Raekwon Talks Cuban Linx II, Wu-Massacre, Next Solo Project

The Chef dishes on recent, current and future musical endeavors.

Wu-Tang member Raekwon sat down with Entertainment Weekly recently to discuss a number of subjects, including his most recent solo album, the acclaimed Only Built 4 Cuban Linx II.

"It just shows that hard work and dedication can lead to success," said The Chef of the sequel to his 1995 classic. "I’m glad people accepted it. It took a minute, but it was worth the wait, though…I think my heart was in the right place. My team, everybody was really coaching me to make this album the best album it could be. We just worked hard, man. Blood, sweat, and tears. I felt confident with it. I felt I could do it again. And my prayers was answered." Rae went on to explain that everyone, especially the producers, "came to the cause of making a classic."

Rae also spoke on Wu-Massacre, his upcoming group project with Method Man and Ghostface Killah, revealing that he began working on it four to five months ago. "We just wanted to make another album that really represents our brand, which is the W. When you think of Wu-Tang, we’ve been in the business for damn near almost, what, 17 years? We just want to make sure that people still know that we didn’t go nowhere — musically, passionately about hip-hop. When you get records like this, it helps keep the W flag up high. You know what I mean? Like the American flag. We gotta take care of that flag."

Raekwon likened the Wu-Tang clan to the Lakers, and said that he, Ghost and Method Man were "the MVPs of the team. We are the ones that everybody may feel like takes us to the championship. Everybody else is going to play their position, but these three are definitely going to have to control the ball at some point."

Finally, Rae also revealed that the much-talked-about project, Shaolin vs. Wu-Tang, would be the rapper's next solo album. The album has been somewhat controversial, as it was revealed around the time Raekwon vocally opposed RZA's musical direction on the Wu-Tang album 8 Diagrams, but Rae insists that it's all love. "It’s not nothing derogatory towards Wu. It’s just that Shaolin [i.e., Staten Island] is the place, Wu-Tang is the crew that came from that place. It’s like me just going back to my history of being an emcee first, before I actually became part of Wu-Tang. I always give RZA that support as far as saying he brought Wu-Tang to the table. It was his philosophy. He picked certain dudes to be part of this group, and he said, 'This is what it’s going to be called.' Before that, I was on the block. I was living in Shaolin. So this album just shows the street side of me, challenging the great side of Wu-Tang."

49 Comments

  • Drucifer1983

    Wu Tang been on fire as of late, cant wait for all these projects Does anybody else find it strange that with this whole Wu Revival goin on since last year, theres no talk of another group album?? You'd think RZA would wanna strike while the momentum was in there favor And whats GZA up to??.......He been quiet since that "Paper Plates" song dissin 50

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  • Articulate1

    Your list in order is right on the money fam. I woulda thrown Dirty's first album in there somewhere too.

    • BX T-REX

      The dumbest thing you can do, is oppose RZA. Nobody has ever done it and won. There is a REASON for that. Its not cause hes a gangsta (which he can be if you make RZA go there). Its because he's smart. How many times can Rae rap about crack in PJ's??? I already heard CREAM son.

  • R.O.D 253

    The Best of The Wu Tang Is 1.Enter the 36 chambers 2.Raekwon only built 4 cubin linx part 1&2 3.GZA Liquid Swords 4.Ghostface Ironman/Supreme Clientale/Fishscale 5.Method Man Tical 6.Wu Tang Forever IMO that's all u need

  • 4th chamber

    Ghostface is the most consistent off all time. Goin to buy wu massacre it will be dope just like chamber music and ob4cl2 was. Cny wait for that shaolin vs wu tang looks like wu bak on top once agen straight from the u.k !

  • SW PHILLY

    FUCK THAT I BEEN SCREAMING THEY NEED TO GET "BRONZE NAZARETH" ON PRODUCTION.........plus he can spit.

    • RhymnDymnd

      i disagree with yu sactown GZA's albums in my eyes get good acclaim, and yeah GZA's my favorite Rapper altogether and his albums are damn good, Pro Tools was a great record and i cant wait to get his new record this year

    • sactown

      gza was nice obfcl2 though. People talk abiut Meth, but GZA's albums don't hold up his legacy. Esp when one consideres how long he takes to make them. and he is my favorite wu mc, but his albums are never as good as his guest appearances.

  • BOOYA

    I THINK THAT WE ALL KNOW THE GZA IS BORING AS FUCK THESE DAYS. LIQUID SWORDS WAS A LIFETIME AGO. AND BEFORE OBFCL2 DROPPED YALL WOULD NOT BE ON REAS DICK LIKE THIS.HE HAD ONE HOT ALBUM 16 YEARS AGO LOL. WU TANG IS LIKE MY OLD GIRL, I USED TO FUCK WITH HER BUT THEN SHE CHEATED ON ME SO I BROKE ALL HER CAR WINDOWS OUT ANS FOLLOWED HER ON ALL HER DATES. JUST LIKE HER YOU ASSHOLES!!!!

  • JonnyBlazeTha3rd

    rushed or not, id prefer to listen to a rushed wu member album over half the shit on the radio nowadays. i watched sucker free yesterday for the first time in couple years and the shit on there is a fucking embarrassment to hip hop. period

  • JSelby

    I don't know about Rae's Lakers comment. I'm a huge Lakers fan, and I'm not a huge fan of Rae and Ghost, so let's put this in to comparison. Meth is Kobe Bryant. He's the star of the team, and while his teammates can win without him,. he's the one that keeps the engines going. RZA is Phil Jackson. He organizes the whole shit. GZA is Derek Fisher. Everybody doubts him now because of his age, but he always comes trhough when the team knows him. Deck is Pau Gasol. Always great and consistant, often times put under the radar, he's a neccesity for success. Ol Dirty (was) Shannon Brown. He provides the really necessary spark of energy into the team. He may not be the most talented guy in the world, but he lights a fire under everybody's ass. U-God is Sasha Vujajic. Everybody kind of tends to shit on him for various reasons, but he can be, and often is, deadly on point. Rae and Ghost are both like Ron Artest. They may seem like a great addition and take themselves very seriously, but in reality, they don't add quite as much to the team as everyone wants to think. Masta Killa is DJ Mbenga. Not a lot of raw talent, nor does anybody know him, but when need be, he can add a nice little verse here and there. Cappadonna is Adam Morrison. Because he sucks and nobody cares about him at all.

    • cloudyinc.

      **his contribution to other members solo albums** sorry

    • cloudyinc.

      haha cappa is hurtin. but def. disagree about masta killa only adding a nice little verse here an their; his albums have been solid. same with a lot of the other members solo. but to each his own i guess.

    • Powernupe

      Interesting and worthy analogies. I disagree with your view of Masta Killa, only because on a personal level, he's one of my favorites. You're right on point about Wackadonna.

    • Up North

      Some good points, some bad ones too. Meth definately hasn't been the one that's kept Wu's engines going. He's got one dope album to his credit, the rest are are well below his true potential. Ghost is the burning fire within the Wu. Ghost hasn't put out a bad album yet and he's put out the most albums. This dude brings so much emotion and passion with his rhymes and can tell stories with the best of them. The rest of your comments seem pretty on point tho..except for Cappa. Like it or not, he's contributed more to the Wu Tang brand than Masta Killa.

    • USD

      You wrong on Rae and Ghost they're the two best in the whole clan more like Magic and Kareem

    • JonnyBlazeTha3rd

      hahaha true bout cappa

  • sactown

    if they release this in march, i'm downloading. i'm a wu fan, but it's dissapointing to see all the good will obfcl2 built up and bringing wu back to the forefront to be destroyed by a rushed project. Please, please please, don't release this as is! i think all wu fans need to plea for this to be pushed back 3 or 4 months to get rza, allah and tru on their for at least half. def need a verse from gza. This is gonna be just like blackout 2:good while playing, but forgotten when the cd is over.

    • Powernupe

      I agree with avoiding a rush, and definately co-sign with a mix of producers consisting of RZA, Math, Tru, and Bronze Naz. I don't think there should be any guest mc's - they need to go hard on their own. As for GZA, I wouldn't mind seeing him team with Deck and Masta Killa.

  • ?

    i don't know bout that mvp shit rae talkin. to me they all equals. you always get your full wu fix when you bump anyone of their shits. it's just that rae ghost and meth seem to be the most FREQUENT and the most consistent ones out the crew.

  • ?

    i don't know bout that mvp shit rae talkin. to me they all equals. you always get your full wu fix when you bump anyone of their shits. it's just that rae ghost and meth seem to be the most FREQUENT

  • Up North

    Wu Tang has no doubt had a resurgence and I'm happy to see that. Dopium from U-God was slept on, as well as Cappadonna's Slang Prostitution, and Chamber Muzik was plain DOPE AS FUCK. They're my all time favorite group and after 17 years they still going strong. Both Rae's projects have tremendous potential, he just needs to take his time and put out the best product possible. I'm worried he may rush a little bit to capitalize off OB4CL2 success. Another Ghost album is definately needed too. WOP was dope but I'd like to see Ghost return to his formula, maybe a Supreme Clientele or Ironman II. I got a feeling Meth's best solo work is behind him. He's never really been much of a story teller, more of a fire breather who can inject some heat into a track but he's had problems carrying a entire solo album. BO2 was nice tho. Just some thoughts.

  • canal street

    lol Rae claiming MVP. it's true, but I never heard anyone in the Wu say that type of shit. Rae now has 2 undeniable classics, but he's less consistent than Meth & Ghost. I hope theyre not still callin the album '3 the hard way' cuz that shit was mad corny

  • The Ice Cold Phenom

    I am curious to see what this Wu Massacre album will sound like. I haven't heard anything that is a true head banger as of yet.

  • fmsus

    The WU-Menbers are grown up men - they can do their projects as they please. RZA created a Clan full of real characters from NY - they are hip-hop heroes. These guys are STILL the group that brought hip-hop back when shit was gettin soft. And they will do it again. They bring the old and new generations together more than that trendy onehit-wonder stuff in the radio. WU WU WU... OH, and "8 diagrams" was and is bomb material. If you want clean computer music - go buy frooty loops and start rappin about pulling hoes... PEACE

  • kpanilaryea28

    im buying this cd and the wu massacre dammit im representin the real hip hop mane!

  • selectajudge

    Shaolin V Wu-Tang is suppose to be a Wu-Tang album WITHOUT Rza production. It will only be dope IF they get they get these producers... MADLIB HI-TEK PETE ROCK MATHEMATICS JUST BLAZE DILLA (RIP) DJ SCRATCH NOTTZ And has guest verses from Nas, Andre 3000, Eminem & Busta

    • selectajudge

      RZA himself said the song he wished he'd produced most was 'You Dont Know' JayZs Blueprint that was a Just Blaze beat, would definately have DJ Scratch he's produced bangers for Busta and Red&Mef..agree with Alchemist forgot bout him. Bronze & Tru are just rza replicas - dope but unoriginal. You tellin me a guest verse from Eminem on Wu joint (and im not even a really fan) wouldnt be dope??

    • USD

      Eminem on a wu record yeah right

    • kpanilaryea28

      naw man no nottz, dj scratch or blaze. they hot but they dont fit the wu tang formula. true master, bronze, and alchemist

  • dontgiveafuck.

    each one of them are great and deserve to be called the "MVP of the group". but like RZA said once "Meth, Rae and Ghost are the prolific members of the Wu". GZA and the others are more underground uknowwhatimean ? it's like they stayed underground while some got to the mainstream anyway Wu-Tang is forever ! they're definitely among the best of the best ! fuck a drake, lil wayne, TI, g-unit, fabolous, cassidy, etc. and much love to the wu-tang, dmx, eminem, nas, the roots, mos def, scarface and all the rappers from their clothes.

  • peter cottonmouth

    GZA DOESN'T HAVE A SINGLE BAD ALBUM THE REST DO.

  • AK

    GZA was a 90s and early 2000s MVP but these three are the Generals. They've been bringing consistent heat since Enter the Wu-Tang, more than anyone else outside of The Abbott.

  • Hip Hop Junkie

    I think GZA is an MVP player of wu tang.. Liquid Swords proves it

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