Though members of RZA's legendary Staten Island rap squad have been barred from entry to Canada at various times in their 15-year career, the marble-mouthed, razor sharp producer seems to have formed an unlikely late-career bond with southern Ontario - which of course includes his CMW-capping concert on Sunday night.
His group, the Wu-Tang Clan, reunited for 8 Diagrams in December, a comeback album after a six-year hiatus. On the run-up to the release, a random collection of Clansmen (GZA, Raekwon, U-God) appeared in a concert and an accompanying press conference in an off-the-beaten-path venue in Oshawa. GZA popped up again to perform his genius Liquid Swords joint in its entirity in Toronto last month. And prior to both those performances, rumours swirled that RZA, who is of course the group's chief beat-maker and ideas man, was lurking around town, bracing for a series of unannounced concert appearances and/or filming a movie.
But the most mysterious RZA-Ontario connection is Steve Chahley, a sound engineer with a fledging Vaughn, Ont. recording outfit, DNA Recording Facilities. Curiously, most of the new 8 Diagrams material was mixed at DNA. And it should go without saying it's rare to see a small Ontario studio working with a big-name American rap group - a rap group, lest we forget, whom are among the best-selling in history. Perhaps RZA-rector will drop some insight into this on Sunday?