Raekwon Aims For 'Underground Award,' But Can He Make Hottest List?

Wu-Tang MC is planning a star-studded album-release party for Only Built 4 Cuban Linx II.

[artist id="1190"]Raekwon[/artist] the Chef is keeping his raps right in the kitchen. The outspoken Wu-Tang Clan member has teased us for years, telling us about his almost mythical Only Built 4 Cuban Linx II LP. Over the weekend, Rae had two more records leak from the album, and the myth is starting to feel like reality.

"10 Bricks" hits so hard out of your speakers that it could chip your tooth, and Rae pours a fresh flow all over the Dr. Dre beat on "Catalina." Rae hasn't had a breakout radio hit, but his Wu bangers might just be enough to sneak him on our 2009 Hottest MCs in the Game list. (To see what it takes to make the list, check out our Hottest MCs criteria.)

If the MTV News Hip-Hop Brain Trust factors in the quality of music first when coming up with the list, Rae has to be in the convo. He's delivering. It will be interesting to see the argument for or against the Chef if it comes down to him and a more commercially viable artist. (Don't forget his mixtapes, such as Blood on the Chef's Apron.)

Rae said he's cool with his underground status and isn't focused on mainstream kudos.

"This one ain't like that," he promised of Only Built 4 Cuban Linx II. "This one is underground all the way. [I'm] going for the underground award right now. It's going back to favoring nothing positive. This whole vibe is negative. And it's a story line. You gonna see many different stories of crazy stuff happening. It's a movie. The only jewels you may get is Pap Wu. Because how we started the second [album], how we ended the first one — it's gonna be a memory-lane lesson where you gonna really take time to listen and grab you whatever you need. Grab you a refreshment or get the right headphones. I'm recommending everybody to go out there and have the right system ready for this. If you want it the way you want it, you gotta really study it. Sometimes people don't get it the first shot. They gotta sit and really vibe with it. Like I said, this is a straight concept album."

Everyone wants to hear Rae's LP — especially his peers. He's having a huge album-release party September 8 at Santos Playhouse in New York. Tickets are only being sold in advance. Diddy has signed on to host the event, and the LOX, Busta Rhymes, Fat Joe, Jim Jones, Talib Kweli, the Roots and members of the Wu-Tang Clan are slated to perform.

"September 8, we gonna tear n---as' heads off," Rae told us.

Who do you think is the Hottest MC in the Game? Don't forget to vote from now through September 21 to have your voice heard.