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.
- August 1, 1995 – “The Purple Tape” is released to an adoring, amazed public. Celebrations ensue across the world in which
- June 25, 1996 –
- 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,
- 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 –
- 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
-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
- :Late 2004/Early 2005 – Raekwon announces his intention to release “Only Built 4 Cuban
- November 2005 – The “first” “official” “single” for Cuban Linx II, “State Of
- 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
-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
- 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
- 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…