Raekwon

Raekwon

The veteran rapper talks The Red Bulletin through the five albums that have had the most impact on his career

Corey Woods was 23 when he rose to hip-hop stardom almost overnight. As Raekwon, he and his eight comrades-in-arms in notorious New York crew the Wu-Tang Clan merged Shaolin mythology and street rap to create the stunning 1993 debut Enter the Wu-Tang (36 Chambers). Two years later, Raekwon’s mafia-rap solo debut, Only Built 4 Cuban Linx …, also became a classic of the genre. Today, the 45-year-old father of two finds inspiration in art and fashion, hence the title of his new album, Fly International Luxurious Art.

“All About you” ft. Estelle appears on Raekwon’s upcoming release Fly International Luxurious Art

1 Marvin Gaye - What’s Going On

“Marvin had a lot on his mind when he recorded this in 1971, and with this album he was challenging his thoughts. I can relate to that. I’m always looking at the future and asking myself, ‘What am I going to do next?’ So listening to this album gives me inspiration. I’ve loved soul music ever since I was a kid, but this record is special to me. It’s like a vitamin: I feel like I need it as often as possible.”

2 Eric B & Rakim - Paid In Full

“I feel this album kind of raised me, because Rakim was talking about things we were going through when we grew up. He spoke to us; he wrote anthems of the street. The record came out when I was 17 and Rakim was a few years older, but the guy was ahead of his time. He was Muhammad Ali at a young age, lyrically. This album will always sound good. It’s one of the blueprints of hip-hop.”

Mary J Blige - My Life

“This album made me respect women more. As young men, we respected women, of course, but we never took the time to listen to them; I would lose a chick in a minute if I felt like she was getting on my nerves. So when Mary came up with this album, it gave me a new perspective of what women go through. It made me realize women are the backbone of everything, so we got to treat them like queens.”

Stevie Wonder - Songs In The Key Of Life

“Stevie’s genius is making music that stands the test of time. I discovered this through my parents, and even as a kid I was fascinated by his music and lyrics. His imagination is so vivid; for somebody who can’t see the world, he knows everything about it. A while back, I met him at an awards show. I was so scared of talking to him, but he was so humble. Best thing was, he knew about the Wu-Tang!”

Wu-Tang Clan - Enter The Wu-Tang (36 Chambers)

“If this is about albums that had an impact on my career, I have to mention this one. It opened the doors for all nine of us MCs, and I think it became a greater album because of the distance it went. We still perform it live, and when we play ‘Wu-Tang Clan Ain’t Nuthing Ta F–k Wit,’ the energy goes through the house. It will always penetrate clubs, because it’s the energy that my boys bring to the table.”

Go BEYOND THE ORDINARY, be inspired every day, and dive deep into the world of The Red Bulletin:

The Red Bulletin AppRead brand new stories anytime and anywhere on your mobile devices

The Red Bulletin Magazine: Get the magazine delivered to your door every month by subscribing here 

Read more
06 2015 The Red Bulletin

Next story