Wu-Tang’s GZA returns to Austin Sunday, August 20 reuniting with local Latin funksters Brownout at Empire Control Room. We’re giving away a pair of tickets to folks who tag 365 Things Austin and share this preview on Facebook or Twitter. Fans will have another chance to win tickets on our Instagram page. The rapper also known as The Genius (Gary Grice) first collaborated with the Grupo Fantasma spin-off in 2012, performing his 1995 solo masterpiece Liquid Swords with the group during South by Southwest (SXSW). It was a seminal moment for the founding member of Wu-Tang who stated after the performance, “The chemistry is amazing. Expect more shows from us.”
Following the collaboration’s debut the show travelled to Brooklyn and other locales, most notably Bonnaroo Music Festival. We caught subsequent performances at ACL Live and Utopiafest. Both were exceptional shows. GZA’s smooth flow and intelligent rap pairs well with Brownout’s improvisational jazz/funk rhythms. The Grammy-winning artists instinctively leave musical space for The Genius to lay his urban wisdom on the audience. Even fans not familiar with Wu-Tang or GZA’s solo material will find the show compelling.
The project was a precursor to GZA’s bandmate Ghostface Killah working with Toronto’s BADBADNOTGOOD (BBNG) to produce Sour Soul early in 2015. The jazz trio subsequently worked with Kaytranada on an album. The hip-hop/jazz collaborative trend is similar to the 1990’s when hip-hop/jazz partnerships began cropping up, starting with A Tribe Called Quest’s Low End Theory (1991) to Guru’s wildly popular Jazzmatazz series, finally winding down the decade with The Roots classic 1999 record, Things Fall Apart. Leave it to an Austin act and GZA to bring back the trend and up the musical ante.
Brownout drummer John Speice confirmed the set list for the upcoming show will be similar to previous performances stating they’ll play “Liquid Swords and a few Wu bangers.” Surely there will be a few choruses of “Wu-Tang clan ain’t nuthing ta f’ wit” right?
Don’t forget to share this post on Facebook or Twitter and tag 365 Things Austin for a chance to win tickets to the event.
Watch GZA and Brownout play Liquid Swords at Bonnaroo.