Ghostface Killah goes in

The long-overdue visit by the popular Wu Tang Clansman was almost worth the wait


GHOSTFACE KILLAH at the Sound Academy, Friday, December 2. Rating: NNNN


“I’m so fuckin’ amped right now, Toronto,” said Ghostface Killah, addressing the crowd for the first time at the Sound Academy last night. Given the energy in the room, it didn’t really need to be said.

It’s been at least 15 years since the legendary Wu Tang Clan co-founder last made it over the border for a show in Canada – he even missed Wu Tang’s last full group performance in Toronto in 1996 – and he made sure not to waste the rare opportunity, even visiting Niagara Falls.

Bolstered by affiliates Sheek Lounge and Killah Priest, the 41-year-old rapper cycled through a surplus of hits from his solo albums, his collaborations and even a few verses off Wu Tang’s landmark debut, Enter The Wu Tang (36 Chambers). Ghostface might have the largest catalogue of all the Wu Tang emcees, but no matter how deep he reached the Wu faithful were able to feed it back, a fact he demonstrated aptly by bringing up a couple of fans to spit a few flawless verses.

Ghostface’s most frequent collaborator Raekwon recently set up shop in Toronto, which many assumed would guarantee a guest appearance.

Unfortunately, he was nowhere to be seen, but during the requisite tribute to the Ol’ Dirty Bastard, Ghostface did bring out the deceased rapper’s son, Young Dirty Bastard.

It didn’t matter, anyway Ghostface had enough vigor and breath control to command the whole show without the added starpower.

Ghostface showed no signs of stopping as the show crept past Sound Academy’s 1 am curfew, but he took his time responding to the requests to wrap up by “previewing” some of the songs he might play next time, an exercise that bought him at least another 15 minutes. The crowd certainly didn’t seem to mind.

After all, it could be another 15 years before Ghostface Killah graces another Toronto stage.

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