Coming off 2009’s critically acclaimed Only Built 4 Cuban Linx… Pt. II, the long-in-the-making sequel to his 1995 landmark classic, Raekwon is not wasting anytime for a follow-up.
The super lyrical Wu-Tang Clan spitter is set to drop his new release Shaolin vs. Wu-Tang, which will hit stores in September. And according to Rae, the quick turnaround is all by design.
“Right now, being that everyone respected what I did on the last album, I don’t want to have people feeling that I’m going to be away again for a long period of time,” he told VIBE. “For me, I try to stay hands-on with my hardcore base of fans and let them know, ‘Yo, I’m not going to be doing those disappearing acts like that anymore.’”
Longtime fans can expect the prerequisite Staten Island contingent on Shaolin vs. Wu-Tang as well as a few surprises.
“Method Man, Ghostface, Inspectah Deck, and GZA all appear on the album,” Raekwon says of his Wu-tang brethren. “At the same time I got some other guys involved like [The Roots’] Black Thought—I love his talent. I think that when it comes to him delivering what level I wanted to go he was the perfect man. I also have Raheem DeVaughn who sounds like Curtis Mayfield over a Shaolin track.”
When it comes to the album’s sound, Rae describes Shaolin vs. Wu-Tang as dark yet energetic. But one notable name who will not be on the project is longtime Wu musical mastermind RZA. “RZA doesn’t have to be on every album,” Rae says. “I wanted to give some other producers a chance. It’s not about beef. We can stand on our own.” —Keith Murphy