Few can dispute that Raekwon‘s debut album Only Built 4 Cuban Linx, more or less a full-scale collaboration with Ghostface Killah, is as timeless an album as they come. In fact, the project continues to age gracefully with every passing year, further solidifying itself as one of the genre’s most enduring releases — a must-listen for any self-respecting hip-hop head, especially those who profess loyalty to the Wu-Tang cause. With the project’s twenty-fifth birthday on the horizon, Rae and Ghost recently hit up Apple Music for a thorough reflection on the album’s creation, impact, and legacy.
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“When I made my solo album, I wanted to be one of the greats,” explains Rae, speaking with Ebro Darden on Beats 1. “Because I studied, I did my homework, I lived it. I lived in it, I seen it. And I never was a person that was a flabbergaster like that. But at some point, you got to pay attention to what’s in front of you. And that’s what I was doing. So when I had the opportunity to voice my opinion, and speak to the world from a creator position, I was like yo man, this going to be a piece of art. This going to be a piece of work that the world is going to respect, coming from a young, normal, Staten Island ni**a, you know what I mean?”
“Is like me and Rae, for some reason, he from Park I’m from Stapleton, but when we came together on this music shit, it was like I don’t know, it just fit right in,” adds Ghostface. “It was the chemistry, like I seen his mind. And a lot of the way that Rae think, is like I see it. We kind of think alike. You can’t really get nothing past us, we know when you’re trying to G us, we know the slicksters. We like a lot of the same fashion, so it was just like if I was living that way he was living that, I could see myself hanging with him.”
Be sure to check out the entire Only Built 4 Cuban Linx special on Beats 1 when it airs tomorrow — and be sure to show some love to one of the greatest albums in hip-hop history. Does Raekwon deserve more props in the grand scheme of things?