If you’re a lover of RZA beats and Ella Fitzgerald’s flow and happen to be in NYC tonight, you need to be at East Village’s live performance hub Le Poisson Rouge. This will be the destination for TV personality and renaissance artist Amanda Seales (formerly Amanda Diva) and Julliard-trained pianist Kris Bower’s jazz transformation of the Wu-Tang Clan catalogue: “mo’ betta Wu: Jazz from the 36 Chambers.”
The genre-fusing concept was conceived by Seale’s post-break-up boredom and the advisory of the great Q-Tip for her to enlist Bowers as composer and arranger. The result is a two-hour set of Killer Bee brilliance re-imagined like never before (“C.R.E.A.M.” is churned creamier; “Rainy Dayz” tans to a deeper purple). Imagine ODB possessing Sarah Vaughan.
To prime fans for the first night of this equipoise experience in sweet jazz and Staten Island’s finest contribution to music, Amanda and Kris give VIBE their personal Top 5 songs (in order) from the Wu’s debut album Enter The Wu-Tang (36 Chambers).
Le Poisson Rouge is located at 158 Bleecker street. Doors open 6pm. Show begins 7pm. Cop tix here.
5. “Wu-Tang: 7th Chamber, Pt. 2”
I know lyrically it's the same as part one, but the beat/samples/everything else going underneath the raps, goes much harder on that one to me.
4. “Method Man”
This is definitely in the top 5 because of how great of a track it is, but also because it's one of the first songs that introduced me to Wu.
3. “Protect Ya Neck”
That beat??? Nuff said.
2. “Shame On a Nigga”
Once again the samples on this one are crazy, especially those piano breaks. I also love how they mess with where they place the accents on their verses.
The story that they tell on this one has always stood out to me. It's incredibly honest, very real, and still (unfortunately) rings true today for our community.
5. “Method Man”
This still gets love when I spin it in a party! Meth married the hell outta that RZA beat.
4. “The Art of Chess Boxing”
I love this joint for its uniqueness. Each verse sets each MC apart and shows of their individuality to the T. If you at any point thought Oh these are just rappin dudes from Staten Island, this record made it clear they were more than meets the eye.
3. “Can It Be All So Simple”
Lyricism and storytelling. Two forgotten cornerstones of rap that this record is rooted in!
2. “Protect Ya Neck”
I can see Meth's half done braids from the video whenever I hear this record. I love this song because I feel like it really exemplifies their energy at its rawest. Before any of the fame and limelight got in the mix.
I mean this record is a flawless record. Folks talk about conscious music and forget that records like this were exactly that. Just listen to Deck's verse!