3TM Year In Review – Best Album of 2009: Raekwon – Only Built 4 Cuban Linx Pt. 2

3TM Album of 2009 - Raekwon

To say Raekwon’s sequel to his 1995 classic Only Built 4 Cuban Linx… was anything short of brilliant would be to do the release a major injustice. The album, which marked a return of sorts for Hip Hop of substance and Mafioso Rap, served as a reminder of both Raekwon’s creative perfectionism and undeniable presence when it comes to his records. Only Built 4 Cuban Linx… Pt. II may have taken almost 15 years following its predecessor to materialise, but it was well worth the wait.

The cinematic structure of the album ensured that it was one of those rare records that you cannot help but to listen to in one complete sitting. OB4CL2 largely followed the same concept as its precursor but from the wiser outlook of an industry veteran, therefore somehow maintaining a fine balance between a nostalgic return to the basics and artistic progression. Both in terms of creative concept and lyricism, Only Built 4 Cuban Linx… Pt. II was certainly more than worthy of the ‘Album of the year’ title, despite tough competition from the likes of Jay-Z, Tech N9ne and Slaughterhouse.

Look out for my Raekwon interview coming soon to Tapwire Magazine, which gives a real insight to the creative process behind OB4CL2.

[Youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zO1C8_YS30Y]

3TM Year In Review: Best Hip Hop Videos – Jay-Z & Raekwon

Image: Roc Nation/MTV

Mainstream Pick: Jay-Z – Run This Town

[Youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yVA-xTBeHyM]

Rather reminicsent of 2pac and Dr. Dre’s classic anarchy-rich 1995 ‘California Love’ video, Jigga’s ‘Run This Town’ was probably the most talked-about video of 2009. Littered with Illuminati references and sybolism, the release served to respark interest in the already saturated Freemasons in Hip Hop discussion. Whether or not the video managed to live up to the elevated expectations, a display of chaos, rebellion and pure, unadulterated ego, ‘Run This Town’ certainly reflects the typical 2009 Hip Hop mentality.


Alternative Pick: Raekwon – House of Flying Daggers

[Youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LHVCQc6cbSw]

For those that prefer to shy away from the mainstream, Raekwon’s latest offering Only Built 4 Cuban Linx Pt. II represented a beacon of hope for Hip Hop of substance. The animated video for the J.Dilla-produced ‘House of Flying Daggers,’ seemingly inspired by the cult Kung-fu movie ‘Five Deadly Venoms,’ captures the mood and concept of the album to perfection.