Basel 2013: Ghostface Killah, Raekwon, and Sheek Louch Turn Up Till Closing Time

Photo by Marta Xochilt Perez

Ghostface Killah

With secret guest Raekwon

Plus Tha Lox's Sheek Louch

DJs Heron, Self Born, Klassik, and Exes

The Stage Miami

Friday, December 6, 2013

There were patdowns at the door. And a bouncer forewarned "tonight's a different crowd."

On Thursday, De La Soul's Maseo, Dave, and Pos did Art Basel Miami Beach 2013 at The Stage Miami. And it was all 'bout positive old-school vibes and that "real hip-hop."

But last night, Wu-Tang Clan's Ghostface Killah was up in the Design District's best club, looking to cause some Basel mayhem. Would there be violence, mutilation, riots?

Nope. Despite security's high-alert status, the club being a sweaty mob scene, and Ghost not going on till 2:43 a.m., there weren't any injuries. And the allegedly gangsta crowd got nothing but happy and high. And a full-show surprise cameo from Wu-Tang's Raekwon.

Photo by Marta Xochilt Perez
DJ Heron, keeping the peace.

Still, after almost five hours from The Stage's Beats & Rhymes Fridays crew -- Heron, Self Born, Klassik, and Exes -- and even a short tutorial on turntablism from DJ Scratch Academy's head instructor, Immortal, the mob started to get restless.

Edgy fans chanted, "Ghostface! Ghostface! Ghostface! Ghostface! Ghostface!" And when that didn't conjure the Killah, they started writing whiny tweets ("Ghost, where are you?! I gotta catch my fliiiiiight...") that scrolled across flat-screen TVs around the club.

Photo by Marta Xochilt Perez

For real, though, there was no reason to bitch.

Within minutes, Ghostface's DJ got on the decks. He hyped the Killah's imminent arrival. And he teased the audience about a "superspecial guest."

The mob restarted its "Ghostface! Ghostface! Ghostface!" chant. And well, it actually worked.

Photo by Marta Xochilt Perez

The Killah stalked 'round The Stage. And the mob screamed.

He scooped up a few verses, "French-vanilla, butter-pecan, chocolate-deluxe," from "Ice Cream," tossing out a hint about the possible identity of that "superspecial guest."

And then he leaned into some Lox stuff with his Wu-Block collaborator, Sheek Louch.

Photo by Marta Xochilt Perez
Tha Lox's Sheek Louch: "My whole clique 'bout it, 'bout it."

"Roll that shit, light that shit, smoke it!"

The club clouded up with Swisher and weed smoke as Ghost and Sheek went fast and hard on classic Lox cuts like "Wild Out" and "Money, Power & Respect."

"First you get the money," the whole place recited with the Killah, Louch, and a pre-recorded Lil Kim. "Then you get the muthafuckin' power. After you get the fuckin' power, muthafuckas will respect you."

Photo by Marta Xochilt Perez

"Throw up your Ws!" Ghostface demanded. "Everybody! Now! Ws!"

The mob followed the Killah's orders. But he still asked, joking, "What the fuck? You tired? If 'I Can't Sleep,' you can't sleep."

It was 3:08 a.m., but that woke 'em up, and he and Sheek slipped into that Wu crew insomniac nightmare. "Feds jumping out their jeeps, I can't go to sleep

Babies with flies on they cheeks, it's hard to go to sleep."

Photo by Marta Xochilt Perez

Shit had gotten contemplative and dark for a minute.

But then Raekwon the Chef crashed the motherfuckin' party. And the whole place went giddy.

He was already in town to headline the official Wu-Tang 20th anniversary exhibition at the Delano. But the mob was shocked, throwing frenzied Ws and shouting, "Cheffffff!"

Photo by Marta Xochilt Perez

He and Ghost ran through Cuban Linx's "Incarcerated Scarfaces" and "Verbal Intercourse," with a detour into Rae's "Marble Cake" freestyle and "Can It All Be So Simple" off Enter the Wu-Tang (36 Chambers).

They honored lost homie, Ol' Dirty Bastard, shouting "Rest in peace, ODB!" and doing some "Shimmy Shimmy Ya." Then they busted out a string of 36 Chamber essentials: "Protect Ya Neck," "Wu-Tang Clan Ain't Nuthing Ta Fuck Wit," "C.R.E.A.M."

"Y'all niggas is a live fuckin' crowd," the Chef laughed.

Photo by Marta Xochilt Perez

After almost an hour, Ghosface needed a break. He snickered, "Lemme get a Red Bull up in here."

But then the Killah decided it'd be more invigorating to pull up some females. And so, Sheek started the recruiting process, "Let's get some ladies up here," drafting all sizes, shapes, and races for "some romantic shit" like "Good Love" and "Ryde or Die, Bitch."

Then ... It was time for a piano-skillz showdown.

Photo by Marta Xochilt Perez
Ghost showing off his air-piano chops.

Photo by Marta Xochilt Perez

By this time, the mayhem had slowed to a goofy simmer.

Ghostface and Sheek faced off in a mock keyboard battle, trading off verses from songs that prominently featured pianos. They jokingly described the next part of the night as the "medley moment." And they asked the DJ to just try to stump 'em.

"You motherfuckers could do this all night," Raekwon laughed, shaking his head. "And morning."

Photo by Marta Xochilt Perez

It was 3:53 now. Closing time was upon us.

The drinks were done. And the smokes had burned out. And the Killah and crew were ready to make their escape.

"OK, OK, OK, they about to turn out the lights in this bitch!" Ghostface cackled, throwing a goodbye W.

"We out!"

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S. Pajot
Contact: S. Pajot