Rap’s mainstream barely even exists anymore, and these days, the Wu-Tang Clan‘s eerie murk and ferocious paranoia couldn’t be any further from it. But if the endlessly chaotic Staten Island collective’s shows are now nostalgia-fests, they’re about the most forcefully giddy nostalgia-fests going, thanks in part to the throng of local diehards who will gladly bellow along with everything the group might throw at them. Last time this unruly mob rolled through Hammerstein, crew leader RZA was persona non grata after the rest of the group blamed his woozily psychedelic production job for the commercial failure of 8 Diagrams, their underrated 2007 reunion album. This time, his name is back on the flyer, so maybe someone apologized, and now it’s onstage MVP Method Man whose name is missing from the poster. As ever, it’s fun to speculate about what’s going on within those mysterious ranks: A promoter’s misprint? An internal falling out? Another shitty movie being filmed?

Tue., Dec. 23, 7 p.m., 2008

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