This Week’s Main Pick
Street King: Raekwon
Holding It Down For: ICE H20 Records
Mixtape: Cocainism Vol. 2
Real Spit: As Raekwon prepares for his Shaolin vs. Wu-Tang LP to drop later this year, the Chef said he wanted to stay in the fans’ faces.
“For me it’s like being on the street — you hustling,” he said about being active in the mixtape circuit. “You come out and you know it’s a thousand people on the block doing their thing. You gotta get in where you fit in. I might come out with a couple of extra jams just to get my name out — like, yo, give a couple of friends something for free, just to let ‘em know. ‘It’s over here. Taste that. Taste that! Taste that and let me know how you feel. Get back at me.’ I think that’s the same rules that apply to the mixtape situation.
“The title is something I thought about for a minute,” he added. “Just coming off the Cuban Linx 2 project, I still feel I’m in that same zone as far as rhyming. So I decided to come with Cocainism. It’s just raw product, B — raw product. Anything I give to the world, I just want it to be something that n—as will be like, ‘Yo, that sh– is raw.’ So that’s the word of the day. I asked my crew, like, ‘How y’all feel about the word?’ They was like, ‘It’s typical Rae slang.’ They felt it was groovy.”
Joints To Check For
“Alphabet Soup.” “I got this joint called ‘Alphabet Soup,’ ” Rae said. “I was inspired by making this record by checking out my man Papoose. I think this is probably something he did way back when his career started. To me, that made me like him a lot more. He was challenging different things. I wanted to do something from A to Z so we called it ‘Alphabet Soup’ because every letter, we came with words pertaining to that letter. If I said ‘A,’ I would say, ‘Attacking a–holes/ Assassinate ‘em with mad holes …’ Everything was pertaining to that letter. I felt that concept was something good to bug out on the mixtape.”
“City of God.” “It’s me back in my ‘Champion’ era,” The Chef explained. “It’s me rhyming a lot of strong lyrical content. When you think of a New York MC such as myself, you know what we talking about. So, yeah, I’m feeling that rhyme. That beat is underground. It’s nothing you gonna say is a commercial record. It’s me getting busy on the mic. I got inspired by the movie ['City of God']. Seeing the young n—as in certain situations where they growing up poor. It reminds me of my era — we ain’t get on, we was finding out a way where we could get on. Where we could make something happen.”
“Ms. Sincere.” “We’re talking about a broad,” the Staten Island vet said. “The beat behind us is going, ‘Wuu-wuuuu.’ I don’t know, I been hearing a lot of slow sh– with the ‘Wu’ sound in the background. I’m like, ‘It must be meant to be.’ It’s a slow record; it’s kinda of, like, in a story mode. I’m talking crazy, the beat is crazy; I’m just having fun.”