After embarking on a cross-country tour to promote Only Built 4 Cuban Linx, Pt. II, Raekwon returned to New York City last night (December 16) to perform at Irving Plaza in front of his home crowd.

The Wu-Tang wordsmith rolled through a number of lyrical gems in the early goings, including “C.R.E.A.M.” and “Ice Cream,” with the assistance of fellow Clansman Cappadona.

On a night that celebrated the continued success of Rae’s follow-up to his 1995 classic solo debut, The Chef gave fans even more to be joyful about as he brought out Capone-N-Noreaga to announce plans to release the Queens duo’s The War Report II in early 2010 on his Ice H20 Records. C-N-N then went on to spit tracks from their catalogue, as well as some of Nore’s solo material like “Nothin’.”

The night took an emotional turn not long before C-N-N took to the stage when Raekwon brought out Cherry Jones, the mother of his fallen Wu-Tang brethren, ODB. The two embraced onstage as the crowd chanted the Dirty’s name, before the DJ dropped “Shimmy Shimmy Ya” as everyone from fans to ODB’s mom sang along. Rae then went into “Ason Jones,” the ODB tribute cut off OB4CL....Pt. II, but was at first too moved by the moment to start his verse and needed the DJ to start the record over.

The solemn mood eventually shifted back towards celebration when Rae’s brother presented him with a Purple Tape-themed cake [see below] to commemorate the hard work behind and success of his latest album. Busta Rhymes, who served as executive producer on the project, came out and grabbed the mic give further praise to Raekwon for his successful year. The Chef finished out his set with more of a mix of old and new material.

Raekwon is scheduled to hit Boston on Thursday. —Adam Fleischer