Raekwon Explains Why G-Eazy’s Good Energy Was Perfect for “Purple Brick Road”
Two years after dropping his F.I.L.A. album, veteran MC Raekwon is gearing up to release his seventh solo studio LP, The Wild, under his own ICEH20 Records. Rae's latest album will showcase the legendary Wu-Tang Clan member spitting alongside newcomers in hip-hop as well as notable legends.
Adding onto his extensive and highly praised catalog, Raekwon's The Wild boasts guest appearances from Lil Wayne, G-Eazy, CeeLo Green, Andra Day and The Chef's latest signee, Pure. The G-Eazy-assisted track “Purple Brick Road,” the first single off the project, is already receiving positive reviews from music critics and fans alike. The Shaolin MC proves once again why he's able to stand the test of time, and stand toe to toe with any rapper, young or old.
To help promote the upcoming project, The Chef hit the city of New Orleans last weekend for the NBA All-Star festivities and joined the Bud Light Crew at their headquarters for a friendly competition of Hot Ones with his longtime friend and rhyming partner, Ghostface Killah. XXL caught up with Raekwon at the Bud Light Crew HQ to discuss his forthcoming album, working with G-Eazy and Lil Wayne and more.
XXL: How did you end up linking up with G-Eazy for the single “Purple Brick Road”?
Raekwon: You know, I get a lot of love from cats from all generations and every album I try to make it different. I’ve been watching this kid G-Eazy from aside, and, you know, I study dudes before I actually get them involved in my projects and I’ve been respecting his work and his grind. I had an opportunity to meet him and he was a really good energy fella.
One day, I was in the studio recording “Purple Brick Road” and I was thinking about who the fuck can fit the record and the next thing you know, we started throwing some names out and the names weren’t sticking. I went home later that night I started thinking of more rappers and G-Eazy came to mind. I knew he would body this track because I’ve been checking him out on the low radar tip, and the next thing you know, I called him, sent over the track to him and he sent it back in 24 hours and I was like, bet. He just went in on the track and made the record crazy.
Besides the G-Eazy guest appearance, who else is featured on the project?
Of course I got Lil Wayne on there and I have CeeLo Green on there. These are cats that I haven’t gotten a chance to exchange bars with in awhile. I knew Weezy for a long time and every time he seen me, he’s always showed love and vice versa, so I wanted to get him on the project badly. I’ve always respected his work ethic and talent. I also have this young lady by the name of Andra Day. I love her, love her style, love her voice and she’s extremely talented. I also got my new artist on there, his name is Pure. He gets busy and he’s signed to my label. That’s all the guests on this project.
Did you and Lil Wayne record the track together in the studio?
I sent him the record because, you know, cats be busy and trust me I’m the type of dude that likes to get with the artist and record on the spot, but sometimes it don’t happen like that. The main thing for me is that I was playing heavy A&R on this project. I wanted the album to be 100 percent fire and wait till you hear it. Weezy went crazy and CeeLo Green went crazy. Trust me.
Speaking of CeeLo Green, what did you think about his outfit at the 2017 Grammy Awards?
Oh, man, listen, it’s a strategy. And you know, at the end of the day what I like about him is that he’s not afraid to jump into character. See that’s what talented people do. They take you where they want you to be taken and I respect that because everybody couldn’t do that. The Chef can’t do that, but at the end of the day CeeLo Green can do that. Shout out to him. He’s a great dude.
Will we ever get another collaboration between you and ALIFE?
You know these guys been around my career for years and have always supported me. But you never know. Tomorrow they may call me and tell me this is what it is, but I support the brand because they’re one of the first independent brands to do their thing and, you know, they’re known worldwide.
You also dropped your first sneaker collab last year with Packer Shoes and Diadora. Will we see a second iteration of the shoe down the line?
Shout out to Packers because we did the Diadora collab and it was great! But you know what fucks me up? The fact that nobody was acknowledging Diadora until we kind of, and I don’t want to take full credit, but I have to because I wasn’t seeing them around, so when we did it and I looked at the Diadora shoe and said, “Cool. I like the track sneaker!” that was the start of things. You know, it seemed like now everywhere you go it’s Diadora this and Diadora that so I know we did something for the culture.
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