Wu-Tang Clan makes history as first rap group with Vegas residency
LAS VEGAS (CN) — February is shaping up to be a big month in Vegas history, and not just for football fans. On the same weekend the San Francisco 49ers and Kansas City Chiefs face off in Super Bowl LVIII, Sin City will also host a historic music residency featuring one of hip-hop’s most legendary acts.
That act is the Wu-Tang Clan, an iconic New York rap group that first formed in 1992. Their residency, entitled “The Saga Continues,” kicks off Friday, February 9, at Virgin Hotels Las Vegas.
The Clan will play again on February 10, with additional shows slated for March. The shows mark the first time a hip-hop group is headlining at a hotel casino on the Strip — and with Wu-Tang behind the mic, fans can expect rhymes and rhythms that flow like the waters of the Bellagio fountain.
"Vegas has always served as a hub for art, entertainment and good times," Robert Fitzgerald Diggs, a founding member of the Wu-Tang Clan who performs as RZA, said in a statement. "Wu-Tang is delighted to add our flavor of art and hip-hop into the mix. Virgin plus Wu-Tang equals Triumph."
Emerging from the urban landscapes of Staten Island in the early 1990s, Wu-Tang Clan revolutionized hip-hop with their gritty, unfiltered sound and larger-than-life personas. Founded by RZA, the group's lineup has boasted a veritable who's who of hip-hop luminaries, including GZA, Method Man, Raekwon, Ghostface Killah, Inspectah Deck, U-God, Masta Killa, Cappadonna and Ol' Dirty Bastard (RIP).
Their 1993 debut, “Enter the Wu-Tang (36 Chambers),” shattered conventional norms, blending raw East Coast beats with a unique sampling of dialogue from martial arts films and a kung fu aesthetic. That album not only catapulted them to stardom but also redefined hip-hop's soundscapes.
Steeped in Eastern philosophy and New York street smarts, the Clan’s style and ethos resonated profoundly with their audience. Each member of the group also brought a distinct flavor, from Method Man's hypnotic flow to Ol' Dirty Bastard's wild and unpredictable style.
Today, the Wu-Tang Clan's legacy stands tall in hip-hop lore. Their innovative beats, lyrical prowess, and cultural impact continue to inspire new generations of artists and fans alike. They’ve also proved prolific: Between the original lineup and spin-off affiliates, the group has supported or directly produced dozens of hip-hop albums since the ‘90s.
With details about the residency still under wraps, it remains to be seen what the Wu-Tang’s Vegas shows will be like — or whether any new songs will come out of them. To the delight of fans, they will likely feature the entire original Wu-Tang lineup minus Ol’ Dirty Bastard (ODB), who died in 2004.
ODB’s son Bar-Sun Jones (aka Young Dirty Bastard) will be standing in for his late father, the New York Post reported. Also performing with him will be “RZA, Method Man, Raekwon, Inspectah Deck, everybody,” Jones told the Post. “All of us are still together and that’s a beautiful thing.”
Concert residencies — that is, music tours that happen at only one specific venue — have been a feature of Vegas entertainment for decades. It all began with jazz maestro Louis Armstrong, who in the 1940s rang in the Vegas residency trend with the golden tones of his trumpet.
From there, the city of lights saw a cavalcade of stars. Elvis Presley, the King himself, became a Vegas signature, while Frank Sinatra and the rest of the “Rat Pack” held court at the Sands Hotel. (The Sands was demolished and replaced with the Venetian in 1999.)
Then came the era of divas. Celine Dion held residencies at Caesars Palace. Britney Spears electrified Planet Hollywood with her pop anthems.
Dion’s “A New Day…” residency, which drew in millions of guests during its four-year run from 2003 to 2007, further cemented concerts like this as a defining part of the Vegas experience. These days, even comedians are getting in on the residency trend. Jerry Seinfeld, Chris Rock and Dave Chappelle have all had them.
With “The Saga Continues,” the Wu-Tang Clan will become the first rap group to get a Vegas residency. "We are honored to welcome Wu-Tang Clan to The Theater at Virgin Hotels Las Vegas," Bobby Reynolds, senior vice president of AEG Presents Las Vegas, said in a statement.
"This is a groundbreaking moment not only for this venue but for Las Vegas as a whole,” Reynolds added. “We look forward to welcoming hip-hop fans from far and wide to experience this group of legendary talents onstage for these exciting shows over two of the biggest weekends in Las Vegas."
It’s sentiment shared by Tyler Childs, manager of the Clan and founder at Forward Artist Management.
"Wu-Tang Clan continues to break barriers and set the pace for the music business writ large with the first-ever hip-hop residency in Las Vegas,” Childs said in a statement. “We cannot wait for our fans around the world to come experience RZA’s vision for this show in-person and we’re so thrilled to partner with our friends from Virgin Hotels to make this dream a reality."
It’s fitting that Wu-Tang Clan would be the first hip-hop group to take up a residency like this in Las Vegas. The Clan, after all, has always been known not just for their music but for their bold theatrics, mixing New York beats with Eastern motifs and skits from karate films.
Diggs aka RZA, the founding Wu-Tang member and a master of beats and rhymes, has a mission beyond just music for the residency — saying the group was ready to contribute to the arts hub of Las Vegas. With their lyrical swords sharpened, perhaps the Wu-Tang Clan will carve their mark into the annals of Sin City's history. Regardless, hip-hop heads should mark their calendars for Friday, February 9, when Wu-Tang Clan takes centerstage — and the saga continues.