It's difficult to think of a better time for Hip-Hop albums than 1995 which blessed Hip-Hop fanatics and enthusiasts with incredible projects such as, "The Infamous" by "Mobb Deep", Tupac's "Me Against The World", and Big L's "Lifestylez Ov Da Poor & Dangerous". Therefore, it is not farfetched to perceive, "Raekwon" as one of the best MC's of all time when his debut studio album, "Only Built 4 Cuban Linx" is hailed as not only one of the best Hip-Hop albums in 1995 but as one of the best in Hip-Hop's illustrious history.
Corey Woods is who is better known as, "Raekwon The Chef" is one of the elite nine lyrical swordsmen within the Staten Island based conglomerate, "Wu-Tang Clan". The clan is often referred to as the Wu which includes, "Method Man", "RZA", "Inspectah Deck", "Ghostface Killah", "GZA", "U-God", "Masta Killa" and "Ol' Dirty Bastard". After pledging allegiance to the Wu in 1992, Raekwon would make significant contributions to the release of the crew's groundbreaking debut album, "Enter The Wu-Tang: 36 Chambers" just a year later on November 9th, 1993. The album boasted some of the Wu's best tracks in, "C.R.E.A.M.", "Protect Ya Neck" and "Bring Da Ruckus".
The incredible amounts of acclaim and success Wu-Tang received for their debut effort would prime Raekwon to release his debut studio album, "Only Built 4 Cuban Linx" that dropped on August 1st, 1995. This album defined another momentous occasion for Hip-Hop due to the project's invigorating instrumentals cultivated by the legendary Wu-Tang producer RZA paired with Raekwon's vivid and dramatic lyrical tales. The album's leading single, "Verbal Intercourse" features a rising MC in Nas that guest starred with the alias, "Nas Escobar". Ghostface Killah who also is featured as one of the leading lyricist's on the album develops alter-ego's along with Raekwon such as, "Lex Diamond" and "Tony Starks"on tracks such as, "Criminology", "Knuckleheadz", "Rainy Dayz" and "Ice Water". Method Man, Inspectah Deck, RZA, GZA and Masta Killa also provide perfectly placed guest verses on many of the album's standout tracks that include, "Wu-Gambino's", "Guillotine Swordz" and "Ice Cream".
This album would groom Raekwon perfectly for the work he would continue to create with his Wu Tang crew in their five follow up albums that include but are not limited to the platinum selling efforts "Wu-Tang Forever", "The W" and the gold certified selling, "Iron Flag". Since the release of his incredible debut album, Raekwon has released 5 projects in, "Immobilarity", "The Lex Diamond Story", "Only Built 4 Cuban Linx Pt. 2", "Wu-Massacre", "Shaolin vs. Wu-Tang" and his most recent album "Fly International Luxurious Art".
Be sure to check out some of Raekwon's best guest verses here and some of his timeless music below!