Photo by Hutton Supancic/Getty Images for SXSW

Kicking off things with a bang, last night the legendary Wu Tang Clan took the stage and let their mics smoke. RZA once said, “How can hip hop be dead if Wu Tang is forever?” and never were those words more relevant than on the stage of the Moody Theater.

In the current Hip Hop atmosphere where colorful hair and 3 words on repeat can get you a “hot” record, it’s heartening to see the foundation still rock a show. Ripping through a set consisting of popular tracks like “Wu-Tang Forever” and “C.R.E.A.M.” the Staten Island/Brooklyn collective were on point with the rhymes.

I’ve heard in various interviews with members over the years that they don’t rehearse as there’s just too many of them to coordinate a rehearsal before the show. But I’ll be damned if I noticed. They seem to fall right back into the set as they’ve done time and time again over the past 24 years. Improvisational lines are always a part of the show sending the crowd into a frenzy.

Anyone who has ever been to a Wu Tang show knows, sometimes you get the full original lineup of MCs (minus ODB who passed in 2004) and sometimes you don’t. This unfortunately was one of those nights. Missing was the energy of Ghostface Killah, Masta Killa and Method Man.

Meth is usually the driving force in any live show with his amped up energy and interaction with the crowd. Fortunately, that void was filled by the appearance of Reggie Noble himself, Redman. The Jersey MC took the stage for a fantastic performance of “Time 4 Sum Aksion” and then slowed it down a bit for “Tonight’s Da Nite.”

For those looking for a bit more melody, they were treated to Erykah Badu’s sultry voice when she came back out after an earlier DJ set. Always experimental and ethereal, she hasn’t lost a step.

To sum up, Hip Hop is alive and well and Wu-Tang is still nothing to F wit’ 24 years in.