RAEKWON & GHOSTFACE KILLAH / HAGAN LEE / PRINCE GOLDEN / ROOK DA RUKUS @ JANNUS 1/8/14

When it comes to the golden age era of hip-hop legends, the Wu-Tang will always be mentioned. They have built a great dynasty, with gritty New York lyrics stretching internationally, to clothing lines, and a wide spread of talented successful members. On this night, Raekwon & Ghostface Killah showed up in St. Petersburg,FL for a very special show.

First opening act Rook da Rukus took the stage. Before coming out he had a breakdancer warm up the stage for him, doing windmills and crazy foot work over 80’s classics and break beats. Meanwhile, graffiti artist quickly executed a mural while Rook emerged from behind the mist of the smoke machine. Spittin’ hardcore street lyrics with a very powerful and gritty voice, he got the crowd warmed up nicely, preparing all of the boom-bap heads for what was in store.

Up next was Prince Golden. The tall skater-looking emcee graced the audience with a J Dilla dedication track that got everyone nodding their head to the heavy super-producer’s production. Toward the end of his set, he told the crowd that freestyle is losing it’s art form. He proceeded to ask the crowd for 5 words, and that he would freestyle from off the top of his head. As his DJ dropped a random beat, Prince came clean and slaughtered the 5 word freestyle with ease, also throwing in Wu members name’s in the mix. Prince gave what the hip-hop heads were looking for in an emcee.

Final performer before the Wu members hit the stage was the ever so ready Hagan Lee. Representing heavy with his St.Pete family all through out the crowd, you could tell he had a strong fan base with him. Hagan Lee came with bars and lyrics that all lovers of hip-hop can feel. Along Hagan’s side was his partner in rhyme,the wild and energetic Fxvl Mxwf. With both Hagan and Fxvl on stage they are undeniably one of the best duo’s in bay area scene. Hagan & Fxvl’s styles are completely different but work great together, the yin and the yang if you will. Hagan’s song “Dominate” was a crowd favorite and got a lot heads bobbing while throwing their hands in the air. He showed that his skills were unmatched, with a cocky swagger but a true lyricist. Hagan Lee was a perfect fit for this golden age era of a show.

Main event heavyweight Raekwon came down the spiraling stairs spitting bars & street stories. As he came to the front of the stage with shades on, saying simply ” Whadup!” and the crowd was roaring with happiness chanting “Wu-Tang, Wu-Tang, Wu-Tang!” After about 4 songs in, the champ Ghostface Killah slides on stage rappin’ a verse off Raekwon’s classic album “Only Built 4 Cuban Linx”. They performed legendary songs “Verbal Intercourse”, “Incarcerated Scarfaces”, “Ice Cream”, and Daytona 500″. Ghostface also rocked songs off many of his albums including Supreme Clientele (2000), Bulletproof Wallets (2001) and Fishscale (2006).

The dynamic duo also did some Wu-Tang verses, and even at one point Raekwon asked “who can do Ol Dirty Bastard & Method Mans’ verse?! Don’t mess it up or we’ll throw you off stage!” The pressure was on, one wobbly guy got on stage, Rae looked him in the eyes and said to Ghost, “this guy is drunk, kick his ass off stage!” and they did. They called up two more random people. The first guy did Method Man’s verse, but was so excited he almost messed up and got cut, but he made it by the skin of his teeth. The crowd applauded and gave him props. The second guy on stage failed miserably and got tossed off stage. It was all in good fun.

In between songs Rae & Ghost were just having fun on stage, clownin’ around. Then the unexpected happened, Raekwon announced there was a special guest in the building. He presented the one and only DMX! That’s right, X came out on stage and the audience went CRAZY. X came out showing love to Wu-Tang, giving them shout outs. He was also very intoxicated, repeatedly saying “I’ve never had a dick in my mouth a day in my life,” as Raekwon was covered his own eyes thinking “this can’t be happening”. DMX was in town because he had a show the next day at the same venue Jannus Live, but flew in a day early. As X walked off the stage Rae & Ghost finished off their set right at 11pm, with Ghost saying “Hey! Catch me on Jimmy Fallon right now, at 11pm” as he and the crowd were laughing while exiting the venue. A very comedic show for hip-hop legends to grace St.Petersburg with their presence indeed.