As Raekwon’s seminal solo album Only Built 4 Cuban Linx turns 25 on Saturday (August 1), The Chef is celebrating the milestone with a big announcement. While speaking to TIDAL’s Elliott Wilson, the Wu-Tang Clan veteran revealed a third installment of the celebrated series is on its way.
“Twenty-five years later, right?” he said. “Listen, I feel like Al Green right now, nigga. It’s time we close that trilogy out.”
Elliott replied, “Wooo! Cuban Linx 3?” to which Rae said, “Yeah, it’s time to close that trilogy. I was holding all night. I was holding all night back to tell you that. Cuban Linx 3, baby. The trilogy. It’s over after that. It’s over.
— Elliott Wilson (@ElliottWilson) August 1, 2020
During a recent interview with HipHopDX, Raekwon equated the 1995 rap masterpiece to the iconic mobster film The Godfather.
“All of the members in the Wu could relate to it,” Rae said. “So that was important though. That was important just to sit down and make a cinematic album, not so much of an album that would give off a happy-go-lucky vibe or you might feel like you want to dance and shit. And some people may be able to dance to it, but this album was pretty much The Godfather vibe of Hip Hop to me and it felt good.
“It felt good to have my boy next to me, Ghostface, who basically comes from the same lifestyle as I come from. And we were able to sit down and concoct an idea that we both were able to respect and basically get everybody in the crew involved.”
The original Cuban Linx was intended to play like a film with Rae as the “star,” Ghostface Killah as the “guest star” and producer RZA as the “director.” Other guests included Wu-Tang brethren Inspectah Deck, Method Man and Masta Killa.
Cuban Linx debuted at No. 4 on the Billboard 200 chart and No. 2 on the Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums chart, while selling roughly 130,000 copies in its first week. The album was eventually certified gold by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) in October 1995, two months after it dropped.
The album’s sequel, the aptly titled Only Built 4 Cuban Linx Pt. II, arrived in September 2009 and debuted at No. 4 on the Billboard 200. It boasted features from Busta Rhymes, Jadakiss, Slick Rick, RZA, Meth, the late Popa Wu and Cappadonna, among others.
No release date for the next installment has been announced.