Raekwon The Chef - Only Built 4 Cuban Linx... (1995) (RCA/Loud Records)
Guest Appearances: 62nd Assassin, Blue Raspberry, Cappadonna, Ghostface Killah, GZA, Inspectah Deck, Masta Killa, Method Man, Nas, RZA & U-God.
Production: RZA & 4th Disciple.
1. Starving For Perfection (Intro) (This beat is sick...)
2. Knuckleheadz f/ Ghostface Killah & U-God - (4/5)
3. Knowledge God - (5/5)
(I get chills listenin' to this beat.)
4. Criminology f/ Ghostface Killah - (5/5)
5. Incarcerated Scarfaces - (5/5)
6. Rainy Dayz f/ Blue Raspberry & Ghostface Killah - (4.5/5)
(Blue Raspberry's voice is hypnotizing.)
7. Guillotine (Swords) f/ Inspectah Deck, Ghostface Killah & GZA - (5/5)
8. Can It Be All So Simple (Remix) f/ Ghostface Killah - (4.5/5)
(I like the original off the "Enter The Wu-Tang: 36 Chambers" album better.)
9. Shark Niggas (Biters) (Interlude)
10. Ice Water f/ Ghostface Killah & Cappadonna (5/5)
11. Glaciers Of Ice f/ Ghostface Killah, Masta Killah, Blue Raspberry & 62nd Assassin - (5/5)
12. Verbal Intercourse f/ Nas & Ghostface Killah - (5/5)
13. Wisdom Body f/ Ghostface Killah - (4.5/5)
14. Spot Rusherz - (5/5)
(Dope St. Ides commercial playin in the background.)
15. Ice Cream f/ Method Man, Ghostface Killah & Cappadonna - (5/5)
("Watch these rap niggas get all up in your gut.")
16. Wu Gambinos f/ Method Man, RZA, Masta Killah & Ghostface Killah - (5/5)
17. Heaven & Hell f/ Ghostface Killah & Blue Raspberry - (5/5)
("Medallions the size of dinner plates")
18. North Star (Jewels) (4.5/5)
Overall: 5 mics.
"YouknowhatI'msayin? Let's not think like we gon be stagnating man
Let's keep movin ahead man, keep our head up man
Take care of our families man
God, word is bond, I'm your eyes that's in back of you kid
Let's do it then
As part of the Wu-Tang Clan, their 1993 debut album, "Enter The Wu-Tang: 36 Chambers" already left a mark on Hip-Hop with tracks such as "C.R.E.A.M.", "Protect Ya Neck" and "Bring Da Ruckus." Now with Method Man's "Tical" and Ol Dirty Bastard's "Return To The 36 Chambers" already dropping, it was time for Raekwon The chef to release his long awaited solo album. He clearly didn't disappoint.
The album opens with the haunting beat of the intro, "Starving For Perfection", which includes the guest spot of the entire album, Ghostface Killah.
Probably one of the best songs of the album slowly comes up (My personal favorite), his first solo of the album titled, "Knowledge God." The beat is pure beauty, with Raekwon giving one of his personal quotables:
"Was a rich nigga, picture the nigga without dope figures
Condo with his chick, rockin a gold Vigor
Mafia flicks, tyin up tricks was his main hobby
Teachin his seed, Wu-Tang karate
Mixin drinks in clubs, hairy chest with many minks
Night time rollin with spics
Extra live, he claimed he couldn't die, top rank
Took sixteen shots in his fist to bank
And his pet piranha, he named him marijuana
Smokin ganja, callin his weed paisandra
Claimin New York was ancient Babylon
Where the sky stayed the color of grey, like her-on
I can't front though, truck loads of indo
Soon to blow slow, his ass is out now, tally-hoe."
Mafioso at it's best. More bangers set the album at its pace with "Criminology" the classic, "Incarcerated Scarfaces" and "Rainy Dayz" featuring Ghostface Killah and the hypnotizing voice of Blue Raspberry. A Wu-Tang collabo drops with Inspectah Deck, Ghostface Killah & GZA with the track "Guillotine (Swords)." GZA steals the show with his hard verse:
"The nigga don't get mad, I got mad styles of my own
And it's shown when my hands grip the chrome microphone
Verbally I catch bodies with cordless shotties
Intriguin emcees, I keep em trained like potties
I bomb facts, my sword is an axe
to split backs invisible, like dope fiend tracks
Sky's the limit, niggaz are timid, and nobody knows
How we move like wolfs in sheep clothes
Producin data, microchips or software
Undaground and off air, the Land of the Lost
Notorious henchman from the North
Strikin niggaz where the Mason-Dixon line crossed."
Underrated at best. RZA continues to keep the bangers coming with tracks such as "Can It Be All So Simple (Remix)", "Ice Water" & "Glaciers Of Ice" with appearances of Cappadonna, Ghostface Killah, Masta Killah, Blue Raspberry & 62nd Assassin of Sunz Of Man. With the album setting it's tone, one of the most known tracks off the album hits off, "Verbal Intercourse." At the time of 95, Nas is coming out of his debut classic, "Illmatic" and is already setting himself aside from others emcees and possibly the best rapper out at the time. His best guest appearances comes up on this album, and a beauty it is:
"Through the lights cameras and action, glamour glitters and gold
I unfold the scroll, plant seeds to stampede the globe
When I'm deceased, by then the beast arise like yeast
to conquer peace leaving savages to roam in the streets
Live on the run, police paying me to give in my gun
Trick my Wisdom, with the system that imprisoned my son
Smoke a gold leaf I hold heat, nonchalantly
I'm grungy, but things I do is real it never haunts me
while, funny style niggaz roll in the pile
Rooster heads profile on a bus to Riker's Isle
Holdin weed inside they pussy with they minds on the
pretty things in life, props is a true thug's wife
It's like a cycle, niggaz come home, some'll go in
Do a bullet, come back, do the same shit again
From the womb to the tomb, presume the unpredictable
Guns salute life, rapidly, that's the ritual."
DAMN! A verse like that makes it seem for sure why Nas is on so many "Top 10" list of so many Hip-Hop fans. The list of ill songs continues with "Wisdom Body" and "Spot Rusherz." The classic hit of 95 comes out, "Ice Cream." I know everybody remembers the video, with RZA in the ice cream truck, and the chicks wearin their "Chocolate Deluxe" and "French Vanilla" t-shirts, Raekwon & Ghostface spittin game to some chicks and young Shyheim dancing in the video. FIYAH!! Cappadonna steals the show with his memorable verse:
"Black chocolate girl wonder, shade brown like Thunder
Politic til your deficit step, gimme your number
Your sexy persuasive ta-ta's and thighs
Catch my eyes like highs I want your bodily surprise
Double dime some time, Ice Cream you got me fallin out
like a cripple, I love you like I love my dick size
ooh baby I miss you, your sweet tender touches
take pulls off the dutches, orgasm in my mindstate
masterbate in your clutches, I want you for self
like wealth, so play me closely
Bitches paranoia for the sting, who want the most of me
Only a hard dozen want to be callin me cousin
Thirsty for my catalog, baby shoppin spree you're lovin
Call me if you want to get dug like the pockets
I jizm like a giant break brooms out of their sockets."
Two more tracks left, with the hard hittin' "Wu Gambinos" and the sick "Heaven & Hell" track, followed by the bonus track "North Star (Jewels)."
"Now that could be the Wu-Tang production
Start to knuckle up and, gun shots start to click the block's duckin
Could it be, and would it be, that we was babies
Catchin, rabies, niggaz seem to act crazy
Day one, in my spot July the tenth
I had a mint, stickin up Devines hittin them with nines
I was toxie, from layin up in Roxie's all night
This nigga bust a shot, lick my man's wife
It was havoc I contact the Abbot
He shook the shoulder though, then he passed the phat chrome automatic
We goin to war, you know we headed to the floor
He woulda, did it, for me fuck it, let's mosie
Schemin dough, with the P.L.O., wrapped on tight
Sayin in my mic "Yo we gotta go"
My first impression was to add some lessons
Question, one, what made you even show your gun and blow the session?
He replied and rocked the green eye
And yo, he started, yellin "Them niggaz sellin two for fives!"
But he's a goner and I got my corner
What, I'm feedin my babies, Cash Rules for mortal daughters."
The Wu had this shit on lock. From start to beginning, this album is pure beauty, and is the best Wu solo album to be released. RZA sets the tone with probably his best production on any Wu solo album and is a sure spot on my Top 5 Producers Of All Time, and Raekwon's Mafioso style is yet to be match on any solo album. Guest appearances excelled deeply, and man, even the song titles were dope!! This album served to be big as, "Medallions the size of dinner plates."