatest cultural influences and New York is credited as the birthplace of this art form.
Who better than Nas, Wu-Tang Clan and Busta Rhymes to celebrate this milestone?
The stage setup was massive, with two levels decorated in NY graffiti, mutiple DJ booths and full drum kits to add live beats to the mix. DJ Scratch opened the night with a 30-minute history lesson on the origins and legacy of New York hip hop. Once he judged the crowd to be sufficiently hyped, he welcomed out the Wu-Tang Clan.
One by one, members of Wu-Tang came onstage to perform. RZA led things off and after each of the eight members their parts, they left the stage. Method Man had yet to appear; it was not clear if he was in attendance.
Nas then peformed an excellent set. There was never a break in the action, as Wu-Tang returned to the stage in various formations. Finally, Method Man appeared and the crowd went even wilder than they were before. Busta Rhymes spiced things up with his unique style and was a joy to watch and experience. Nas returned to deliver some of his biggest hits. Finally, Wu-Tang kicked off the encore, joined by Nas to top off an incredible journey that had the packed house dancing and singing all night long.
Wu-Tang Clan & Nas: A NY State of Mind Tour mini-documentary:
Review by Johnnie Crow