Raekwon Is Reissuing ‘Only Built 4 Cuban Linx…’ on Cassette
Raekwon's 1995 debut, Only Built 4 Cuban Linx..., is one of rap's seminal works. While Enter the Wu-Tang (36 Chambers) established the group's sound two years prior--and while Method Man emerged as its first bona fide star--it was Cuban Linx that mastered rap as cinema. There were long character arcs, betrayals, reversals of fortune and villains winning. Despite its density, the album was certified Gold a mere two months after its release. Complete with some of RZA's most razor-sharp production and a litany of timeless Ghostface verses (not to mention a show-stopping turn from Nas), Only Built 4 Cuban Linx... was hailed immediately as a classic, and would push the shift toward mafioso rap that Kool G rap had started more than a half-decade prior. The only thing that proved unwieldy was the album's title; shortly after its release, Cuban Linx came to be known as The Purple Tape, due to the colored casing on its original cassette run. Said Rae at the time, "I wanted to portray an image that if I was selling crack or dimes in the street, you would recognize these dimes from other n----s' dimes."
Now, the LP is getting a long-awaited reissue. The “Purple Tape Watch Box” is available to pre-order starting today (Oct. 26). It features the original album in a new purple cassette, embossed with the silver-and-black Wu-Tang/Rae logo. The whole thing comes housed in a premium watch box, hence the name. Also available: A 118-hardcover book featuring lyrics, photos and other album materials. Only 1,995 copies will be available, an ode to the album's year of release. Order the box set right here.