Before I get into this Q&A session, I think it’s necessary to address my thoughts on the influence of Raekwon’s music and it’s effect on myself as a fan of Hip-Hop music..
I can confidently say that “Only Built 4 Cuban Linx” is one of my favorite solo debut albums ever and was also the first album that I remember ever purchasing on the strength of a Source magazine review. I was already a hardcore Wu-Tang fan and seeing the words used to break down the album sold me completely. To me, it was one of the modern day blueprints to the Mafioso themed element Hip-Hop artists tried to emulate. Even better, it was the first complete work that showcased the chemistry of Rae and Ghostface Killah, who I will say are one of the best duos in Hip-Hop, period. Random humorous moment, when the album was released, my downstairs neighbor had purchased it before me and I would literally lay on the floor with my ear to the carpet catching as much of it as I could before I had the money to purchase it myself. Yes, it was THAT DEEP lol.
The 20 year legacy of Raekwon and Wu is easy to discuss at length. The fan in me has enough questions to make this interview resemble Inside The Actors’ Studio to be honest. At the same time I’m sure that would include things that he’s probably been asked a million times over no matter how much digging and research would be done. Today, Raekwon has a new musical focus with his imprint IceH20 Records and it’s roster of artists JD Era, Kofi Black, Ceazar and Altrina Renee. Rae told me he has plans on bringing them to Philly to perform near the top of the year and that’s all in addition to him working on his upcoming 7th solo album “F.I.L.A. (Fly International Luxurious Art)”. I had a brief moment to catch up with Rae on a couple things of early Wu-Tang nostalgia, his thoughts of today’s NY music scene, his rumored track with Jay Z and more. Enjoy.
New Era: Q&A With Raekwon
Your statements on the skit at the end of “Can It Be All So Simple” were extremely prophetic. Did you guys always have plans for the extra ventures such as Wu-Wear, having your own artists & labels, etc?
Yes it was plans from the start to make this into a business and take over the game and that’s what we executed.
What are your thoughts on NY’s current rap scene/mainstream radio & the Maino/Trinidad James issues?
It’s coming back around I think if we just stay true to our craft and keep makin’ good music. Maino felt he had to address that in the proper way so he did what he had to do.
Do you think mainstream radio will ever get back to the ways of when acts like Wu, Boot Camp & Biggie were dominant on the airwaves or is blatantly commercial music there to stay?
I don’t think it will be the same ever again but it’s a different time and it’s politics.
What were your thoughts on the ODB hologram performing at Rock The Bells?
I thought it was ill to see him come back and people get to see him, I wasn’t there personally but I heard it was nice.
Were there any songs recorded for OB4CL that featured ODB but were scrapped?
There might of been a couple but RZA’s studio had a flood and a lot of unreleased music was in there.
Based on the pic with you and Jay Z, is there a song with you and him we can expect?
Put it like this, there will be a record in the near future between me and Hov just watch the play develop.
Any last words/announcements for your fans?
Check out my new album “F.I.L.A.” (Fly International Luxurious Art) which should be out the first quarter of next year so look out for it. It’s the best album of next year!
Any plans for “Only Built 4 Cuban Linx 3”?
Lol we’ll see what happens. If the fans want it they gotta demand it.