West and Justin Bieber started talking on Twitter a few days ago about making a remix of the Biebs’ “Runaway Love.” ’Ye suggested Raekwon get involved, and the next day, the Chef and the Louis Vuitton Don were in New York’s Electric Lady Studios knocking out verses.
“Kanye was just being Kanye,” Rae told MTV News about the session. “He was definitely excited. The energy in the room was already speaking for itself. It was time to get up and have fun on the track together. We was drinking, laughing, being normal cats. At the same time, we had a houseful of celebrities in the house as well. [Kanye] was moving through the facility checking out the studios he had. He had three studios in there.
“You had Akon in the building. Mos Def was just chillin’. Mos is a good friend of ’Ye’s,” Rae added. “You had Charlie Wilson, the legendary cat from the Gap Band. Chris Rock walked in. These are guys that really respect who ’Ye is. ’Ye’s energy is cool. He’s a normal cat. A normal Chicago/world cat. Very mature. Having a great time.”
Rae said his followers on Twitter alerted him that Kanye and JB were talking on their pages about collaborating and had brought his name up. He didn’t hesitate to let them know he wanted in.
“This is a conversation that extended from the Twitter thing,” the Staten Island general explained. “Kanye was having a conversation with Justin over the Twitter. They came up with this great idea to have me involved. I was told to check it out and see what they talking about. They was right. They was saying, ’This is something Kanye and Justin want to do.’ So automatically, first thing I do is hit them back and say I’m with it. Definitely, it created a movement. A lot of people want to see what could be the outcome to this remix. It’s definitely a hot remix.”
For the past year, most of Rae’s accolades have been coming via his raw street music, most exemplified by 2009’s Only Built 4 Cuban Linx II LP. Obviously, Rae didn’t go into the “Pyrex Vision” or “Surgical Gloves” zone with his rhymes for Bieber’s fanbase.
“All I did was ride the beat and listen to what he was singing to,” Chef said of his rhymes on the “Runaway Love” remix. “I can go basic when I want to. I can go rated R, I can go rated PG. I definitely didn’t give him anything that I thought was too hot to be spoken on by a 16-year-old. I know how to read beats, and listening to the record, I just complemented. At the end of my 16 [bars], when you do hear Justin coming, it fits and it’s a great sound. I didn’t go crazy. One thing people gotta recognize about me, I’m the Chef. I know how to make spicy food, I know how to make food that ain’t spicy. I made something that fit the criteria.
“Me and Kanye are just here to sprinkle a little bit more love on this man’s success and all our success,” he added.
Rae didn’t exactly have Bieber Fever before this collabo, but he respects the teen’s work. Chef said he recognized Bieber’s star quality and potential when he saw him perform last year. The MC hasn’t heard an entire Justin album yet, but his kids are big fans.
The “Runaway Love” remix has also sparked the opportunity for more Raekwon/ Kanye West collaborations. “We sat down and we talked about it, we talked about doing things in the future. This is just the beginning,” the Wu-Tang co-founder revealed. “This is something that was supposed to happen a long time ago. He started throwing on them tracks, ideas started coming to my head. I was like, ’If this cat produces a Rae and Ghost record, what could come out of it?’ Every album, he evolves. He’s always doing the extra, or absurd, the abnormal, but it sounds crazy.”
On Tuesday, Rae released his Only Built 4 Cuban Linx II: Gold Edition on iTunes. The set includes new songs, remixes and music videos. The project helps commemorate the 15th anniversary of his classic first Linx.
Are you excited to hear the “Runaway Love” remix? Let us know in the comments!