Exclusive – Raekwon The Chef is getting ready to launch his first memoir, From Staircase To Stage: The Story of Raekwon and the Wu-Tang Clan, later this month. With the help of New York Times best-selling author Anthony Bozza, the Wu-Tang legend dives into his tumultuous childhood and journey to Hip Hop glory with acute detail, providing plenty of previously unheard tales along the way. Thirty years into his storied career, Raekwon’s story is still being written, and there are undoubtedly many more chapters to come.
During a recent phone interview with HipHopDX, Raekwon was asked about the third installment of his critically acclaimed debut solo album Only Built 4 Cuban Linx, which was certified platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) just last February. Released in 1995, the project debuted at No. 4 on the Billboard 200 and firmly solidified Raekwon’s place in the Hip Hop history books.
After several delays, Raekwon delivered its sequel in 2009 with RZA’s production genius sprinkled all over it. Again, the album debuted at No. 4 on the Billboard 200 and was heralded another masterpiece.
Raekwon announced Only Built 4 Cuban Linx Pt. III while speaking with TIDAL’s Elliott Wilson last August on the exact same day the original turned 25. But as Raekwon told DX, fans will have to be patient.
“Right now, I’m going to give you another project before we actually give you the III,” he says. “Because the III, we’re still curating that to make it strong. But being that time is really moving, I already have something else on deck that’s going to open up the vessel for Cuban Linx III to come out down the line. So, just get ready though.”
When pressed for more details, Raekwon revealed the impending project would arrive during the first quarter of 2022.
“I have a title,” he says with an air of excitement. “The title is called Scarlet Fever. That’s the name of the title. It’s definitely going to be a dope album, but I would definitely say it’s the prelude to Cuban Linx 3 down the line. It’s going to definitely be another classic. Trust me. When I call it, it’s solid when I call it because I ain’t going to lie about it.”
Raekwon initially unveiled From Staircase To Stage in October 2020 and remains confident now is the time to tell his story.
“Being in the game for such a great period of time, I just felt it was time,” he explains. “It was all of the matter of making sure that the politics was there. I had to be able to have the right people around me to help curate this book. So like I said, it’s just all about timing.
“And I just thought that this would be the right time to drop it after such a amazing career. Even though I’m still going, I didn’t want to wait any longer with giving you guys something that could reflect who I really am outside of just the Wu.”
From Staircase To Stage: The Story of Raekwon and the Wu-Tang Clan is scheduled to arrive on November 30 via Gallery Books, an imprint of Simon & Schuster. In the meantime, check back with HipHopDX for Part II of the Raekwon interview soon and revisit Part II below.