Raekwon The Chef stays cooking. The Wu-Tang Clan rap legend just dropped a new EP titled The Appetition to let fans know he hasn’t lost a step, and to whet their appetites.
The project is actually a collaboration with Red Bull Songs and was recorded at Red Bull Music Studios.
“It’s a three-piece meal,” Rae told Hip-Hop Wired while in NYC. “We came together to collaborate with Red Bull Studios. My team knew I hadn’t been in the studio for a couple of months because we been on the road touring with the Wy for the 25th –anniversary tour].”
He added, “Sometimes when you not next to the bag, as a boxer would say, you gotta get to the gym. Red Bull Studios was the gym for me at the time.”
The Chef linked up with writers K-So Jaynes and P. Wright and producers LordQuest and Twhy Xclusive, and they were tasked with creating a few songs in three days—and they delivered. The R&B flavored “Solid Gold” is a smooth number, the rugged “Chef It Up” is classic Rae while “Shells Kitchen” sounds like the soundtrack to an ill caper.
The Staten Island native has worked with some of the game’s best rappers and producers, but always keeps an eye on the up and comers.
“I like to bring in talent from off the street and give them a shot,” says Rae. “I been there with the higher-ups and I been there with all different kinds of producers but for me I love to see what the future has to offer. So it was a perfect fit for me with Red Bull. They told me I had 72 hours to make a great project happen, and I was up for the challenge. I met the youngsters and they definitely delivered.”
Part of the goal was to document the creative process of a legend and hungry new jacks, and Rae was with it.
“Every artist wants to engage with tight producers and people that really want to win. They was so passionate, and they brought it out of me,” said Rae. “I been around higher-ups who didn’t deliver, that’s just sometimes the breaks. You listen to something, ehh, It’s not giving me a vibe, it’s not lighting up the room, it don’t feel right. I really go in with no blindfold on and just say Yo, do your thing. I remember being that guy that wanted that shot.”
The Appetition EP is out today (Jan. 17) via Rae’s own Ice H20 Records on all the usual streamers. And of course, a proper new album is also due out later this year.
“We got tons of music coming,” said Rae before diving into another boxing anology. “It was all about having a platform that we could just get Raekwon back in the swing. It’s like when you see boxers and right before the fight in their last sparring session and you like, ‘Okay, he ready to do what he need to do.’ That’s how I took this whole situation. I wanted to give my fans something they could hear from me first before I actually splash them, because we going to splash y’all.”
Part of the deal with Red Bull includes a behind the scenes mini-doc about The Appetition‘s creation. The 13-minute doc gives you a look at the process of Rae auditioning beats and locking in to record fresh new darts, which you can peep below.
Listen to The Appetition below.