To anyone who claims to be a fan of rap music, the Wu-Tang Gang is the Holy Grail of hip-hop. Twenty years ago, nine members of the collective, Wu-Tang Clan, kicked in the teeth of hip-hop when they released their debut album, Enter the Wu-Tang. On Wednesday night, two of the Clan’s top-shelf MCs, Ghostface Killah (Dennis Coles) and Raekwon (Corey Woods), stopped by Taiwan to give fans a taste of history
The crowd at ATT 4 Fun patiently bobbed their heads to the old-school sounds of DJs Scratchmark and Serpico, but everyone knew what they were there for. The crowd smiled and cheered for the breakdancers and sang along to Dwagie (大支), but they were waiting for the headliners. Then they happened.
As soon as Ghostface Killah and Raekwon hit the stage, the entire crowd erupted. Every single person in the audience wrapped their thumbs together and threw up the W as the Clan went through 20 years of classic material as well as newer songs. The highlight of the performance was when they asked if anyone knew how to rap an Ol’ Dirty Bastard verse. Patrick Lubon, a local hip-hop head, volunteered, and right on time, he filled in for the Clan’s deceased member. Lubon has not stopped smiling for two days.
Tomorrow night, DJ Digital (real name Steve Carr) will be making his way back to Taiwan for an evening of top-notch drum and bass at Triangle. Digital has been producing tracks for a long time and it all started with his father, who ran a sound system when Digital was growing up.
“I learned about equalization, amplifiers and speakers at an early age, plus I got some awesome biceps due to the size of the speakers I had to lift most weekends,” Digital said in an e-mail interview with the Taipei Times.
“I loved thick, heavy basslines back then and I think that shows in my music today.”
Even though he is a legend in the drum and bass scene, Digital started off playing a different style of music.
“I was playing reggae around 1990 when I realized that no one was going to reggae dances anymore because they were all at raves so I had to take a look at these raves for myself,” Digital said. “I was lucky enough to meet Danny C and he took me to a local rave, which was a good laugh, exciting and eye opening musically and the way everyone partied together in a happy smiley way.”
One of the reasons Digital got into drum and bass was because it was a melting pot of different styles of music. “I loved the way so many genres like soul, reggae, funk, electro, hip-hop, acid, pop and techno were mixed up in one pot to make jungle and drum and bass,” he said.
Digital thinks a lot of the lessons he learned in life were due to the fact that he was raised in Ipswich, England. “I feel Ipswich had a massive influence on my life due to the amount of musicians in Ipswich I could look up to,” Digital said.
“I think a lot of people turn to music due to the fact that there is not much else to do there. For 10 years, from the age of 22 to 32, I found myself in a flat doing nothing but producing tracks and that set me up on the journey I’m on now.”
■ Tranquility Bass and Urban Asia present DJ Digital (with Robi Roka, Subtle, Lai, Rich, C-Type and DTR) tomorrow night at Triangle from 10:30pm to 5am, 1, Yuman St, Taipei City (台北市玉門街1號). Admission is NT$400 and comes with a drink.