RZA Says That Raekwon’s Only Built 4 Cuban Linx… Made It Possible For Rick Ross To Be Cool
Hip-Hop has a long discography when it comes to albums themed around hustling. Iconic releases such as Jay Z’s Reasonable Doubt, E-40’s Federal, The Clipse’s Lord Willin’, and Young Jeezy’s Let’s Get It: Thug Motivation 101 are etched in the face of Rap history. However, 20 years past its birthday, one of the most timeless works of art in this style of Rap music is Raekwon’s Only Built 4 Cuban Linx… solo debut.
In honor of its 20th anniversary (August 1), VIBE caught up with the man who executive produced the Loud/RCA Records LP, in addition to nearly all of the gold-certified album’s music: The RZA.
RZA pointed out that it was his fellow Wu-Tang Clansmen who helped make the dope-dealing narrative important to Hip-Hop, before it was mainstream. “No disrespect to the people whose successful with it, but the reason why Rick Ross is cool as Rick Ross is because an album like [Only Built 4 Cuban Linx…] made it cool to be a ‘Gigante,’ to be Myer Lanskey, to be a ‘Capone’—all these names, we inspired that change to have multiple facets of who you are.”
Notably, Raekwon and Rick Ross worked together multiple times in the last decade. Ross, whose breakthrough 2006 single was “Hustlin’,” most recently appeared on Rae’s Fly International Luxury Arts (F.I.L.A.) album. Additionally, all three artists worked together on Kanye West’s 2010 platinum, #1 effort My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy.
Ross has released five #1 solo albums, four of which are certified gold.
In the VIBE interview, RZA also compliments Raekwon’s ability to provide an authentic mid-1990s New York City experience in record, as well as lay down innovative slang, that is still relevant to popular lexicon today.
In similar news, in light of the Straight Outta Compton film, Ice Cube credited his group, N.W.A., making a lane possible for collaborator and affiliate Eminem.