Wu-Tang Clan Becomes First Rap Act To Headline Ryman Auditorium
Most recently, they headlined the legendary Ryman Auditorium in Nashville, Tennessee, which is usually reserved for more country acts, church revivals and boxing matches, according to NPR.
Ever since they opened in 1892, Ryman has hosted everyone from Johnny Cash to Helen Keller to Harry Houdini.
But never a hip hop act…
On June 9, Wu-Tang played a sold-out show at the theater nicknamed “The Mother Church of Country Music.” The performance was apart of their international tour celebrating the 25th anniversary of their Enter the Wu-Tang album.
“This isn’t your grandparents’ Ryman,” says Shannon Sanders, a record producer and Grammy-winning musician. In the 80s, Sanders was apart of one of Nashville’s first hip hop groups, and he says the hip hop scene there has often lived in the shadow of country: “It’s just been hard to be part of the narrative of the city’s musical story.”
Now, Sanders says listeners have diversified their tastes, going from country to rock to hip hop.
“You know, the Ryman has had to grow up too, and had to grow up into what the city is,” Sanders says. “You know, the Wu-Tang is ready for the Ryman, but also the Ryman is ready for the Wu-Tang.”
Based on the crowd, it was definitely a night to remember.