Raekwon, The Making of “Only Built 4 Cuban Linx…”

4. “Criminology”
Feat. Ghostface

RZA: That was me trying to produce like a DJ, produce a breakbeat. Ghost actually asked me to make one of those beats. You listen to old DJ tapes. That’s how I made that song and he wanted his shit to sound like a break-beat. He had a rhyme; he knew was going to change the game—that was the verse that got him recognized. [Cypress Hill’s] DJ Muggs called me up and was like, “Yo, he killed that shit. He ripped that shit.” From that point on, he’s the co-star. He wins Best Supporting Actor. Rae got nominated, maybe won or didn’t—but Ghost definitely wins.

Ghostface: I wrote that verse in San Francisco. We used to carry the beat machine around a lot. We was out there a good two weeks, so RZA was making beats all day. I heard that beat and I loved that track. The year was ’95. Hip-hop was still hip-hop, and we was going in. I don’t know if I was drunk when I wrote that, but I know when I went in the booth, I had a battery in my back, fucking with the Ballantine Ale. I recorded a lot of my shit on Ballantine.

5. “Incarcerated Scarfaces”

Raekwon: The way RZA had it poppin’ back then, we would come into his spot. It was like dudes would come in on their own time and create stuff. I remember I just came in, and the beat was just pumpin’. I wrote the hook—that was the first thing I did. I think one of my mans just got hit with some heavy time around that time. I had a lot of niggas up there, too. So, it was like, Yo, this one gotta be for them niggas right here. This right here will be just for them niggas in jail. It won’t be for nobody else. I just wrote it out real quick. I did three verses on that, so Ghost didn’t have to come in and really do anything to it.

RZA: I wasn’t making that beat for Rae. I was finished with Rae. I like having 13 tracks. I don’t like having 18. I was making it for GZA probably. He was next. But then Rae heard that beat, grabbed his pen and paper, and started writing. Two hours later, it was written.

6. “Rainy Dayz”
Feat. Ghostface and Blue Raspberry

Raekwon: When we wrote “Rainy Dayz” I think we was already out of the country. We was in Barbados by the water. Some joints we [had the beats to] we went out of town with. And that one specifically, we wrote by the water. Had that good villa right off the ocean and shit. Three, four in the morning. Wind is blowing, curtains is blowing, and we just really got a chance to put it down. I think I wrote mine out there.

We just basically gave you some action on how niggas in the hood think. Like how a nigga lady think—they don’t act like they there to try to bring you back from doing what you gotta do, but they try to get you caught up. We was like, This is gonna be perfect for the struggling girl who can’t understand her man and he a thorough nigga. We wanted to put the girl in the skit [at the start of the song] from the movie when she said, “I sing for him and he isn’t here.” He ain’t here, bitch, ’cause he makin’ money! He trying to put some food on the table!

RZA: This is one of my favorites, if not my favorite track. It stayed on the grill for a long time. That’s what we called it back then. I didn’t take a song off until I was satisfied. I generally like to do ’em, mix ’em, put ’em away. This was too emotional and too real for me, too close to my personal situation. This was the life we was living, just talking and rapping and hoping. Record royalties take too long to come. We had a platinum album, but we waiting on the check to come fast, like babies wanting they food.

Blue Raspberry: I was on the microphone singing that old song by Barbra Streisand and Donna Summer [“No More Tears (Enough Is Enough)”], that [sings] “It’s raining, it’s pouring, my love life is boring me to tears.” I was just singing that, and so then RZA started playing a track. So that’s where [sings] “It’s raining, he’s changing” came from. That’s the kind of mind state it put me in. I got a little stumped in the middle, so it’s like, “No sunlight, more gunfights.” When I said “No sunlight,” RZA brought in the “More gunfights,” which brought me into a whole other realm of the song, where I could go ahead and complete it.

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  • ThaWu

    OB4CL is a classic and so is Part II. Damn I remember listening to this album non-stop, evey single track is ace. Even the outro is WOW.

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  • JC

    now THIS is a CLASSIC, to all the high schoolers out there…lol…i swear you youngn’s wouldn’t know what a classic was if it smacked you in the face…i bought THIS CLASSIC when i was in high school…and its STILL hot…oh, Rick Ross take notes…class is in session…LOL…The Purple Tape foreva…

    “It’s like a cycle, niggaz come home, some’ll go in…do a bullet, come back, do the same shit again…” -Verbal Intercourse XXL

  • Malik

    Once upon a time rappers actually attempted to make complete albums and if the album was just a collection of songs, people wouldn’t start saying it’s a classic constantly. The good ol’ days.

  • Omunique

    I agree wit Malik. I love it when you can play an artist’s ENTIRE album through, without pressn the Next button. OB4CL is definitely one of those albums! Shout out to The Chef!!!!

  • elliott bones

    “what if he… ooooo i luv him”

    that sample fuked my head up the whole summer
    and following school year…

    now as a man listening to these songs
    and not a teenager…

    i realize how much more “a work of art” this album really is….

    damn do i miss this era in hiphop music!

  • ayo

    “So GZA felt robbed a little bit. He had to go back home like, “Whatever, yo.” We even laugh about that shit to this day. Like, a nigga robbed GZA. But Cap won. Funny shit.” yo i would have love to been alive and able to hang out in the hip hop club house that RZA’s place was.. that shyt sounds like a dream for a rappin nigga.. jus commin in to a beat already bumpin and jus writin and smokin hella weed whateva whateva..

  • ellery

    thanx rae for this classic album used to bumb this in my cell tryin 2 get thrue them tough days…shout out from holland Amsterdam

  • caino

    A true classic in every sense!! Young guns take notes!!

    l saw the Wu-Tang in concert last night, everyone (minus Method Man) was in attendance and its the best concert l’ve been to this year. Younger kats should take notes, true pioneers of hiphop!

  • http://xxlmag jayruckNYC

    This is what u call a classic. Classic albums should be able to stand against each other. Cuban Linx. The Chronic. Doggystyle. Illmatic. Death Certificate. Reasonable Doubt. These are classics! The albums people call classics these days just dont compare. Not really crazy about Part II but its probably cuz I love part one so much. This was a flawless album.

  • BeerGangsta

    Rae is underrated!! Rae is my favorite Wu and not Meth. Rae style is better. Dre has made beats for him before. Fans don’t know what to buy or play. South music is overrated!!

  • jozeppi

    I voted for Verbal Intercourse, but I’m pretty surprised Knuckleheadz is voteless. I love that song especially U-Gods part.

  • M. Baby!

    Classic!!! is all I gotta say. Verbal Intercourse got my vote. Just the fact that they finally stepped outside of the Clan and got NaS on the track was crazy. I wished they would’ve collabed with more artist from NY back in the day. This album is in my Top 5 Hip-Hop albums of all time, word. Rae had the best solo album from the WU. I always so it’s Rae, Meth, Ghost.

  • http://www.myspace.com/slotchmusic ms_spittuh

    I remember being a 7 year old 1st grader listening to my older sisters bump this shit. They were in their 20s. To this day, its sitting right here next to OB4CL2. Thanks to my sisters for turning me on to hip hop, and I’m from TX ;-) There was no “screw” music in our house. I didn’t even know what that shit was until I started going to school with drug dealers n shit lol. Wu Tang / EPMD / Def Sqad for life! :)

  • Wadoo

    Yo man i remember me & my cousin walking to the store in Jersey & buying this CD. We listened to this album for a full year non stop. Rapping in the mirror with a remote control for a mic the whole CD. This album is Timeless. Glaciers of Ice would come on in the Car. It would make you drive fast!!!! LOl… Yo peace Ray & Ghost. Thank You my brothers. Classic shit for real my dude. I listen to this now with the youngins in the hood. Teach them what real rap is. They should do a show & rap this whole album on stage. It would Bug niggas out!!!!!

  • Magnetic

    @Jozeppi

    Knuckleheadz is cool but was the wackest joint on the album. Thats when you know shit is hot, when the wackest song on the album is not really wack at all, just wack compared to the rest of the album. I was rocking this album last weekend, wordup

  • Magnetic

    RZA is bugging, the beat on “Spot Rusherz” is ill, I love that shit, sound like Steely Dan or sum shit

  • W. J. Rice

    Wu-Tang between 93-97 bodied all Hip hop. RZA solidified himself as a versatile producer and MC

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    I do not consider I have ever witnessed a website using this lots of responses onto it!