Yo, you best protect ya neck — the Wu-Tang Clan is coming to Philly.
Members RZA, GZA, Method Man, Raekwon, Ghostface Killah, Inspectah Deck, Masta Killa, U-God, and Cappadonna will appear at Philly’s Franklin Music Hall on Jan. 25. The show will serve as Wu-Tang’s first live performance of 2019, and will come following a run of dates in Australia and New Zealand that will wrap this month. The next day, the group will head back to their native New York for a performance at Terminal 5.
Wu-Tang’s upcoming shows will help commemorate the 25th anniversary of their seminal debut, Enter the Wu-Tang (36 Chambers), which was released in Nov. 1993, as well as their hit single, “C.R.E.A.M.,” which was released in Jan. 1994. Today, the album is considered one of the most influential rap releases ever, and is credited with helping establish the East Coast hip-hop scene.
Philly last saw a proper performance from the Wu-Tang Clan in Dec. 2011, when the group played the Trocadero Theatre — their preferred venue the last few times they were in town. The city’s connection with Wu-Tang, however, runs a little deeper than live performances, thanks to the late Russell Tyrone Jones, AKA former Wu-Tang member Ol’ Dirty Bastard — though you may know him by his other names, like Big Baby Jesus, Dirt McGirt, Knifey McStab, or Freeloading Rusty.
Whatever you call him, Jones, who died in 2004, made Philadelphia history in Nov. 2000, when he was arrested at a McDonald’s at 29th and Gray’s Ferry after more than a month on the run from police. At the time, ODB was on probation in connection with 1999 charges that included making terroristic threats and possessing body armor as a felon, and had escaped from a drug-rehabilitation center in Pasadena, Calif., according to a report from ABC News.
His run came to an end Nov. 27, 2000, when arresting officer Rebecca Anderson spotted Jones in the burger chain’s drive-through sitting in a 1991 Mitsubishi Galant. As a spokesperson told the Daily News at the time, Anderson “knew him from listening to his music,” and was aware Jones was wanted by police. Anderson reportedly approached the car, confirmed ODB’s identity, and arrested him without incident.
Since then, some locals have called for a historical marker to be erected at the Gray’s Ferry McDonald’s where ODB was arrested. In 2014, a petition organized by Philly resident Adam Butler garnered more than 1,300 signatures to that end, but no marker was ever established.
“Jones’ escape and time on the run made him a popular folk hero and his capture at the McDonalds was national news,” the petition read.