"Dedicated To The Winners & The Losers..." - Raekwon

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

A Brief History Of Raekwon's Only Built 4 Cuban Linx II (1995 - ????)

"This Better Be The Cover..."

For the benefit of those who only started listening to hip hop six years ago, Raekwon’s seminal masterpiece “Only Built 4 Cuban Linx” aka “The Purple Tape” is considered in some circles (some would say the correct circles or the “perfect” circles if you will…) to be the greatest crime rap album ever recorded in the history of mankind…ever. If there is such thing as a perfect rap record than Raekwon and his partners-in-beats-n-rhymes, RZA and Ghostface, perfected it. The record red-defined cinematic crime narratives in rap music and was the perfect culmination of… you know what? You’ve heard the record. I’ve heard the record. It’s awesome. We know this. Let’s move on for a second.

After it’s August 1995 release, Raekwon has spent the next fourteen years doing his best to slowly ruin his legacy after releasing such a seminal record by releasing two massively “underwhelming” follow-up records, making a run at Big Pun’s all-time fattest rapper record and securing the title of the “worst beat picker alive” this side of a Nasir Bin Olu Dara Jones’ record. Rae has promised to rectify his rapidly declining stature in the hip hop world by releasing the uber-anticipated sequel to his debut record, “Only Built 4 Cuban Linx II. Unfortunately, label politics, Dr. Dre’s legendary laziness, and Rae’s insatiable hunger for Kentucky fried, chocolate covered ham sandwiches have prevented “Cuban Linx II” from seeing the light of day. Every few months, rumors surface of this apparent “Wu-Tang Democracy’s” undeniable genius and murmurs of it’s imminent release leak onto the internets but alas, something inevitably goes awry and another year passes without the record blessing our iTunes. Recently, Rae has released the monster new song, “Wu Ohh!”, allegedly the new single from the record which has raised interest that the record may exist and not be some fantastic delusion in Corey Woods head. I thought in celebration, I would look over a brief history of “OB4CL2”’s existence on this earth and present it to you my loyal readers. Let’s see if we can learn something.


- August 1, 1995 – “The Purple Tape” is released to an adoring, amazed public. Celebrations ensue across the world in which Rae, Ghost, and RZA are hailed for their undeniable genius. Biggie gets his feelings hurt. Cheap imitations flourish. Sales Of John Woo’s “The Killer” sky-rocket. Oddly enough, the record only sells about 500,000 copies. Apparently, Napster was ruining records even before it’s own creation. At least, that’s what the RIAA will have you believe.

- June 25, 1996 – Shawn Corey Carter releases “Reasonable Doubt” to a mostly indifferent public. About ten years later, a whole bunch of people deeply infatuated with Jay-Z’s nuts will start frontin’ like they actually listened to Jigga in ’96 and will start erroneously claiming that this record changed the face of hip hop instead of Rae and Ghost. Ignore them, they’re responsible for this monstrosity.

- September 1998– I start high school.

- November 16, 1999 – Raekwon releases his sophomore album, “Immobilarity” (an acronym for something too retarded for words), to the extreme disappointment of every solitary human alive. Apparently, Rae thought it would be a good idea to replace RZA with such surefire “Hall of Shame” producers like the Infinite Arkatechz and Triflyn and Ghostface with the legendary weed carrying force, the American Cream Team. Nobody associated with this record escaped with a career alive.

- January 25, 2000 - Ghostface Killah unleashes “Supreme Clientele” on an unsuspecting public, eventually becoming the consensus “Album Of The Decade”, and leading to the first round of public “Gee, maybe ol’ Raekwon had less to do with Cuban Linx’s success than we thoughts”….

- Nov. 2001 – George W. Bush is “quasi-kind-of-sort-of-maybe-but-not-really” elected to the position of “Our Country’s Glorious Leader” by the Supreme Court.

- 2001 – Rumors about a possible sequel to “Cuban Linx” start to manifest for the first time as the original title for Ghost’s upcoming next album come to light. Ultimately, the album manifests itself as “Bulletproof Wallets” which is probably a good thing since any potential sequel to “OB4CL” that features a Carl Thomas song automatically equals an EPIC FAIL. “The Forest” and “Strawberry” were fuckin’ wicked, though.

-September 11, 2001 - Jay-Z releases “The Blueprint”, the other consensus “Album Of the Decade”. Also, some towers fell.

- 2002 – Tray starts listening to rap music.

- December 16, 2003 – “The Lex Diamond Story” is released to the shock of everybody who assumed Rae’s “Wu-Gambino” name was actually Lou Diamonds like it said in the damn liner notes of the original album. Once again, RZA was apparently too dusted to show up but Ghostface partakes in on some of the action which saves this record from being a complete waste. Only sort-of a waste but not a complete one. An important distinction, folks!

- :Late 2004/Early 2005 – Raekwon announces his intention to release “Only Built 4 Cuban Linx II” to the world! Wu-stans and fanboys rejoices in an orgy of ecstasy and self-delusion! And then nothing happens…

- November 2005 – The “first” “official” “single” for Cuban Linx II, “State Of Grace”, is released to the public. It has Al Pacino samples, it has RZA, it has Raekwon sounding focused. It’s totally awesome in every way, humanly possible. And then nothing happens…

- January 2006 – Raekwon inexplicably announces that RZA and Busta Rhymes will act as executive producers to the confusion of everybody because since when is coke rap and Busta Rhymes remotely synonymous. Five months later, when Busta Rhymes drops a fuckin’ coke rap album to the bewilderment of everybody who owned “The Coming”, this development will seem less strange and more ominous to everybody concerned. And then nothing happens…

-May 2006 – I complete college and move to New York.

-June 2006 – Raekwon signs with Aftermath Records following the less than hallowed footsteps of Rakim, Eve, Bishop Lamont, Joell Ortiz, Stat Quo, RBX, Truth Hurts and Hitmann and promises to drop “OB4CL2” in 2007 under Dre’s supervision. Hip hop fans cream their pants in anticipation but like the aforementioned unfortunate souls, Raekwon proceeds to fall victim to Dr. Dre’s irrepressible need for steroids. And then nothing happens…

- January 2007 – Raekwon drops “My Corner”, the “second” “official” “single” off of the album. The joy this song brings to my ears is immense but as with the first song nothing happens afterwards…

- November 2007 – Ghostface completes his unprecedented run of back-to-back-to-back-to-back classic albums with the release of “The Big Doe Rehab” basically cementing his status as the rightful creative genius behind the original version of the album. Nobody even bothers to complain…

- 2008 – Raekwon is dropped from Aftermath. As if that wasn’t going to happen.

- Late 2008 – Raekwon pinky swears that “Cuban Linx II” exists and is not just a concoction of his own fevered imagination. He promises that it will come out in March 2009. And then nothing happens…

- Nov. 2008 – After 15 years, Guns-N-Roses releases “Chinese Democracy.” It’s mostly mehhh. We also elect a black president. Pigs learn to fly.

- Feb. 2009 – Raekwon releases “Wu-Ohh!”, the third “yes-we-are-serious-this-damn-time-please-believe-us” “official” “single” for “Only Built 4 Cuban Linx II.” It’s awesome as per usual. And then nothing happens…

- And then nothing happens…

Monday, February 9, 2009

No Words... Come Clean Edition

Wow. I'm honestly shocked. I never thought I'd see the day that a player of A-Rod's caliber would openly admit to using steriods so this is a bit...let's just say "surprising." I still think the proper response when the media decides to get on their high horse about these things is to absolutely refuse to apologize on any grounds whatsoever because you shouldn't have to apologize to people you don't know for things that don't concern them. Michael Phelps should have collectively told everybody who was "deeply disturbed" by his completely harmless experimentation with a bong at a party to shove it up their asses.

Personally, if I ever I get famous enough where I get caught in a situation where the media demands for a public apology after I'm found in a Las Vegas hotel room with a under-aged prostitute and my face buried in a mound of cocaine Scarface-style that I will not be holding a tearful, contrite press conference with my wife and kids looking utterly mortified standing next to me. In fact, I look forward to making things unequivocally and exponentially worse when I not only refuse to apologize but I hire private investigators to look into the lives of anybody who writes some hypocritical, masturbatory exercise in self-righteousness about me in a newspaper and proceed to air out their dirty laundry in a national televised interview with Katie Couric. This is the proper response for celebrities when they get involved in a meaningless "scandal." Celebrities do not owe us anything. If I were to get caught in a scandal like that, I would apologize to my friends and family for letting them down but I'm not apologizing to some strangers for shit that does not concern them nor do they really care about. However, I would pledge my undying devotion to any person who ever pulled a stunt like that in real life. I respect that level of misanthropy in a human being.

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Black J - Fall Back/We Comin' (Produced By Soul Klap)

"Mmmm, the sweet, seductive sounds of nepotism..."

Black J (or as I know him better as my lil' brother's friend, Jerrell Johnson) of the Cleveland-based rap group, Divine Minds, is an aspiring rapper out of my hometown, Shaker Heights, Ohio (that's where Kid Cudi, Molly Shannon and Paul Newman is from, y'all!) and he's readying to release his debut album, "The Quan", with fellow Cleveland-based producer, SoulKlap. Now, I don't normally promote friend of mine's music on my site as a policy since I wouldn't want Tray or the likes screaming about nepotism (nor would I really want to subject my friends to everybody's least favorite comment whore. I'm thoughtful like that...) but when I heard the lead two singles of the album, "We Comin" and "Fall Back", I got extremely enthusiastic about their upcoming project. These two songs sound like vintage Dilla and Black J himself is a nimble, talented wordsmith. Although, I'm not sure why they would want to name their debut album after one of Nas' least favorite pot smugglers (maybe they're just big Street's Disciple fans), this shit gets a definitive co-sign from yours truly... and as we all know, a co-sign from the Good Doctor Zeus is tantamount to saying your music is classic.

Black J & SoulKlap - Fall Back:

Black J & SoulKlap - We Comin':

Bonus Nepotism: Nico The Beast - Dinner Is Served Vol. 1 Mixtape (Download)

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Stay Tuned...

"It's Sort Of Hard To Believe That These Dudes Got Swallowed Up By These Beached Whales..."

So where have I been the last month? Did I lose my indomitable will to hate on shit and retire? Did I get assassinated by crazed Lil' Wayne stans? Was I abducted by Martians? Was I abducted by Martians who were Lil' Wayne stans? Did I start obtaining frequent sex? No. I just have been a victim of one of the worst cases of post-New Year's malaise that I have ever had the privilege of being afflicted with. Plus, it's January and there has not been a significant release of new music thus far so I really haven't been motivated to listen to new music. (Plus, I purchased an X-Box 360 so Gears of War and Call Of Duty have been eating a significant portion of my free-time. We all have our priorities, people! I choose to live the life of a loser fuck-up. If I could I would totally make sweet, slow passionate monkey love to my newly acquired love of my life if not for fear that my genetic material might cause the CD tray to stick...yeah, I went there...) But for those that are interested here's some things that I have been doing since I began my month-long sabbatical.

- Since I'm never going to finish my "Year End Hate Off Spectacular" since I'm being incredibly lazy and it's like a month past being remotely relevant. Here is the list of my favorite albums of the year:

1. Wale - The Mixtape About Nothing
2. The Knux - Remind Me In 3 Days...
3. Elzhi - Europass
4. Raphael Saadiq - The Way I See It
5. The P Brothers - The Gas
6. Kanye West - 808s and Heartbreak
7. The Roots - Rising Down
8. Q-Tip - The Renaissance
9. Killer Mike - I Pledge Allegiance To The Grind 2
10. eMC - The Show
11. Nas - The N**** Tape
12. Erkyah Badu - New Amerkyah Part One (4th World War)
13. Black Milk - Tronic
14. Ludacris - Theater Of The Mind
15. The Game - L.A.X.
16. Kidz In The Hall - The In Crowd
17. Portishead - Third
18. Termanology - Politics As Usual
19. Crooked - The Block Obama: Mixtape For The Streets
20. Statik Selektah - Stick 2 The Script

- I have been listening a lot to Group Home's "Livin' Proof" lately. Really, really dope but in a completely inexplicable how the hell did this remotely happen manner. What does Malachi the Nutcracker exactly have on Primo that made him lace his no-talent ass with "The Realness?" I've narrowed it down to the either gay sex photos or Malachi must have whacked Primo's jump off for him? Only explanation. Has there ever have been a collection of worse emcees to inexplicably make a classic than Group Home? I'm sure Noz would know.

- I almost died. Seriously. In fact, I probably should have died in what should have been a fiery, murderous clusterfuck of a car crash but instead managed to escape to hate on shit for another had to spend the night in an abandoned diesel fuel station in bumblefuck Pennsylvania. The day after I wrote my last drop, I was driving home for Christmas back to good ol' Shaker Heights, Ohio when an unexpected ice storm hit in hour ten (of what should be a seven hour drive) around 11:30 pm of my trek back home. This normally would not be a problem but the Gods of Earth-616 decided that I had not suffered enough in my twenty-five years of existence so they planted a blue Ford Explorer and an idiot of driver in my path. Literally. As I was driving along on the highway bumping Ludacris' "Word Of Mouf" of all things at volumes not recommended for future use of hearing, one of the dregs of society inexplicably decided that the safest place to wait out this ice storm was to PARK in the middle of the left lane of the highway. Yes, some asshole decided that it would be a good idea to idle his fucking car not on the side of the highway but on...the...motherfuckin'....highway! I being of sound mind and body slammed on my breaks with an furiousity not seen since Fred Flinstone piloted his vehicle around Bedrock but curiously, my car did not take that well to the ice on the ground and decided that it needed to perform doughnuts across traffic. Temporary insanity and panic ensued.

To make a long story short, I ended up in a ditch on the opposite side of the road but miraculously, neither my car or myself was seriously damaged. After a kind truck driver helped me get my car out of the ditch and back onto the road, I decided that I was not going to attempt to drive any further so I attempted to find a motel but this being god-the-fuck-knows-where Pennsylvania, I could not find anything and the roads had gotten so bad that I was close to losing control of my vehicle going five miles an hour, I peeled off and spent the evening in an the aforementioned diesel fuel station across from the shatted remains what I can only imagine was the inspiration for the Bates Motel thinking I was going to get stabbed to death by Jason Voorhees. Needless to say, if I ever meet the douchebag who parked in the fucking highway. a tire iron is going to be not-so-gently introduced to your rectal cavity.

- The nominations for the Oscars this year are even more bullshit than usual. None of my three favorite films this year ("The Dark Knight", "Wall-E", "The Wrestler") were nominated in favor of five films that I'm pretty sure all suck in some degree or another. Granted, the only film that I saw that was nominated was "Milk", a film I thought was thoroughly average but all of these films reek of the calculated Oscar-bait, movie studios turn out in order to cover up the fact they are more interested in making shitty romantic comedies starring Cameron Diaz and McDreamy than making anything remotely interesting.

- Rick Ross vs. 50 Cent... Sigh...

- A new post will up about something of substance soon but for the time being you'll have to live with the fact that I'm not dead. Stay Tuned...

- Listen: Capone-N-Noreaga - Stay Tuned (Interlude)