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Critic's Choice

U-God, 9 p.m., Sunday, September 12, at the Fox Theater, as part of the Wu Next Generation Killa Bees Tour with the Wu Syndicate and Shyheim, is one of the last members of the Wu-Tang Clan to drop a solo joint. Redemption, a seventeen-track offering that features collaborations with fellow clansmen Inspectah Deck, Method Deck and Raekwon the Chef and production work handled by RZA, Mathematics, True Master and John the Baptist, among others, should establish U-God as the next standout MC to emerge from the Wu-Tang dynasty. Born Lamont Hawkins in the Brownsville section of Brooklyn, the rapper hooked up with the other members of Wu-Tang when he moved to the Park Hill projects in Staten Island. This divinely named son did not always take the righteous path, however. After helping establish the foundation for Wu-Tang, U-God did a two-year bid for narcotics and gun charges. He was released just in time to contribute to the Clan's breakthrough record, Enter the Wu-Tang 36 Chambers, then elevated his stature in the Clan with his work on their followup, Wu-Tang Clan Forever, and with appearances on Raekwon's single "Knuckleheadz" and GZA's "Investigative Reports." To most Wu disciples, though, this deity is still invisible. By illuminating his presence and chronicling the paths that have taken him to the depths of hellish chambers, his CD and inclusion in tours like the one coming to Boulder Sunday night should prove to be U-God's redemption. -- James Mayo
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