Raekwon’s Return

Raekwon-OnlyBuilt4CubanLinxIICoverBack in 1995, Raekwon of the Wu-Tang Clan released a hip-hop classic entitled “Only Built 4 Cuban Linx.” Now, 14 years later, he comes back with his highly anticipated sequel to the album called “Only Built 4 Cuban Linx 2.”

Back in the ‘90s, the hip-hop industry was at its high point. There were many fans that sat back on their porches, drove by in their cars and even hung out in the schoolyards while playing ball, as the beats blasted from their stereos.

At a time when rappers like Biggie Smalls, Tupac Shakur and Big Pun were a big deal, Raekwon and the Wu-Tang Clan became fan favorites.

14 years later, Hip-hop music is not as appreciated as it was back in the ‘80s and ‘90s, but the wait is well worth it for Raekwon fans, as “Only Built 4 Cuban Linx 2” brings back the pure hip-hop feel and swagger that was displayed a decade ago. This album has everything a hip-hop and Wu-Tang fan can hope for. The majority of the songs have that vintage feel with great lyrics and sharp beats that will keep your head bopping as you reminisce on how good the genre used to sound.

This album has a great list of producers, ranging from Pete Rock, Marley Marl, the RZA, Dr. Dre, the late J Dilla and the Alchemist, who bring that raw sound in the majority of the tracks that fans find enticing. “Cuban Linx 2” displays vintage kung-fu sound bites that introduce the majority of the tracks, which quickly dive into full motion as Raekwon spits his lyrics with a smooth flow, showing that he can still rap.

The guest appearances on this album are intriguing, displaying some of hip hop’s pure talents such as Jadakiss, Styles P, Busta Rhymes and Beanie Sigel. A surprise guest does make his way onto this album when the one and only Slick Rick appears, which is a great treat for rap fans out there. Not to mention Raekwon’s affiliates from the Wu-Tang Clan, who grace their presence on this album, such as Ghostface Killah, Inspectah Deck, GZA, Masta Killa and Method Man. This alone brings an authentic all-star cast to a vintage rap album that can be a success in 2009 with the epic flavor it displays.

The songs that stand out on this album are “House of Flying Daggers” produced by J-Dilla, which starts out a classic kung-fu sound bite featuring Inspectah Deck, Method Man and Ghostface Killah, who rap with an elusive flow over a compelling drum beat. “Ason Jones” is a touching song as Raekwon raps about the late and most popular member of the Wu Tang Clan, Ol’ Dirty Bastard.

“Catalina” has a different sound, with which Raekwon has experimented for the first time, collaborating with the world’s best rap producer, Dr. Dre.

Overall, many tracks on this album have a vintage hip-hop sound, making it a great sequel to one of the best albums to be made in ‘95. If you are a fan of hip-hop, this album is strongly recommended. It is not common that a great hip-hop album comes out, especially nowadays, however, with “Only Built 4 Cuban Linx 2,” your ears will experience greatness.

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About Nick Valente 298 Articles
At the site, I'm a music, television and graphic novel kind of guy and that's what I'll be writing for the most part. Expect some book and music reviews as well though [insert demon horns here]. I grew up in Bensonhurst Brooklyn, the same neighborhood many of the best mafia films of our day were based on, idolizing guys like Robert Deniro, Martin Scorsese and Al Pacino. I'm also a big sports fan and follow the New York Yankees immensely.

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