The Oscar Michaeux Of This Rap Shit…

I got to sit around with Raekwon and listen to him discuss Only Built 4 Cuban Linx 2 and it’s seminal predecessor OB4CL. If you are in New York City tonight you might want to stop by the Pete Rosenberg event and hear firsthand from the Chef some of the same things he told me.

In my top three rap albums of all time OB4CL sits among ‘Illmatic’ and ‘Fear Of A Black Planet’. For me, these three albums define the rap aspect of Hip-Hop. OB4CL is a graphic tour de force of the aspirations of the young Black males growing up in impoverished communities. The album describes our dreams, fantasies, fictions and most of all our realities.

The Wu is such an enigmatic and influential collective in Hip-Hop I would be at a loss for words to describe their impact on the genre. They encompass all the elements of Hip-Hop but the most important one is their lyrical ability to create vivid and accurate portraits of the times we live in. The Wu was never just Cristal sipping without first pouring out some on the ground for the people that weren’t here to see the moment.

When you learn about the ancient customs of the griots you would find that they called to the spirits first to guide their stories. The griots understood that our existence was built on many different planes of reality. The Wu describes the journey in rhyme form better than any other collective. If you can’t find yourself relating to at least one member of the Wu I don’t think you have lived a life. On wax and off record these artists are the everyman rap collective.

Raekwon was generous with his time and with his words regarding other artists and the things that still motivate him to create art. It’s interesting to hear someone explain that he has matured as an artist but he is still hungry to find a place in the current music soundscape. The Wu were always a little too futuristic for this rap shit and I was happy to see that the mindstate was still light years in front of their peers.

Selling music was played out years ago. Raekwon isn’t releasing a CD on September 8th. He is releasing another movie. Cinematic rap music for the masses who are mature enough to comprehend the material contained within the everlasting scrambler’s manuscript. I haven’t had the chance to preview the album yet but I’m confident that I will be as inspired as I was from the original Only Built 4 Cuban Linx. How could it not be as powerful? It’s the Wu.

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  • cleavon

    fuck pierzy

    im 1st bitch

    • Pierzy


  • $ykotic

    Man I am hyped up for this. And that Starks R&B jumpoff. I was watching an interview the other day when Ghost said Ross had one of his beats from the Justice League and he(Ghost) didn’t lock it in(pay for it).

    I heard “Cocaine” from Ross and thought that sounds like a Ghostface beat.

    Anyway after hearing “Apron” from Rae I can tell Cuban Linx 2 is gonna be something big. because them throwaway’s are hot as hell.


    • Pierzy

      No Pierzy? Haha.

      Co-Sign. To this day, I’ll still put on Cuban Linx and just marvel at how perfect of an album it is.

      I’ll say it again – what if RZA hadn’t taken several steps back after the completion of his “Five Year Plan” and kept guiding the Wu?

      • $ykotic

        It took so long to post I didn’t think I was there…

  • capcobra

    i think the title ob4cl2 leaves too much room for dissapointment and complaints..he should’ve named it something else and let the hood call it when we named the original joint the purple tape..cause no matter who or what he put on this album it ain’t gon take me back to the 90′s…and even if it did..i wanna be in 2010-11..not 95-96…i’m still copping it tho…hoping for the best..expecting the worst.

    • $ykotic

      Personally I think “Ironman” is Linx 2. Because “Supreme Clientele” is a Starks album(the first one after he did that skid bid).

      But I ain’t mad. I still think this gonna be bananas. And no leaks.

  • Jhon da Analyst

    Support real hip hop shit. Pick up Slaughterhouse and OB4CL2!!

  • Master CHeef

    so, when 50 and jay talk that mafioso shit, you scold them for not empowering the youth with knowledge; but when it’s someone you dickride, they are expressing our “dreams, fantasies, and fictions?”

  • Tony Grand$

    I’d be lying if I said I don’t have doubts, but Rae seems to have stood the test of time (ie not appearing a bitter, weathered old man MC), judging by his drops with DOOM & Jayceon Taylor.

    Plus the couple of “leaks” I heard.

    I can see where this could fall on either side of the proverbial fence, but I’m hearing positivity so far. Tracklist, guest spots (glad Ghost is there; its only right), production.

    Now, time to show & prove. I’ll be copping, if for nothing more than a time machine to when Wu-World was where everybody wanted to live.


    my top 3:


    ice cube – death certificate

    wu tang – wutang 4 ever

    • Pierzy

      Co-Sign, D.

      I will forever maintain that Wu-Tang Forever is the most underrated album ever because of the ridiculous buzz it generated and because people wanted to hear more Enter The 36 Chambers-type shit.

      Wu-Tang Forever is a masterpiece and it holds up better today than it did in ’97.

      • Enlightened

        Me personally, when my nigga brought Wu-Tang Forever through my crib and bumped it in ’97, I almost kicked that nigga out my house. Real talk.

        The entire first CD was trash to me, I couldn’t bump almost nothing on it. Then, when I got to the second CD, I was like, “OK this is more like it.”

        But, (true story here) I still tried to take my own copy to the store and sell that bitch (I was a college student, I was broke as hell at times) and the muthafucka at the used store told me they wasn’t taking no more Wu-Tang Forevers because they had too many and sure enough, they used section was stocked with them bitches!! So it wasn’t only me that felt that way

        • DETROIT

          in my opinion there’s not another cd that blends hot beats with hot lyrics and subject matter like wu forever does. and unlike 36 chambers, wu forever is timeless. it still sounds relevant today!

          it was funny when that deck vs. buddens thing was going on. cats were dissing deck like he was a nobody! i was thinking, have they ever heard “living for the city” or “for heavens sake”? DECK WENT IN ON WU FOREVER! MATTER OF FACT, SO DID METH!

        • Enlightened

          Fa sho. I definitely respect anybody’s opinion, even one that is waaaaaayyyyyy different than mines. But how do you stand on The Chronic though? Wu-Tang Forever next to The Chronic. You feel like Wu-Tang forever is a better album?

        • DETROIT

          it’s funny you asked that, cuz i just copped another copy of the chronic! but to me the chronic is comparible as far a beats go, but as far as lyrics, there’s no contest. actually, i like doggystyle more than the chronic. to me the chronic is like illmatic, or 36 chambers…it was the beginning of a new sound, but if you listen to it now it kinda sounds dated. i reallize that i’m one of the only people that feels this way, LOL. the chronic did have more big songs tho, but as a collection of songs, i’d take wu forever anyday. wu-tang forever was arranged more like a movie score than an album.

        • Enlightened

          Wow. See, like I said on the first disc of Wu-Tang Forever, I couldn’t even hardly find a beat that I could tolerate, let alone, one that I thought was tight. I would have liked it better as a single CD with only the second disc than as a double album.

          And lyrically, of course the Wu is going to go in, but I’m sure I can go and find a Mad Skillz album that is sick from start to finish lyrically, ditto for that first Ras Kass album, but you still have to make the songs.

          I feel like The Chronic was and still is the only rap album I ever heard where (almost) every song on it was the best song on it. Like, it’s not even a matter of what you skip or don’t skip. It’s like what song is not one of the best songs ever?

          I can’t even say I feel the lyrics are under Wu Forever because everybody showed up to here Dre and Snoop, and they did they thing….

          but on the second side when he turned it over to Kurupt, Rage and RBX… They went the fuck in!!!!

          I’ll take The Chronic-era Kurupt and Lady of Rage and put them next to anybody from the Wu and above about 5 or 6 or them niggas

        • DETROIT

          i have to respectfully disagree with you there! if you look at how things went down since then, ghost has shown that he is a legend, same with rae, meth, dirty had a cold solo cd, liquid swords was tight, bobby digital was good(rza is the most slept on wu member lyrically), etc. the stats clearly show that wu-tangs lyricists were/are much stronger than the mc’s you named that were on the cronic. we’re both on here regularly, so i would like to point out that i’m the guy that sticks up for gucci mane! my point is, it’s not all about lyrics to me, which is why mad skills sucks (also, his lyrics aren’t that good), same with chino xl. but with the wu, you had delivery, timing, beats, and subject matter. RAE AND GHOST DID A WHOLE SONG DETAILING THEIR EXPERIENCE AT THE CHAVES/WHITTAKER FIGHT! them boys was on the level. wu-tang forever is just one of about 6 or 7 classic cds put out by the wu camp…you can’t say the same thing about them death row cats. i remeber when pac killed snoop on amerikas most wanted…i was really disappointed!

        • Enlightened

          Ha! You keepin’ it real as hell with that Gucci statement.

          But that’s why I made a point to say “Chronic-era” Kurupt and Rage. I don’t know what the fuck happen to Kurupt later on and we never got to see what Rage could have become. So it’s no comparison as far as they entire careers go.

          But that’s why I said 5 or 6 or them niggas. I would put them NEXT TO Rae, Ghost, Meth, and Deck and say battle it out. Everybody else, I don’t think could have fucked with them. Once again, just my personal opinion.

          As far as SNOOP. This is the thing to remember about him too. We forget how that nigga DOMINATED THE PLANET during The Chronic/Doggystyle time period.
          When we listen now, it’s not as impressive because his style of lyricism didn’t hold up over time the same way as a Raekwon or Kurupt…
          but when he first came out, it was some shit that had never, ever, EVER been heard. It was like that nigga had landed from outer space and started rappin so you couldn’t even compare him to anybody else.

          Everybody else who was great lyrically, Nas, Rae, Kurupt, etc. all pretty much fell from the family trees of Rakim/G Rap etc. Snoop was on some whole other shit, so much that, nobody dared say that Kurupt/Rage etc. (Mr. Malik?) were coming tighter than him, but in hindsight, they were.

          But back then, you could have put a microphone to Snoop mouth while he was sleep and that nigga would have been coming tight as hell in his dreams!

        • DETROIT

          yea, snoop was/is dope. his catalogue is crazy. like i said above, forget wu forever…DO YOU THINK THE CHRONIC IS BETTER THAN DOGGYSTYLE? if you look back at it, snoop really wasn’t on the chronic as much as i woulda liked, but doggystyle was str8 raw!

          as far as them chronic cats vs. members of the wu, on a good day rza would murder kurupt! and i luv kurupt, but you have to listen to triumph or impossible, rza goes in. and most people agree that deck’s verse on triumph is one of the best rap verses ever! if kurupt were in the wu, he wouldn’t have even been one of the top 5 lyricists in the group. kurupt could flow, but his flow wasn’t as focused or as precise as most of the wu members. NOW IF YOU WANNA THROW PAC IN IT THEN……


        • DETROIT

          put it like this, in a car with 15s in the trunk, on a sunny 75 degree day….chronic >>> Wutang forever. on a cold day walking to the train with a walk man on(or ipod now!), wutang forever >>>> the chronic. that’s really the difference between great west coast rap and great east coast rap.

          do you agree?

  • Incilin

    I’m as excited for OBFCL2 as you, but come on, how can you say it’s gonna be good before you even listen to it? And even if it is the Wu, so what? Aint like all of the members haven’t dropped at least one weak solo LP (Tical 2000, Bullet Proof Wallets, The Legend of Liquid Swords, etc.)

  • YOM

    His album is gonna be crazy!
    Oscar Michaeux was that hood jazz cat who stayed with a pistol I think.
    Did Rae say that or did you come up with it?

  • OG Matt Herbz

    Yeah, I got mad faith that this album will be epic.

    True Story:

    The first time I heard the purple tape, I was blown away. I pieced together that shit song by song from Napster by checking the playlist in Amazon. Once I had all the tracks–and ONLY after I had all the tracks–I burnt that shit on a CD and my perspective on Hip Hop hasn’t been the same til this day. I burnt another copy for my nigga Illegal1 for him to bang out on a trip to Spain. He wrote me a few days later completely marveled at the vividness of the CD. I must have bumped that shit for a month straight afterwards…I couldn’t believe it.

    “I told you a long time ago, you fucking little monkey, not to FUCK ME!”

    Like I said: EPIC.

    –OG Matt Herbz–

  • geico lizard

    OBFCL was the first NYC album I ever bought. I liked the Wu but not enough to buy anything before this. I dont think he can recreate a classic but Im glad he tried.


  • Curtis75Black

    We’ll see how this opus goes down. I’m just gonna wait and see. I’m not making any assumptions on how I think this cd will make me feel because I’m not 20/21 years old anymore. I’m 33 so when it comes to being entertained with music, I don’t want to hear the same shit from a Vet I heard in the past.

    • Cinsere

      I went to the Rosenberg event last night… Rae previewed the first track off the album… and I’m not one to get overly excited about shit these days either, cuz I’m like you (turning 31 in a few weeks)… but when I tell you that that first track is fire! I mean, it’s FIRE!!! And I don’t wanna assume just off the lead track (though New Wu and Criminology 2 are also dope!), and I’m not expecting an all out CLASSIC, but if it can be at least be as good as Ghost’s Fishscale, I’ll be more than happy!

  • Domjel

    Chamber Music is a dope, short, but dope album and influenced me to dig into my Wu material. Even U-God has a few heaters on his Dopeium (God is Love & Train Tussle). If you care about lyrics then GZA is MC for ya, and his recent Pro Tools doesn’t disappoint. Even the historical Def Jam puts out watered down music with R&B (Fab and Jada) Support real Hip Hop and support the Wu!


    from what i heard rae is doing with the disc it is a must buy. i have been waiting a long time and if rae say he taking back but adding on at the same time i am down for the trip. plus he riding with ghost who to me is the figure head for wu. he been out there doing things keeping himself in the mainstream and even though he is not always talking about the wu. all the time just seeing him reminds true fans about the wu tang clan.
    “The Wu describes the journey in rhyme form better than any other collective. If you can’t find yourself relating to at least one member of the Wu I don’t think you have lived a life. On wax and off record these artists are the everyman rap collective.”
    well put dp

  • GO-Getta’

    I hope OB4CL is’nt 1 of those worst sequels say B2 & B3 even though the later has’nt beeen released yet,ya dig?

  • Dallas Penn

    Seriously, if you ON A CMPUTER. And you don’t know who Oscar Michaeux is, but you see that I used it in the headline…

    Wouldn’t that tell you to find out so that you know?

    I’m embarrassed that shit doesn’t make you challenge yourself when you don’t know something

    • yoprince

      LMAO.. co-sign.

      fuckin’ google that shit.

    • Brass Tacks

      Ha! Chuuch!

  • Enlightened

    Your Top 3 doesn’t include The Chronic…

    Stop it man, please.

    I won’t throw the word hater around because it’s too overused, but anybody who has the nerve to name a Top 3 Rap Albums out loud and not say The Chronic has something wrong with them. Period.

    I love OB4CL, it’s in my top 10. But honestly, how in the fuck do you think that could stand next to the chronic? Seriously

  • enzo

    although I agree with you that The Chronic is one of the most groundbreaking landmark album of all time (not even just the rap genre), Only Built For Cuban Linx is just as good and more lyrical to boot.

  • Enlightened

    @ Detroit,

    For some reason, my post won’t post up there. Let me try it here

    Whoooaaa. Really have to disagree on the RZA tip. And Kurupt was a beast! C’mon now.
    Let’s not forget, “New York, New York” was based on a true story. “The night I served 2 thousand MCs…”
    They always talk about a famous battle when Kurupt murdered a bunch of MCs in New York and as they say, it was some of your favorite rappers – they just never name names.

    On The Chronic/Doggystyle tip. I struggle with that myself. Truthfully, I look at Niggaz4Life, Chronic, and Doggystyle like a trilogy that is all connected. Dre style was evolving and getting sicker and sicker. On certain days, I like Niggaz4Life more than the others so I can’t say.

    Chris Rock kinda summed it up the best. He did his “Top 25 hip-hop albums of all time” for Rolling Stone once. If you can get a hold of that article check it out. I expected him to pick some bullshit but he was on point! He put Doggystyle at #1 and said he like it better because it was an album you can party to.

    At the end of the day, I think The Chronic was more gritty, kinda dirty and hard in more of a hip-hop way (what’s fuckin’ with “Lyrical Gangbang”?) Doggystyle was still hard, but it had way more polish, and a bigger, smoother, kinda fancier sound, so I could honestly go either way.

    But at the end of the day, I think I lean towards the grittiness of The Chronic. Plus the Chronic had some “consciousness” to it on the low. The Black power interludes, the riot scenes, “Lil’ Ghetto Boy”…

    And I didn’t mention Pac because he wasn’t with them yet, but for me, he’s shittin on all the above

    • $ykotic

      My dudes are building!

      Don’t forget on Wu Tang Forever they did “Lil Ghetto Boy” over.

      You can even scratch the Bobby Digital stuff and check RZA with Gravediggaz. The second album was utter bananas(RIP Poetic). The Pick, The Sickle, The Shovel.


      Less Parliament samples. More music.

      Wu Tang Forever>>>>>The Chronic

      “The MGM” is one of my faves.

      U-God ripped “Black Shampoo”. “Triumph” is too easy to drop. Scary Hours,

      Nobody talks about GZA’s “Liquid Swords”


      Ice Cream, Heaven & Hell, Criminology, VERBAL INTERCOURSE, Incarcerated Scarfaces, Can It Be It Was So Simple, RAINY DAYS, Guillotine(Deck ripped that).

      When I saw the Glaciers Of Ice video on Video Music Box, I totally lost it. Them Wu cats set new standards. Ghost in a POLO robe in “Criminology” posted up on a Benz?

      Return to the 36 Chambers>>>>>Doggystyle

      ODB murdered everything on that album.


      Wildflower(Ghost doodoo’ed on that), Motherless Child(made a soundtrack), All That I Got Is You(smoker with Mary J Blige), Daytona 500 & Winter Warz(Cap killed those), Black Jesus, Assassination day(RZA killed this and Deck), Camay.

      I love Snoop and his stylee is smooth as hell, but his albums didn’t hold the weight of these Wu albums I mentioned.

      I go back and listen to a couple of songs on Chronic and Doggy.

      I burn the hell outta them Wu albums.