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It took at least four years for Raekwon to finally drop Only Built 4 Cuban Linx… Part II. The sequel to the Chef’s critically acclaimed classic debut, Only Built 4 Cuban Linx… (aka “The Purple Tape”), at one point was going to be delivered via Dr. Dre’s Aftermath Records. Fortunately for us (think: Detox), although Rae maintains that he is still the best of friends with the good doctor, the Wu-Tang rapper wasn’t too keen on signing on the dotted line if he wasn’t going to get the attention he felt he deserved.

“I don’t ever want to jump into anything with anybody,” Raekwon told Hip-Hop Wired. “We always said that if nothing don’t come out of it, we still have our relationship as peers. That meant a lot but I didn’t really sign to anything because I wanted to be with a family that I felt really, really cared.  It had to be more than just the paper. It had to be the belief…that big brother support. Whether it was a political perspective or whether it’s you and me in the studio. I felt like, Yo, I earned that. It just didn’t tag out like that and that’s when I started to say, You know what, I want to create a new way to do what I like to do.”

Instead, Rae dropped OB4C2, which was a critical success, via his own Ice H20 Records in late 2009. Now the Wu-Tang rap icon keeps a spot in Atlanta, has an office in Canada, has recruited artists like JD Era into the Ice H2O fold and keeps dropping heat (i.e last year’s Shaolin vs. Wu-Tang and the recent Unexpected Victory mixtape). Keeping Wu-Tang money all up in the family has its benefits.


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Photo: Hip-Hop Wired