The conflict:

Two members of hip-hop's greatest dynasty, the Wu-Tang Clan, are coming to Portland, vying for your hard-earned dolla, dolla bills, y'all, on two successive nights. Times are tight. Who deserves your skrilla more?

The breakdown: If this were a game in the first round of March Madness, it'd be the University of Kentucky Wildcats against the UC Santa Cruz Banana Slugs. Method Man is, arguably, Wu-Tang's No. 1 seed, a rugged rhymer so charismatic and telegenic your mother recognizes him and thinks he's charming.


 Cappadonna is at the very bottom of the hierarchy, and not even the collective's most ardent acolytes will argue with that fact. Heck, it's never been clear whether he's even an official member of the crew or a hanger-on brought in to record a verse when someone else calls in sick.

Throw in Redman, Meth's partner in crime (and sitcoms), and it's not a fair fight. That's how it's always been for poor Cap. He actually predated many of the franchise's more recognizable figures, rhyming in a primordial version of the group before serving an unfortunately timed stint in jail and getting replaced—by Method Man. He didn't contribute significantly to a full Wu-Tang album until 2000's The W, and has mostly been a punch line among fans. Then again, while Meth and Red's first collaborative album, 1999's Blackout!, is considered a minor classic, it took them nine years to record a follow-up, both spending much of the past decade acting. Meanwhile, Cap has stayed on the grind, dropping his seventh solo effort, Earth, Wynd and Fyre, in February.  

The resolution: On the surface, this is an easy choice. But Meth and Red are fat on Hollywood money. Cappadonna is still hungry, figuratively and, possibly, literally. Aside from the more affordable ticket price, he deserves your attention for once. Plus, if he doesn't raise enough gas money here to get home, he might need to crash on your couch. 

SEE IT: Cappadonna plays Alhambra Theatre, 4811 SE Hawthorne Blvd., on Saturday, June 8. 8 pm. $15 advance, $20 day of show. 21+. Method Man & Redman play Crystal Ballroom, 1332 W Burnside St., with Serge Severe and DJ Wels, on Sunday, June 9. 8 pm. $32 advance, $35 day of show. All ages.