Saturday, November 21, 2009

Raekwon: Only Built 4 Cuban Linx...Pt. II

Artist: Raekwon
Album: Only Built 4 Cuban Linx...Pt. II
Date Released: September 8, 2009
Genre: east coast rap, hardcore rap, gangsta rap
Rating: 8.7
Corey Woods, better known by the stage name Raekwon, is an American rapper and a member of the Wu-Tang Clan. He released his solo debut, Only Built 4 Cuban Linx..., back in 1995, and has continued recording solo and with the Wu-Tang Clan since then. This year, Raekwon released the much anticipated sequel to his critically acclaimed debut with Only Built 4 Cuban Linx... Pt. II.

Like the original, the album follows a crime-laced cinematic approach. Lyrically, the concept follows the story of a mafioso crime boss and is told primarily from the third person perspective. It is combined with carefully placed skits weaved into the beginnings and ends of songs. The lyrics are raw, honest and very explicit -- not for the feint of heart.

The album is laced with incredible talent, both from the production and performance side of things. Featured members include RZA, Ghostface Killah, Jadakiss, Cappadonna, Pete Rock, the Alchemist, and even Dr. Dre. Raekwon also weaves in some incredible samples, including Elton John's "Goodbye Yellow Brick Road" on "Kiss the Ring," Odetta's "Hit or Miss" on "Penitentiary," and Styx's "Castle Walls," on "Surgical Gloves."

The only word that seems to do Only Built 4 Cuban Linx...Pt. II justice is epic. The performances are spectacular and the production is remarkably creative, diverse and tight. Definitely the not-to-be-missed rap album of the year.

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