June 15, 2013


Wu-Tang Clan & Solange Get Loose at Bonnaroo's First Hip Hop Superjam

Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic
Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic

Bonnaroo's inaugural hip hop Superjam—an R&B/rap counterpart to the festival's long-running, rock-dominated all-star jam sessions—was an uninhibited, messy rager for still-partying night owls at the Tennessee music fest. Paul McCartney might have been the Friday night highlight, but if you wanted to dance, this was the show to see.

The slickest and sickest set came from Solange, who enraptured the crowd with a funky, lovely cover of the Fugees' version of "Killing Me Softly." She also sang the hook on surprise guest Ghostface Killah's Supreme Clientele single "Cherchez La Ghost" and covered "Umi Says," an uplifting jam from Mos Def's solo debut.

RZA's portion of the night—featuring Redman and Wu-Tang Clan members Ghostface Killah, Method Man, Redman and Inspectah Deck—was the deliriously sloppy counterpart to Solange's consummately professional set.

Gripping a bottle of vodka like it was trying to escape from him, the Wu-Tang maestro led his crew through a thumping set of solo and Wu classics. "C.R.E.A.M." was the obvious crowd-pleaser, but the more literal high point was Method Man & Redman running through their joint collaboration "Part II" from the How High soundtrack. Not that the crowd needed another impetus to light up, but plenty of people took that hit as a signal to take one.

Although Solange was the evening's most impressive performer and RZA was an unfiltered wonder, Boston funk band Lettuce were the Superjam MVPs. They were flawlessly rhythmic for hours, backing ScHoolboy Q's reverent cover of Nas' "N.Y. State of Mind" and tracks from DJ Jazzy Jeff and the Neptunes' Chad Hugo with funky, effortless ease.

Watch RZA getting tipsy below and check out photos from Wu-Tang's full Friday night concert. And keep your fingers crossed that the hip hop Superjam wasn't just a one-off event.