In 1995, Wu-Tang Clan's Raekwon broke out on his own, releasing what was perhaps the most influential of the Clan's solo projects, the criminally conceptual Only Built 4 Cuban Linx. Two subsequent solo offerings followed, 1999's Immobilarity and 2003's The Lex Diamond Story, and since 2005, fans have been awaiting the oft-delayed sequel to Rae's stunning debut.
On Friday, the Chef served up all the delicious details for Only Built 4 Cuban Linx II. The record drops on September 8th, 14 years after its predecessor, and will square off against Jay-Z's equally anticipated The Blueprint 3 on the following week's sales chart.
"I'm a lyrical cat, man. I'll tell the fans right now: If you're not really looking for lyrics or strong content and music, I might not be the goon for you, but I'm going back to my essence," Raekwon told Rolling Stone in May. "I was hunting for good production and we came out real good with a variety of strong music that really is gonna be a classic album. I've been listening to a lot of other people's albums, and when I tell you that my album is so left field, it's gonna be lovely. The more that I think about it and I listen to other people's stuff, not trying to pay judgment on other people's shit but, at the end of the day, my shit is killing motherfucking shit."
Cuban Linx II will feature guest appearances by several Wu constituents, including Method Man, Inspectah Deck, Ghostface Killah, and GZA on "House of Flying Daggers," a track Rae likens to "Triumph" from Wu-Tang's 1997 second LP Wu Tang Forever. Deck returns on "Godfather," "Mean Streets" and "Kiss the Ring," while Meth and Ghostface team up with the Chef on "New Wu." Ghostface Killah also appears on the cut "G-hide" and "Criminology '09," a reprise of the hit single from the original Linx. Busta Rhymes steps in for the Dr. Dre-helmed "Catalina" while Jadakiss and Styles P join Raekwon on "40 Deuce." The track "Have Mercy" boasts rhymes from guest Beanie Sigel, and GZA and Slick Rick feature prominently on "We Will Rob You."
Rae told us it was important for him to recreate that classic Wu sound on his forthcoming disc, which was initially scheduled for release August 14th. "I didn't want to have one of these radio-friendly songs with the perfect hooks, my thing is that I just wanted to capture the element of real hip-hop again, like we did when we first started back in '93, and keep that legacy alive."