Concert review: Ghostface Killah and Raekwon at The Ritz Ybor

But as a concert, with songs and, you know, performances, I felt the show lacked a bit.


Rather than play through whole tracks from Ghost and Rae’s mighty impressive back catalogue, the duo settled mostly for medleys, with the sound of semi-automatic gunfire signaling the end of one two-minute segment and the beginning of another. Sure, the medley format allowed the two to cover more ground (with material ranging from Enter the Wu-Tang (36 Chambers) to Ghost’s 2007 disc, The Big Doe Rehab), but it also unceremoniously cut off supreme jams such as “Dogs of War” and “Rainy Dayz.” The insanely bass-heavy sound mix didn’t help matters either: Beats were often indistinguishable from preceding ones.


The best news of the night came from Rae, who spent much of his time working the crowd as if the show was an infomercial for the forever-in-the-works sequel to his debut album, Only Built 4 Cuban Linx… Rae promised us volume two will see the light of day in July, and guaranteed it will be a classic.


That’s a status Saturday night’s show didn’t achieve, but only a curmudgeon wouldn’t have had a blast. The Chef? Pretty Toney? Together? Yeah, I had a great fucking time. Did I mention the free PBR?

This review comes courtesy of Cooper Levy-Baker, editor of Creative Loafing Sarasota and contributor to The 941 and Tampa Calling.

Saturday night’s big Ghostface Killah/Raekwon gig at The Ritz Ybor was billed as the Skatepark of Tampa’s “Pro Contest Party,” and, as a party, it was sick. (Photo below not from the show.)

A pleasantly multicultural crowd — skate kids, rap aficionados, hipsters — filled the wide expanse in front of the stage; free PBR flowed for a couple solid hours; some dude wandered through the crowd handing out gratis T-shirts and trucker hats. The fans went appropriately nuts when Raekwon and, later, Ghostface first emerged onstage, throwing their Wu hand-Ws in the air. The beats boomed, Wu classics flew and bodies started moving. A good time was had by all.

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