Ghostface Killah draws hype crowd

WU-TANG+DON%E2%80%99T+STOP+YO%E2%80%94Ghostface+Killah+is+a+rapper%2C+songwriter%2C+actor+and+former+member+of+Wu-Tang+Clan+which+stands+for+Witty+Unpredictable+Talent+and+Natural+Game.+%0APhoto+courtesy+of+Simon+Berghoef%0A

WU-TANG DON’T STOP YO—Ghostface Killah is a rapper, songwriter, actor and former member of Wu-Tang Clan which stands for Witty Unpredictable Talent and Natural Game. Photo courtesy of Simon Berghoef

Isabelle Tavares

 Lightsthe colors of Lucky Charmsping-ponged off of concert-goers, while a well-known hip-hop sample sang out from the stacked speakers. The man swaggering about the stage yelled into a half-tipped mic, “How many people out there like hip-hop? Throw your hands in the air.” Like a game of Simon Says, around 400 hands shot in the air, most of them forming a “w” with their hands. Out of context, this might seem cult-like. But for Wu-Tang Clan fans, they knew this formation like the back of their hand. 

Wu-Tang member Ghostface Killah, who appears on MTV’s list of Best Emcees of All Time, performed Friday, Oct. 25 at the Northern Center Ballroom. Before he entered, U.P. native group Blanco Suave got the crowd jumping with their hip-hop and seo-soul sound. NMU student group Northern Michigan Artist Discovery (NOMAD) brought these acts to life. 

One crowd member, junior multimedia production major Luke Delaney, jumped especially high. As a “huge rap nerd” Delaney said he loves Wu-Tang Clan and Ghostface Killah—and said they’re the peak of old school groups. 

“Ghostface is a legend, and the fact that a legend like him is coming here is really awesome. We’re a small area that’s pretty out there, so it means a lot to Northern and Marquette. People should come here more because it’s so amazing,” Delaney said, donning a bright yellow Wu-Tang Clan Christmas-themed sweater.  

While Marquette may be out of the way for performing acts, NOMAD certainly knew how to draw a crowd. With total attendance topping out at 658, over half was composed of students who amassed in the center of the ballroom in a glob of excitement.  

While leaned up against the wall in-between acts and away from the crowd, senior environmental studies and sustainability major Lyndsie Chesnic explained she was there to have a good time, listen to music and see friends. Opener Blanco Suave, composed of Gretchen McKenzie-Trost and Luke Arquette, left a positive impression on many—including Chesnic who has seen them perform before. 

“[McKenzie-Trost] is so soulful, I really enjoy the deep messages in her music. She talked about poverty, feminism, supporting women and used metaphors to reference political issues,” Chesnic said. 

While visiting family in Marquette, current North Carolina resident Nicholas Lacelle decided to attend the concert for a few reasons. One of them being to support his friend McKenzie-Trost, whom is an old friend of his, Lacelle said. 

“It blows my mind what Luke can do with beats and noises, and Gretchen sings like a ginger jazz singer, that’s how I’d describe her,” Lacelle said. “Blanco Suave brings more variety, a fullness to the city and helps the culture in some way.” 

The concert was full of all ages, too. Since the height of Wu-Tang Clan’s music was in the ‘90s, the crowd was peppered with middle-aged community members, in which some brought their children. 

Ghostface Killah brought all members of the community together, Chesnic said. In the same breath, he would spit a line about “ejecting styles from my lethal weapon,” while simultaneously spouting that Wu-Tang is for the children. 

Three kids, around the age of eight, stood gawking in the first row when Ghostface pointed at them, pulling them onto the stage. The three had their moment of fame for a few songs, bopping along with the music that was being produced within their small arms reach. 

Known colloquially as Wu-Tang, it’s actually an acronym for Witty Unpredictable Talent and Natural Game. As a former member, Ghostface Killah left audience members buzzing with hip-hop beats in their ears.