By Elliott Wilson, Founder and CEO of RapRadar.com
I’m pleasantly surprised that Raekwon made the list of MTV’s Hottest MCs. At times, it can be hard for me to objectively judge Rae given that in many ways, I feel like we came up in this game together. I was in the studio with him when he recorded his verse for Mobb Deep’s “Eye for an Eye,” and that “article in Rap Pages” he refers to in “Incarcerated Scarfaces” bears my John Hancock.
I had the first Cuban Linx on an advance cassette before it was packaged as a purple tape. Back in ’95, I immediately recognized what a classic it was because I literally couldn’t stop playing it. After the failures of its follow-ups (Immobilarity and The Lex Diamond Story), I was strongly against the idea of Rae making an album called Linx II. How could he ever top an album of that magnitude? Even though I feel the end result falls short of classic status, it is unquestionably one of the year’s strongest albums. “10 Bricks” bangs like a boomin’ system. I fiend for a second verse on “Pyrex Vision.” “Ason Jones” is so sincere. “Kiss the Ring” serves as the perfect majestic ending. Here’s a toast to Rae for reclaiming his legacy and for MTV and the crew at 1515 Broadway for recognizing it.