raekwon

Fall Mixtape































I made a fall mixtape for Passionweiss. Just a fun playlist of groovy jams. 

Rather than opt for songs emotive of grey scale weather, blocked-guttering and shrinking daylight hours, I’ve compiled this fall mixtape as a snapshot of music I’m currently digging. The track-list reveals 2014 was the year I delved bellbottom-knee deep into funk’s luminescent depths. Prince, Zapp, Luther Vandross, Lakeside, The Isley Brothers and Teddy Pendergrass are all here, as is the jazzy trio Steely Dan and RZA’s go-to sample inspiration Baby Huey. The lack of great rap releases this year has also provided time to trawl through synth inspired raps and to discover Moe-Man, G. Dep and Fat Pat, all of which are featured on this set. So enjoy, but don’t expect the songs to match the dampness of your surroundings. This playlist is for those wanting to continue the party indoors. Perhaps most importantly, it will inspire you to consider if a “Big Pimpin'” collaboration happened between UGK and Tha Dogg Pound, would it have caused a tear in the Thot space continuum?

Tracklist:

1) Zapp – It Really Doesn’t Matter
2) Tha Dogg Pound – Big Pimpin’ 2 (Interlude)
3) Tha Dogg Pound ft Snoop Dogg and Nate Dogg – Big Pimpin’
4) Moe-Man – Is It Like That?
5) DJ Quik – Dollaz + Sense
6) Yowda ft YG – That’s How It Goes
7) Fat Pat – Peep N Me
8) G. Dep – Doe Fiend
9) UGK – Swishas and Doshas
10) Baby Huey – Hard Times
11) The Isley Brothers – The Heat Is On
12) Steely Dan – Peg
13) Lakeside – Raid
14) Luther Vandross – I’ve Been Working
15) Teddy Pendergrass – I Don’t Love You Anymore
16) Raekwon – Hey Love
17) Prince – Time



Raekwon - Shaolin Vs Wu Tang review

4/5 Stars

After the near classic Only Built 4 Cuban Linx… Pt. II, Raekwon continues his newly rejuvenated career with a fifth theatrical project. 

Shaolin Vs. Wu-Tang is backed by producers including Alchemist and Scram Jones, who successfully emulate the classic Wu sound pioneered by the absent RZA, with booming cinematic beats and samples of kung fu classics. Raekwon’s rhymes and impenetrable slang are still as sharp as ever, but with a personal twist as he explores his stomping ground of Staten Island. The album stumbles briefly due to its length and a few poorly selected features, but Raekwon holds his own against lyrical heavyweights Nas, Ghostface Killah and surprise pick, Black Thought. 

While RZA seems to be busy with meditation and movies, Raekwon keeps the Wu-Tang movement alive with more gripping storytelling from the slums of Shaolin.

By Jimmy Ness

Raekwon - Only Built For Cuban Linx 2

5/5 stars

When you are a pre-teen it’s perfectly acceptable to love a celebrity. But if you are over 18, you are probably a creep with a restraining order.

Admittedly, I try to keep my fanboyism for Wu Tang a secret, but sometimes it just takes control. This is one of those times.

Although I’m a relatively new Wu fan, I have been looking forward to this album for a long time. It was originally announced in 2005 and is the constantly delayed sequel to the classic Only Built 4 Cuban Linx, released fourteen years prior.

Like many others, I accepted the common belief that the 90’s heyday was over and it was ring-tone rap from here on out. However, despite my worst fears, Raekwon lives up to the hype and delivers a modern classic.

Surprisingly, OB4CL2 maintains the cinematic feel pioneered by the original, but without RZA completely commanding the boards. This time around production is shared between the late J Dilla, Dr Dre, Pete Rock and Marley Marl amongst others.  

The album follows the Mafioso theme of the previous release and Rae still has the grimiest slang. The more you listen, the more you’ll uncover new metaphors underneath his cryptic wordplay.

Guests are also on point with features from Ghostface, GZA, Masta Killa, Slick Rick, Inspectah Deck, and even Cappadonna’s performance is up to standard again. I missed seeing another guest verse from Nas on a sequel to Verbal Intercourse, but lyricism is still where OB4CL2 shines.

For a fan of Wu Tang or Hip hop in general, this is a 22 track masterpiece. 

Forget Blueprint 3.

By Jimmy Ness