Raekwon Explains How "Only Built 4 Cuban Linx" Is A "Gift And A Curse"

The Chef reflects on how the classic LP can have repercussions.

Raekwon and Ghostface Killah have been performing the former's classic 1995 debut Only Built 4 Cuban Linx at Rock the Bells 2011, but Rae explains that the album is "a gift and a curse." Speaking with MTV, the Chef explained how people get fixated on a certain style and are less willing to expand horizons.

"It is a gift and a curse, because sometimes people get stuck off of one style I got, and that's cool if that's what you love," he said. "I mean, I wanna be loved regardless by the fans because they help me pay my bills and allow me to still be here, but as long as you know what I'm capable of.

"Of course I get tired of people dwelling on that, but at the same time, that's me, that made me a Martin Luther King rap n---a, that put me in a certain box," he continued. "So if that's what you know me by, as long as you know me from the get-down side. Other than that, all I can do is keep climbing and keep growing and that's all I been doing."

Watch the interview below.

RELATED: Raekwon Updates On "Only Built 4 Cuban Linx III," Promises Kanye West Collaboration


  • j.doe

    Fat boy always had mad slang. GZA's liquid swords is my favourite of their solo albums,but Cuban links is such a dope,and conceptual masterpiece in it's own right. Wu-tang's vibe,and contribution to the culture will never be duplicated again. A truly unique brand in hip-hop.

    • Bowski

      I totally agree w/you. Rae's flashy slang and stories are epic no doubt, Ghost too and when Ghost, Rae & Cappa come together it's just that NY B-Boy kingpin magical music. But GZA's "Liquid Swords" was a thinkers album. It was just so beautiful and cinematric I just remember driving down to VA (Roanoke) from NY the whole way listening to that album in my 92 Infiniti. Till this day the song "Cold World" gives me the chills (no pun intended) and is an example of what I mean when it comes to that album. Whew!! Those were definitely the days...

  • blastmasta

    Wu has been doing good these past couple of years. All of Rae's shit has been hot and Wu Massacre was very underated, but a good album from the three members...Chamber music let us know that these individuals ain't going knowhere anytime soon

  • Doubl Negative

    With the exception of Supreme Clientele and Cuban Lynx... pt II, there haven't been many classic post Wu-Tang Forever Wu projects. I think Cappadonna's Pillage is underrated and probably went under radar because listeners had Wu fatigue in the late '90s. RZA being at helm of so many seminal albums was a huge reason to their early success,so when his beats were jettisoned for ersatz version on subsequent albums, they underwhelmed. The Heist, Sneakers, Above the Clouds and True Master showed Wu members need to fuck with legendary beat-smiths, and got that workin' the old masters; Extra P, Premo Chocolate Boy.

  • The Conformist

    One of my favorite rap albums ever, 2nd favorite in the Wu-Tang catalog, behind 36 Chambers. The album was so revolutionary on so many fronts. A lot of rappers make classics off of just hot beats and sick rhymes, but when you can do all of the above while also completely changing the game from top to bottom, you have something immortal. That is what OB4CL represents to me.

  • Marcus Dislikesmartdumbpeople Eason

    In 95' when OB4CL dropped I was 18 yrs old young and dumb...lol...2011 I am grown ass man 34 yr old with a kid so its funny to adapt to the younger generation that was in diapers or 4th grade I was getting in , ya know? I feel Rae he is like 40+ and can only give you so much coke stories, but for so long. For ever a WU fan!

  • Ali Lafayette Rhea

    No question the kid is nice and no doubt he gets busy- I'm not talking about him but Ali Lafayette Rhea. One Love

  • Most

    Great comment. It's so hard to produce a classic album in the first place. But then people expect you to do the same thing again. Cuban L1nx summed up what a lot of us were going through in our late teens to early-to-mid twenties. I personally was in the joint when the album dropped, so tracks like Spot Rusherz, Guillotinez, and Incarcerated Scarfaces were especially timely to me. Now I'm 42, and I'm not doing the same shit with 3 kids in 2011 that I was doing in '94, '95... and if I am, I'm doing it a lot smarter and more discreetly. Honestly, I haven't listened to much of Rae's music since the first Cuban L1nx cause that album perfectly captured a time and place for me. I overstand where Rae is coming from, though, so I will check out the new directions he's travelling in.

  • Anonymous

    That is true but most niggas when the switch up their style become real corny

  • Sensaye252

    Damn, Rae lookin' lean. I never seen him like that.

  • Rodrick

    Thats the thing about Hip Hop, and in some ways Heavy Metal as Well, progression and diversity are frowned upon If you make an album everybody likes, it destroys your shit because you'll never be able to make people happy again Do summin diffrent and you'll get this: "Man, fuck is this shit, I dont wanna hear this, what happen to that street shit Rae use to do, I wanna hear them coke raps, that dope boy music, fuck outta here with this bullshit!!!" On the flipside, you do that same thing over and over and you'll get this: "Fuck is this nigga doin, how many times you gonna say the same shit over and over, I already heard this on the last album, you out of ideas or what nigga, how many times you gonna sell me the same album, find some new shit to say or shut the fuck up!!!" So, one way or the other, somebody is miserable and bitching at you, no way to make everyone happy, thats why artist should just ignore the fans and the internet and do what they feel, cause regardless of what it is somebody gonna be left standing to cry about it anyway and going out of your way to make other people happy is gonna leave you unsatisfied

  • Obi Patrick

    Rae is a real nigga. I like everything he puts out because when he spits you can tell he's not playing with niggas.

  • DrewDown91

    YO RAE WHATS UP WITH THE URKEL GLASSES? OB4CL2 was as close to a repeat as anyone could ask for - BETTER THAN STILLMATIC. But that Shaolin vs. Wu-Tang could have used some editing and sequencing help from the ABBOTT. Plus, the title didn't fit, the Rick Ross "Molasses" joint was a banger but how does that fit on an album called Shaolin vs. Wu-Tang? Just don't make an OB4CL3 please.

    • Brizz

      haha anonyomous besserwissers are the best, a HUGE part of hiphop history hahahahaha, cmon son dont tell him what to think about Raes glasses, them glasses are equally a HUGE part of tv-history thanks to steve urkel. Rae made em look dope thou. Huge, hahahahahaha. haha. meh.

    • Anonymous

      They are called cazel's, not urkel glasses. And they are a huge part of hip hop culture (made most famous by Run DMC). Do ya history a bit before you comment.

  • Jason Williams

    Raekwon is the hardest working MC in the game at 40, a great example for all these lazy arse rappers of today's generation...

  • one trick pony

    who caught lightning in a bottle one time...

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