Raekwon held an intimate listening session at EMI/Capitol’s NY offices this evening (February 9th) in support of his 5th studio album “Shaolin vs. Wu-Tang. While Raekwon is known for retaining the rugged sound he first delivered with Wu-Tang Clan’s Enter the Wu-Tang (36 Chambers), this album is by far the edgiest most experimental Raekwon we’ve witnessed in years. “You can’t name an album ‘Shaolin vs. Wu-Tang and come with soft records,” the emcee stated.

“This means a lot to me, y’all worrying about my career and how I feed my family,” Raekwon told the crowd of journalists and bloggers. “It’s y’all who make me understand how long my career is.”

The title “Shaolin vs. Wu-Tang” (named after the film of the same title) might sound familiar as it was a rumored Wu album post 8 Diagrams. However, the concept never came to fruition and Rae chose to use the name for his own project. “I was the one who initiated the name anyway,” Raekwon explained.

The album boasts an all-star lineup, including Busta Rhymes, Nas, Jim Jones, Lloyd Banks, Rick Ross, Mobb Deep, and Black Thought. Wu cameos include both Ghostface and Method Man. Rae even took his sounds overseas with UK starlet Estelle on the track “Chop Chop Ninja”. “I wanted to incorporate a number of people but not have them do what they normally do,” Raekwon says. “Step into Rae’s world.” “Shaolin vs. Wu-Tang” drops on March 8th, and will have two tracks available only on iTunes: “Your World & My World” with Mobb Deep (produced by Havoc) and “Wu Crime” with GZA and Killa Priest (produced by Bt). “Hip-Hop needed another solid album,” Raekwon exclaimed.

1. Shaolin vs. Wu-Tang (Prod. Scram Jones)
2. Every Soldier In the World f. Method Man (Prod. Erick Sermon)
3. Silver Rings f. Ghostface Killah (Prod. Cilvaringz)
4. Chop Chop Ninja f. Ghostface Killah & Estelle (Prod. Bluerocks)
5. Butter Knives (Prod. Bronze Nazareth)
6. Snake Pond (Prod. Selasi)
7. Crane Style f. Busta Rhymes
8. Rock N Roll f. Ghostface Killah & Jim Jones (Prod. DJ Khalil)
9. Rich & Black f. NaS (Prod. Sean C & LV)
10. From the Hills f. Method Man & Raheem DeVaughn (Prod. Kenny Dope)
11. Last Trip to Scotland f. Lloyd Banks (Prod. Scram Jones)
12. Ferry Boat Killaz (Prod. Alchemist)
13. Dart School (Prod. Allah Mathematics)
14. Molasses f. Rick Ross & Ghostface Killah (Prod. Xtreme)
15. The Scroll (Prod. Evidence)
16. Masters of Our Fate f. Black Thought (Prod. Tommy Nova)
17. Wu Chant (Outro)

(February 9)

UPDATE: Raekwon has announced the following UK tour dates for March:

15 Edinburgh Liquid Room
16 Dublin Button Factory
17 Manchester Sound Control
18 London HMV Forum
19 Brighton Coalition