Raekwon – The Wild Commentary and Album Review
Back in the summer of 1995, when Built 4 Cuban Linx dropped, Raekwon solidified himself as an elite emcee. A general in the game, so to speak. We heard him shine in the 36 Chambers, but the masterpiece that was the purple tape, cemented him in Hip Hop History.
To make it more than 2 decades in Hip Hop, and still be relevant is a very very difficult task. A lot of emcees I grew up listening to are now retired, doing golden era concerts, or still trying to recapture the glory they once had on the charts but to no avail. Even with the support of many “Hip Hop Purists” like myself, it’s just hard to recapture that era.
Let’s be honest, it’s a new generation, alot of golden era emcees can’t relate to this new age of rap. There’s a new demographic that barely knows who Wu-Tang Clan are(Geez, I feel old). Raekwon has proven, he refuses to be trapped in that time capsule of 1994, but still not sell his soul in the process.
The Wild proves my point in so, it highlights what Rae is known to do, paint stories with his rhymes. Most times legendary emcees never live up to the intial projects that made them legends, and I don’t expect for Rae to ever top the Purple Tape, but The Wild is the first album in a while Rae puts out that made me feel close to that feeling when I listen to the classic Built 4 Cuban Linx. I’m not saying it touches it, but it gives you that sort of nostalgia when you listen to it.
Some of the stand out tracks on this project for me are “Marvin” with Ceelo Green on the hook, where Rae paints a vivid story about the life of Marvin Gaye. “The Reign” another dope track off the album, where Rae flexes his rhymes about learning from the drug game, his longevity, and gold chains, just to name a couple. The Wild is the closest Rae has gotten to B4CL calibur in awhile, and while the album does lack in some aspects, like including Ghost and Cappadonna on a track or two, I think it’s a well welcomed listen. Raekwon has shown he’s definitely Built 4 Longevity. Salute.
Okay so as you know I am a huge fan of Raekwon. As one of the few original WU members who has steadily put out new music I appreciate his growth as an artist. His last effort Fly International Luxurious Art, left me disappointed however. It wasn’t the Rae that I knew. I wasn’t sure what his motivation was and although I can appreciate trying new styles, I felt he completely missed the mark. It was hard to mesh his gritty street style with the production that he chose and the entire album threw me off. While I can appreciate that he may have been trying to appeal to a younger, new audience, it didn’t exactly appeal to me as a true hip-hop head. I honestly can say I gave it maybe one full listen through and shelved it. (Although if you let the other blogs tell it, it was dope…but you already know names hold more weight than content these days.) That being said I haven’t completely written off The Chef because I know his skill level so I’m going into this new project The Wild with an open mind. Join me as I give my track by track break down.
1.The Wild Intro
This is pretty chaotic as far as intros go. I’m not sure if it was really needed to be honest. I would have preferred a dope opening track.
2.This Is What It Comes Too
This is pretty ill. I’m digging the samples. I’ll be honest he doesn’t sound like himself but this takes it back to old Rae and that’s always a good thing. *in rotation
This is dope. My only complaint is that the beat sounds too similar to the previous track. On a play through like this it could sound like one continuous song. I feel like better placement could have really benefited here.
4. Skit (Bang Head Right)
What the fuck is this? And how did it make it onto the album?
5. Marvin ft. Cee Lo Green
This is smooth as fuck. I fuck with this. This is one of those tracks that could easily fit into an album from 95 and 2017. *In rotation
6.Can’t You See
I really like this sample. I’m digging this one too. I’m liking the levels on this project from hype to laid back. *in rotation
7. My Corner ft Lil Wayne
I’ll be honest I like this for two reasons. One Rae is lyrically ill on this track and two this is The Wayne that I actually used to like when he first stepped on the scene. Wait what did Scy say? She used to like Wayne?? Yup back when he didn’t play into the commercial audience. *In rotation
8.Skit (Fuck You Up Card)
Okay now this is a skit I can fuck with. Ha! 1300 dollars special!
9. M & N ft. P.U.R.E.
This shit is dope. If you haven’t already go peep the visual on this one. I love the trading of bars on this record. I haven’t heard much of upcoming emcee P.U.R.E. but kid is definitely on my radar *in rotation
10.Visiting Hour (feat. Andra Day)
This might be my favorite track on the album. Welcome back Chef. This is the Rae I love. *in rotation
11.Skit (Bang Fall Down)
Some skits are unnecessary. This is one of them. Maybe I just don’t feel the break is really necessary. I think the purpose was just filler but meh.
I’m not exactly hating this song. I just think that the production is off for his flow. I’m not a fan of the competing beat vs lyrics type songs. I would like this on another beat. I would like this beat with a different song.
13.Crown of Thorns
I like the vibe on this. This is definitely a head nodding cruising down the Ave track.
14.Purple Brick Road (feat. G-Eazy)
This goes. G-Eazy is one of those hit or miss rappers with me but this is a hit. Peep the visual on this too.
15.You Hear Me
I’m not exactly sure how I feel about this. I’m not really feeling this. I think it’s appealing to new fans. It’s not terrible it’s just not my cup of tea. I wish he would have ended the album on a stronger note.
I get the purpose of the outro but I wasn’t really feeling the previous track and then this. I wasn’t happy how the album concluded. Nothing major but it is a skippable outro and it is so vital to have your last thought on the album be a positive one.
After listening to the album I can honestly say that Raekwon has redeemed himself from his last project. There were a few misses here and there, especially with the wack skits but overall the album was pretty dope. I give my overall score based on several factors and one of them is the skip factor and I admit I would skip a few. Then there are several standout tracks as well. The few features that he had were all ill and it even put a new artist on my radar. I can say Raekwon has proven with this project the longevity of his career. I fuck with this.
Cop the album here