Editorial, interview, Interviews, Main, rileysbest

Raekwon Shares His Definition Of A ‘Classic’

“If they feel that it’s a classic, that’s all that counts.” — Raekwon Raekwon’s mafioso themed opus Only Built 4…

“If they feel that it’s a classic, that’s all that counts.” — Raekwon

Raekwon’s mafioso themed opus Only Built 4 Cuban Linx turns 22 today. Earlier this year, I had the opportunity to interview the iconic Wu-Tang Clan member; the following was an unreleased portion of our conversation, which I’m sharing in honor of the project’s anniversary.

“When I think about records like Only Built 4 Cuban Linx, I think [people] loved it because they didn’t have to rewind or fast forward,” Rae told me while discussing his debut’s impending 22nd anniversary. “You could just play it right through and be comfortable … to me, that’s a trait that defines classic music. When you can sit in the car, listen to it and be like, ‘Damn, I didn’t have to touch it or keep fucking with the records’ … you can just let it bang.”

“It’s just well-rounded,” he continued, discussing the album’s overall composition. “To me, that’s what represents a great album, when it’s well rounded. You’re giving everybody a piece of you, and everybody can appreciate the sequencing, the composing, the skits, the funniness, the happiness, the emotion.”

One of the most charming things about OBFCL is that, while the singles were massive, the project truly came together with a cohesive listen. “I think I was always designed to make albums anyway, and not just sit on singles,” Rae said with a laugh. “When it came to Cuban Linx, it had dope singles on there, but it was the album that made it a classic.”

“Look at the cleverness, the wow, the fun, the emotions, and the seriousness. I feel like that’s what makes you have a classic; when you’re able to give everybody all of that at one time, and not just keep doing the same shit. That’s my definition of it, but you know, it’s all about the music, man. You’ve got to make music people can relate to, and give them the best of you.”

“If they feel that it’s a classic, that’s all that counts.”

You can read my original interview with Rae, here.

Riley here — father, artist, videographer, professional writer and SERIOUS hip-hop head. I'm a member of the Universal Zulu Nation, and I think everything is better on vinyl. Add me on Twitter! @specialdesigns
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Texas’ Lil X Is Ready To Takeover As The ‘New Kid on the Block’

The rapper Lil X, born in El Paso, Texas, is crafting an undeniable path to the top right now. Young,…

The rapper Lil X, born in El Paso, Texas, is crafting an undeniable path to the top right now. Young, rowdy, and popular, he is achieving viral attention with his new project, New Kid on the Block, and the project’s breakout hits, “Galaxy” and “Bands All Done”. On the verge of becoming a social firestorm, we sit down with the star on the rise to get familiar with who he is, where he’s from, what he’s about and what he has in store.

[AAHH]: What was it like growing up where you are from?

[Lil X]: It was fine, I got to do what I wanted. El Paso is right on the border of Mexico so there is lots of tradition and mixed culture.

Has your family been supportive of your career?

Yes my family has been supportive and I know they are trying to understand what I’m doing and one day fully learns what I’m creating and what I’m making.

If you had to choose one record for someone to listen to from you, what would it be?

Greatness, its uplifting and gives off a different feel. I personally say most people would enjoy this song.

Was “New Kid on the Block” your debut project or can new fans find more of your catalog elsewhere?

It was mostly my debut project but im going to be releasing more music soon.

Can you describe the creative process behind “New Kid on the Block”?

Well I sat down in my room and I played the beat and found were the words would fit and then created the correct melody and bam I took out each song one by one.

What are the singles from your latest project?

Galaxy, Pouri’n, and Bands All Done.

Any notable producers you are working with or want to work with?

I think Reazy Renegade is a great producer I work with. I would like to work with Molly Raw and Muder Beats in the future.

Any big-name features in the vault that we could expect anytime soon?

I have a couple of people that I’m talking with but I don’t want to give them up yet.

You’re only 16 so we wanted to ask you a random question. Can you name 5 Lil Wayne records? If so what are your favorite 5?

Yes I’m going to go with How to love, A Milli, Mona Lisa, 6 Foot 7 Foot, and Lollipop.

If you could choose 3 people to be on your next project who would it be?

I would probably go with Tavis Scott, Lil Skies, and Lil Uzi Vert.

Any label attention or calls right now?

I have a lot of different things happening and I’m looking for my best options before I sign to anything.

For more on Lil X, follow the rising star on Instagram.

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Akhil Sesh – “Amazing”

Akhil Sesh is back to debut a brand-new visual in the form of “Amazing.” It’s a slick record on which…

Akhil Sesh is back to debut a brand-new visual in the form of “Amazing.” It’s a slick record on which Akhil glides across the uptempo, percussion-driven production, displaying his knack for melodies and songwriting, as his lyrics come to life across the rooftops of the city, all adding up to one “Amazing” song and video.

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Jazz Regal – “Lifetime”

Jazz Regal is likely a new name to your radar, but he’ll surely catch your attention with his newest effort…

Jazz Regal - "Lifetime"

Jazz Regal is likely a new name to your radar, but he’ll surely catch your attention with his newest effort Lifetime. It’s a short but sweet project on which Jazz’s gritty tone and vocals lead the way for his hard-hitting, reflective rhymes, adding up for a well-crafted listen from start to finish. Give it a spin here, and look out for more from him soon!

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D-Brown & 30 Boy Will Ooze Chemistry On “Full Court Pressure”

D-Brown and 30 Boy Will — two artists on my radar — have absolutely found a way to make an…

D-Brown and 30 Boy Will — two artists on my radar — have absolutely found a way to make an overcrowded lane feel like an empty highway. Their latest collaborative effort Full Court Pressure landed across my desk this week, and I’ve been cranking it ever since.

The vibe is very familiar sonically. Hard beats that remain extremely cohesive, keeping the project fairly levelled — making for a skip-free top to bottom experience, without having to readjust yourself. The sub category the duo fall into often have a tendency to keep the thematic elements of their projects quite predictable. While these two do pick the low hanging fruit at a few points (for lack of a better analogy) there is this undeniable rawness in their bars … an almost explosion of authenticity that trumps much of the fabricated storytelling new jacks have made trendy.

It’s an aura reminiscent of Jeezy in his heyday.

At a solid seven songs (with very little fat to trim) the project is an easy listen — but offers a hearty meal for those craving some substance to go along with their playlist-ready bassy beats.

There are plenty of gems here. The aptly titled “Official” was one that I immediately found myself running back a few times — as I did with the look-at-me-now vibe of “Bag Today.” The obligatory but tastefully flipped song about the females, “Preferences,” sees the two professing their taste for women with money and things of their own (among other assets).

One of the shiniest moments on the project is the infectious “Memphis,” which sports a chorus from the LP’s sole feature — the older brother of Juicy J and the co-founder of Three 6 Mafia, Project Pat — helping segue the two incredible verses by D and 30.

The track has been my most played this week (it wasn’t even close).

Their chemistry is undeniable and their ear for the perfect production to complement their tales of perseverance, street life and subdued (but still prominent) themes of opulence are on full display. While the two can really rap, it doesn’t feel like past tense, but rather present tense play by plays.

“Money doesn’t make you real,” D laments in the intro of “Official.” It’s this mantra of keeping it 100 and letting it speak for itself that drives Full Court Pressure. Cue it up, press play and enjoy.

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