In 1995, Raekwon made his slick ascent to rap's summit by articulating through rhyme a quintessential New York dream: that years of frustration from growing up in high-rise, low-budget, pissy-stairwelled projects could be transformed into cash and celebrity. So effective was his slang-splattered, crime- and drug-addled wordplay that his gem of an album, Only Built 4 Cuban Linx..., not only influenced rap royalty (Jay-Z and Nas), but it also became his audio albatross. Raekwons follow-ups (Immobilarity and The Lex Diamond Story) wilted under Linxs brilliant glow, and every fresh rumor of an official sequel was quickly consigned to the same netherworld as Dr. Dre's eons-in-the-waiting Detox.
But now, 14 years later, the Wu-Tang Clan's slang-master general is ready to follow Only Built 4 Cuban Linx... Pt. II through to fruition.
"I moved to Atlanta four years ago," Raekwon says in his familiar husky timbre while driving home from Virginia. "I came down here from Staten Island, New York, to get peace of mind, to constantly see growth in my life. I lived in New York for so long but I wanted to see more, you know what I mean? Atlanta's a party scene, but for me it's spacious and I wanted to raise my kids in a way to give them the opportunity to come outside and get some fresh air and focus. I grew up in a different time and wasn't fortunate enough to see past the ghetto, but now I can do that for my kids."
(Photo courtesy Mac Media)
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