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  • Interview: Raekwon

    Mon, 14 Dec 2009 09:58:22

    Interview: Raekwon - Raekwon talks to ARTISTdirect.com editor and <i>Dolor</i> author Rick Florino about going to "Catalina" with Dr. Dre, where to get fried fish in LA and so much more in this exclusive interview

    Raekwon Photos

    • Raekwon - NEW YORK, NY - NOVEMBER 11: Raekwon of Wu-Tang Clan attends the after party for the screening of 'Oldboy' hosted by FilmDistrict and Complex Media with the Cinema Society and Grey Goose at TAO Downtown on November 11, 2013 in New York City.
    • Raekwon - NEW YORK, NY - NOVEMBER 11: Raekwon of Wu-Tang Clan
    • Raekwon - NEW YORK, NY - NOVEMBER 11: Raekwon of Wu-Tang Clan attends the after party for the screening of 'Oldboy' hosted by FilmDistrict and Complex Media with the Cinema Society and Grey Goose at TAO Downtown on November 11, 2013 in New York City.

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    Raekwon Videos

    • Redlight - Get Money
    • Raekwon - Ice Cream

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    It took him awhile, but Raekwon finally cooked up a sequel to his classic solo album, Only Built 4 Cuban Linx. The follow-up, Only Built 4 Cuban Linx Pt. II, ups the ante in every way for Wu-Tang Clan's head chef. It's catchier, but at the same time, somehow, Raekwon got even more gangsta on this go-around.

    He proves that true hustlers only get better at the game with edge over the course of the album. While hanging out in "LA, big city of dreams," Raekwon sat down with ARTISTdirect.com editor and Dolor author Rick Florino to talk about his favorite fish spot in Los Angeles, the story behind one of the new album's bona fide "hits," and so much more in this exclusive interview.

    Being a New Yorker, do you dig coming to LA?

    Shit, I love LA, man. We've been coming to LA for the last damn near 20 years right now. LA is one of the best cities in the world. I wouldn't mind being in either LA or New York.

    Any LA spots you recommend?

    There's this little fish place that I always go to called Penguin Fish & Chips. I've been going there for so long. It's funny because the guy finally fucking gave me something for free the other day [Laughs]. He's mad cool with us though. He gave me a Sock-it-to-Me cake for free. We love our fish! Fish is our favorite dish. He has all kinds of different fish that he sells like red snapper. We go in there and we jump on that.

    Speaking of California, what's the story behind "Catalina?"

    "Catalina" was a vicious record, and we always knew that was going to be a hit. I remember when I actually sat in the studio with Dr. Dre and he first played it for me. I looked at his face and I could tell that he really loved the beat. I loved it because it's my kind of beat. It was still hip hop, but it had savoir faire to it. It reminded me of a new "C.R.E.A.M." That's why you hear me come with a similar style on it. The beat was just knocking, and the first thing I thought about was one of those big yachts that said "Catalina" on it. If you ride on this shit, you've got to have money. You know what I mean? I believe that's a record that would be a really good single for me.

    Is it important to "have a single?"

    I want the majority of my records to be hardcore, but I did also have to respect the fact that I needed one or two good records that would push across the country and still give me that underground credibility. We knew it was a hit. Dre knew it was a hit. He heard the verse and he was like, "Goddamn…"

    Did it come together easily?

    At first we didn't have the hook. Believe it or not, the first hook had Busta Rhymes. Busta's the one that put me and Dre together. The first hook had a little reference from Busta Rhymes. He was singing and having fun. I liked his hook too, but we decided to change it because we don't people to start thinking Busta's a singer. He's not that kind of artist, plus he was having fun. It wasn't nothing that he was banking on doing. We knew that record was going to the top.

    Any last words?

    Tell all of the people, "Love is love!"

    Go cop that album!

    Rick Florino
    12.14.09


    Check out Rick Florino's new novel Dolor available now for FREE here



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