Nas, Wu-Tang Clan & De La Soul celebrated NY hip hop @ Barclays Center in Brooklyn (pics)

Depsite Dave, aka Trugoy the Dove, tragically passing away earlier this year around the time the trio were celebrating their music finally coming to streaming services and back to vinyl, De La Soul started announcing shows, including the opening spot on this Wu-Tang / Nas tour. As some predicted, Talib Kweli ended up being Dave’s fill-in, and though he’s a good fit, the band’s hometown opening set on the “NY State of Mind Tour” was only around a disappointing 15 minutes that included Posdnuos’ mic not working for what felt like minutes at the beginning, without him or Maseo realizing it. Their 5-6 song set at Barclays Center on Wednesday night (9/27) didn’t include anything from their first three albums, and three of the songs weren’t De La tracks. Two were Talib’s songs (“Get By” and “Move Somethin’” by Talib’s group Reflection Eternal), and they closed with high energy Pharoahe Monch track “Simon Says” that PM excitingly joined them for. The De La tracks were most notably fourth album Stakes is High title track, and 1 or 2 songs from 2004’s The Grind Date. According to, previous dates got “Buddy,” “Me Myself & I,” “Potholes in My Lawn, and “Saturdays.” More to look forward to next time! Talib & Monch both also took part in the tribute to Dave that took place at Webster Hall in March. Rest in Peace Plug Two.

Nas and Wu-Tang were collectively up next. Rather than choose a headliner, they alternated throughout the rest of the night, with Wu-Tang members sometimes joining Nas and vice versa to make the transitions smoother, and it was pretty much all you could ask for from all these ’90s NY legends. The stage was set up with lots of screens and big lights, and a raised platform where the DJs and live musicians played.

Across two sets and an encore, Nas — backed by his DJ, synced visuals and a fun-to-watch live drummer — easily commanded the singing-along arena with a 30+ song hit-filled set that included the majority of Illmatic and just as many songs from across the six great albums he’s released in the past three years (including two this year!). Like hip hop, Nas just turned 50, and both birthdays were mentioned throughout the show that was happening just seven months after his own sold out show at MSG.

RZA (who was the first one on stage), GZA, Ghostface, Raekwon, Cappadonna, U-God, Masta Killa, Inspectah Deck, ODB’s son Young Dirty Bastard (who has taken over for his dad), and show stealer Method Man (who they saved for the second set) were all also in fine form and delivered a non-stop carnival of delights backed by DJ, full band and lots of great video. The Wu-Tang members play a mix of group and solo tracks with various configurations on the stage at any time, constantly keeping the audience on their toes, and of course it feels extra special during the moments when every single one of them was assembled together on the Brooklyn stage. Along with tributes to ODB and Biggie (whose name is permanently hanging on a banner inside the Jay-Z-associated Nets arena), the Staten Island group also made sure to give many reminders that the was show happening in hip hop’s birthplace on hip hop’s 50th birthday. Before/during the encore RZA brought out and introduced Loud Records founder Steve Rifkind before letting Nas close the show with “One Mic” and everybody on stage.

DJ Scratch opened the show. Check out more photos from the whole night by Ellen Qbertplaya below…