Apparently, Wu-Tang Clan rapper Raekwon a.k.a. The Chef has been staying true to his name. The veteran lyricist has been in the studio cooking up a new album that’s sure to satisfy the listener’s palette. The Only Built 4 Cuban Linx… creator last left us with his previous release, 2017’s The Wild, which extended his streak of well-received bodies of work filled with his one-of-a-kind luxurious, cinematic rap. But with four years having passed since that drop, he’s presently in the kitchen, putting the finishing touches on his forthcoming studio album.
“Like I said, I’ve been working,” Rae tells VIBE while chatting about his musical contribution to OWN’s David Makes Man. “Just to really hit it off the head with you and let you know what I’ve been doing, I’m finishing up this prequel album that I’m doing before I do my next album [Only Built 4 Cuban Linx…Pt. III], which is gonna be monstrous, but this one is super monstrous right here.”
In typical Rae fashion, the Shaolin rep continues to lay out the landscape of the conversation before revealing the name of the album and the inspiration behind its title and content. “This one is just to kind’ve get everybody excited,” he says. “It’s called Scarlet Fever. I haven’t introduced the title to anybody yet, but me and you, we got the opportunity to share that with the world…I just feel like what’s going on in the world right now, the temperature of everything around us, it’s like having a fever, it sways and goes many directions.”
Having had time to analyze and survey the state of the world today, Raekwon—a proponent of the excess and decadence that defined the Golden Era’s of New York—looks to bring a little bit of realism back to the table with Scarlet Fever.
“When I think of [today], everything’s ‘lit’ now, too,” he says. “It’s like, ‘We lit, we lit,’ but we still carry a scar because we’re caught up [and] into things that—at this moment of our lives—we feel is what it’s about. But there’s so much more to life outside of just the material.
“It’s principles that we gotta still live by and things like that, so I just felt like this title, it had a wicked vibe to it, the name, but it also represents, ‘Yeah, man, it’s a fever going on,’ you know? And I’ma make sure that I deliver a body of work that people are gonna love. So that’s the title name, Scarlet Fever. It’s gonna be serious.”
As far as features and production, Rae opts to keep those details close to the vest but promises that the fans are in for something very special that will get them fully prepared for his other upcoming release and trilogy closer, Only Built 4 Cuban Linx… Pt. III.
“Nah, I’ma keep it under my hat right now because I always wanna surprise my fans,” he says. “It’s been a long time since they’ve seen me do something, so I kind’ve wanna just let the tapes fly the way they’re gonna fly.”
Scarlet Fever is expected to drop later this summer.