In true cool and unpredictable hip-hop fashion, Wu-Tang Clan warriors U-God and Shyheim turned their in-store appearance scheduled for 5 p.m. Thursday at Vintage Vinyl on Delmar into a cool-as-ice out-store on the sidewalk "whenever" on Friday evening. With members of the extended Wu family in tow, U-God (Lamont Hawkins) and Shyheim (Franklin) signed 8-by-10 glossies for mainly incidental record shoppers and Loop loiterers and plugged new solo records on the Wu-Tang/Priority label (Shyheim's Manchild was released this summer; U-God's Redemption will be in stores in mid-October).
The two NYC MCs hit St. Louis to play a show for the bureaucracy-riddled graffiti-art event Paint Louis. Regardless of the hurdles the graffiti writers had to face, the hip-hop could not be stopped at the Galaxy on Friday night, where the hard-hitters included regional DMC champion DJ K-9 and local megacrew the Maraudaz, warming up the crowd for Shyheim and headliner U-God. Two rumored special guests, Wu-Tang's GZA and Inspecta Deck, were (surprise, surprise) no-shows, and a few confused fans expecting the entire Wu-Tang Clan were audibly disappointed at the end of the night (and who could blame them; the Galaxy unabashedly advertised the headliners as the Wu-Tang Clan), but the warriors and their crews shook the hell out of that room with real live "start the record over" hip-hop and mad lyrical flow. It seems the real shame was the typical modest turnout of this city's all-too-segregated headz. Where's the love, St. Louis?