When Wu-Tang Clan’s Ol’ Dirty Bastard tragically passed away in 2004, he left rather large shoes to fill.
Who could possibly replace one of the most iconic, unique and electric voices in Hip-Hop?
Thankfully, his son, Young Dirty Bastard aka Bar-Sun Jones, was ready and raring to go.
“I basically got assigned to Wu-Tang when I was around 17,” Jones told the New York Post in an exclusive interview. “My first tour, they came to Atlanta and were like, ‘Yo, come on stage’ and I didn’t know what the heck I was doing at the time.”
“I went up and killed it. And ever since then, I just kept going.”
17 years later, Jones is still going strong with Wu-Tang who are gearing up for their ‘N.Y. State of Mind Tour’ with co-headliner Nas.
“Get ready for that classic experience,” Jones said about the tour. “Y’all know all the words. What I love most about the live shows though is seeing parents hand down the music to their children.”
In YDB’s case, that’s quite literal as he takes over on tracks his father made famous.
“My favorite has to be ‘Shimmy, Shimmy Ya.’” he shared. “‘Brooklyn Zoo’ too. I perform six to seven songs each show.”
However, Jones isn’t a robotic clone of his father onstage.
“Yes, it is my father’s music you guys are hearing me perform,” he pointed out. “But it’s definitely Bar-Sun Jones performing up there. There’s more energy. I might jump in the air, do a a split or a backflip.”
And now that they the first show of the tour out of the way — Wu Tang performed with Run The Jewels in Colorado on Sept. 8 — the Staten Island legends are gearing for their huge show at Madison Square Garden on Sept. 15 with Mariah Carey, Mary J. Blige, Maxwell, Sean Paul, EPMD and more.
“MSG is the big one, especially for old school hip hop fans. It is filled with old memories. And the fact that I get to be a part of that is like so amazing.”
The tour isn’t the only major project on Jones’ calendar though. In addition to working as an entrepreneur, he’s also a screenwriter.
“I have a screenplay called ‘Reunites,’” he told the New York Post. “It’s about a hockey team that is less fortunate. They just want a shot to be included in society instead of being pushed on to the other side of the fence.”
Of course, we had one more question.
Our team had to know what Young Dirty Bastard would name his son. Younger Dirty Bastard? Youngest Dirty Bastard?
He answered our silly query politely.
“His name probably would be Future Dirty. Or Generational Dirt.”
Wu-Tang Clan will headline at Brooklyn’s Barclays Center on Sept. 27 and Atlantic City’s Boardwalk Hall on Sept. 29.
This interview has been lightly edited and condensed for clarity.
Wu-Tang Clan and Nas 2023 tour schedule
A complete calendar including all North American concert dates, venues and links to buy tickets for all upcoming ‘N.Y. State of Mind Tour’ shows can be found below.
|Wu Tang Clan and Nas tour dates|
|Sept. 15 at Madison Square Garden in New York, NY
with Mariah Carey and Mary J. Blige
|Sept. 20 at Bridgestone Arena in Nashville, TN|
|Sept. 22 at Hard Rock Live in Hollywood, FL|
|Sept. 23 at Daily’s Place in Jacksonville, FL|
|Sept. 24 at Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Tampa, FL|
|Sept. 26 at Capital One Arena in Washington, D.C.|
|Sept. 27 at Barclays Center in Brooklyn, NY|
|Sept. 29 at Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City, NJ|
|Oct. 1 at Scotiabank Arena in Toronto, ON, CA|
|Oct. 2 at Place Bell in Laval, QC, CA|
|Oct. 4 at Schottenstein Center in Columbus, OH|
|Oct. 7 at Target Center in Minneapolis, MN|
|Oct. 8 at the United Center in Chicago, IL|
|Oct. 10 at the Canada Life Centre in Winnipeg, MB, CA|
|Oct. 13 at Rogers Place in Edmonton, AB, CA|
|Oct. 14 at Scotiabank Saddledome in Calgary, AB, CA|
|Oct. 16 at Rogers Arena in Vancouver, BC, CA|
|Oct. 17 at the Moda Center in Portland, OR|
|Oct. 18 at the Climate Pledge Arena in Seattle, WA|
|Oct. 21 at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, NV|
|Oct. 22 at the Yaamava Theatre in Highland, CA|
‘Hot 97 Hip Hop Forever’ at Madison Square Garden
Before the tour gets underway, Wu-Tang will headline at MSG with Mariah Carey and Mary J. Blige.
They’ll be joined by fellow legends Maxwell, EPMD, Tyrese and Sean Paul at the one-night-only event curated by the one and only Funk Flex.
If you want to grab tickets to the historic concert before it’s too late, you can snag seats here.
Wu-Tang Clan members
Although the Staten Island collective has been together since 1992, there has been little turnover in the group’s history other than the untimely passing of Russell Tyrell Jones aka Ol’ Dirty Bastard in 2004.
As a quick refresher, here’s who you can expect to see when Wu-Tang performs:
RZA (Robert Fitzgerald Diggs)
GZA (Gary Grice)
Method Man (Clifford Smith)
Raekwon (Corey Woods)
Ghostface Killah (Dennis Coles)
Inspectah Deck (Jason Hunter)
U-God (Lamont Jody Hawkins)
Masta Killa (Elgin Turner)
Cappadonna (Darryl Hill)
Young Dirty Bastard (Bar-Sun Unique Jones)
You can get a closer look at the group’s history via their biographical Hulu series “Wu-Tang: An American Saga.” The show wrapped its third and final season earlier this year.
Nas new music
The Grammy-winning Nas is riding high after a busy past few years.
In 2020, Nas released the 13-track “The King’s Disease” with producer Hitboy and subsequently won his first Grammy in the process.
Featuring soulful samples, tight flows and top-notch verses from Charlie Wilson, Big Sean, Don Toliver, Lil Durk, Anderson .Paak and more, the record set the stage for “The King’s Disease II.”
The 2021 album was just as well received as the first entry in the “King’s Disease” canon and nabbed a nomination for Best Rap Album but lost to Tyler, The Creator’s “Call Me If You Get Lost.”
Finally, in November 2022, Nas’ “The King’s Disease III,” the first album in the trilogy to not include any guest appearances, dropped.
If you want to hear all three, you can check out the “King’s Disease” trilogy here.
Huge hip-hop tours in 2023
2023 has been a great year for live hip-hop.
Here are just five of the biggest tours that should be circled on your calendar these next few months.
• Drake with 21 Savage
• 50 Cent with Busta Rhymes
• Doja Cat with Ice Spice
• Playboi Carti
• Travis Scott
Who else is touring? Check out our list of the 52 biggest concert tours in 2023 here to find out.
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