Raekwon Talks About Recording His ‘Cruel Summer’ Verse

Yeah, it’s an election year but this particular issue is not up for debate. Raekwon got that one. Not the song. The album, Cruel Summer. The entire album. So help him God. No for real. The God Shallah bagged that broad on the album cover cupping her stoney boobs and put her on the h*e stroll on Shaolin. Go see her. She’s there now. We were just out there politicking with Louis Rich while he did his one, two, one two. She doesn’t even want to come back. She misses Pusha and of course Ye but she told them dudes G.O.O.D. bye. Peep what Rae had to say about it. –J. Pablo

Rae, your verse “The Morning” is still on repeat on my iTunes. How did the relationship with you and Kanye start?
Just connecting in the street and just a mutual respect for each others craft. “Gorgeous” started the [working relationship]. I was down for the get down and he knew that and he knew that I respect his production. I like that kid. He’s talented lyrically and production wise.

So he reached out to the kid for Cruel Summer?
He hit me up told me what he was doing said he needed me on it. I’m a big, big fan. He’s making a lot of progression with his music and he recognized a real MC. Because this is all know, all I know. I’m just programmed to touch shit that I feel has substance and is strong and makes me want to write and get in the car and bump that shit.

So what inspired the words you put in the verse?
Smoking some weed and I heard the beat. Heard the West Indian influence and I’m big on reggea. I’m an old reggea nigga so that sound was like amazing grace, thats all I heard.

Were you there together? Did you hear the other raps or the hook before you laid the verse?
I heard Common on it splashing so I was like ok. We wasn’t all there together but I felt the song. I was in Atlanta but I heard Common at the time so niggas was popping. I didn’t want to fuck up the record. Sometimes niggas will get on a song and fuck up the whole direction of the song. I might start writing and start all over at end because I don’t wanna stray from the vibe of it. I wanted to come in and not destroy what other people created. Some heads get on song and change direction of whole song. I just wanted to pull out my little knife on there. But the knife got like a hundred little teeth on the blade.

So you think you held back?
My pen is just like that lever on the toaster that lets you control how toasted you want your bread. Niggas can tell me “I want my shit golden brown” and I can accommodate them. I’m real calculated. Just sit with some cheeba and marinate.

What’s your creative process like? You mention weed a lot.
Weed is like 80% of my get down. Sometimes the magnetic forces pulling at you need can pull you out of that zone so I like having something to put me in my zone. But you know sometimes I like a clean studio and clarity but sometimes I like it dirty with some dirty steps to a little ass mic booth.

Ghost’s verse was murderous too. I like how your verses were still together though the songs were different?
Ghost is a welder, like I’m a welder. I ain’t surprised at nothing that Ghost do. He gon pull that blow torch out. We gotta keep up with the young boys.

Speaking of keeping up I heard Ghost has an album due out in November. Are you going to be all over that?
Ghost album, I’m not aboard everything but it’s a possibility. Tone might have a hundred songs stashed in the truck just to come back to.

Heard you on that A$AP mixtape. Homicide. Why do you think people still fuck with you guys so tough?
We just love MCing. We gonna be them old heads that’s nice, that will bust a nigga ass. That’s how we came up. We five star generals but we tryna put ten stars on there. They fuck with us, especially Wu niggas. We get a lot of support from new and old. And I got a lot a new, new niggas I want to meet at the door when they come in.