My first proper introduction to Raekwon as a solo artist, believe it or not was from the samurai scene off “The Boondocks” (Season 1, Episode 4). “Guillotine (Swords)” was the track, and I was floored. This will probably be a dead giveaway that i’m pretty young and didn’t grow up in the 90’s.
RZA’s gritty and dark production caught my attention at first, but more impressive were the verses. Raekwon, Inspectah Deck and Ghostface Killah all slayed the track. This is one of seventeen tracks, and all the other ones are equally as impressive. From the soulful sample on Rainy Dayz to the beautifully produced “Heaven and Hell” to Nas’ verse on “Verbal Intercourse,” this album had it all.
It is still regarded as the best of the solo Wu-Tang releases, along with GZA’s “Liquid Swords” and Ghost’s “Supreme Clientele” but there’s something about “Only Built 4 Cuban Linx” that makes it stand out over the rest. The production is soulful and melodic yet gritty, both Raekwon and Ghostface sound menacing, fearless. I miss this aggressive attitude in hip-hop, I think that Wu-Tang represented that perfectly and are ambassadors of Mafioso/gangster rap. Wu-Tang forever.
Raekwon & Ghostface “Only Built 4 Cuban Linx” 20th Anniversary Tour In Chicago