The first edition of Hip-Hop Covers, an all-female Wu-Tang tribute, was way beyond sold out. By the time the nine local MCs, poets and singers took the stage, the Walnut Room was at capacity, and there was a crowd of people waiting outside the door. It didn't matter if you were on the list or had been in before -- this was it was one-out, one-in.
The night started with three solo sets from soon-to-be Wu-Tang women. Billie Jean (U-God) performed with her brother a couple songs off their upcoming Sweet Sixteen mixtape. Bianca Mikahn (Raekwon), beaming at the enraptured crowd, rapped a few tracks off her upcoming debut album. And Venus Cruz (Mastah Killah) demonstrated her considerable prowess as an R&B singer.
Girl Grabbers followed, and Shor T played a '90s-centric set of hip-hop to get people in the mood. At 11:10 p.m., the nine Wu artists charged through a crowd chanting "Wu! Tang!" They blazed through a set list heavy on the New York City legends' debut album, Enter the Wu-Tang (36 Chambers). Not that they needed the help, but the crowd was there on every chorus and lots of the verses, singing and rapping along.
The Wu-Tang Clan have plenty of unapologetically male-centric sex songs, and this Clan did not shy away from any of it. They even went so far as to play the song "Ice Cream" ("Watch these rap niggas get all up in your guts"), mugging through the lines and willfully flipping them over. The crowd was ecstatic, cheering itself hoarse. The set ended right around midnight, and the performers filtered into the crowd.
Hip-Hop Covers presents: Wu-Tang Clan
Suzi Q. Smith as Method Man Ladyspeech Sankofa as Ghostface Killah Isis Speaks as Old Dirty Bastard Billlie Jean as UGod DJ Bella Scratch as Inspectah Deck Bianca Mikahn as Raekwon Little Wing as RZA DJ Manizer as GZA Venus Cruz as Mastah Killah Nofrendo as DJ
Full Disclosure: Westword writer Ru Johnson co-produced the show.