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.


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

Image: Roc Nation/MTV

Mainstream Pick: Jay-Z – Run This Town


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


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.

Joe Budden: Escape Route Needed!

Despite clashing with the release of Slaughterhouse’s debut album, Joe Budden will drop his album ‘Escape Route’ tomorrow (August 11th 2009). The project will only be available in digital format and will serve as a precursor to his next solo project ‘The Great Escape.’

The rapper explained that the album is “filled with the lyricism and passion that Joe Budden fans have come to love.” ‘Escape Route’ will feature the likes of Wale, Young Chris and Slaughterhouse, alongside production from Just Blaze, 9th Wonder, J. Cardim, Streetrunner and Chad West.

In related news, Budden could have used an Escape Route when he was punched by an affiliate of the Wu-Tang rapper Raekwon backstage on Saturday at Rock The Bells. Raekwon has since apologised for the incident, stating  “On my children nobody was supposed to get touched.” Budden and Rae were talking backstage before the situation took a violent turn. Shortly after, Budden explained via a BlogTV broadcast that he was “alright,” whilst holding an ice pack to his face.


Video: hiphopsheartbeat.com


UPDATE: In a video blog from San Diego today, Budden challenged Raekwon to a one-on-one fight, claiming that the Rock The Bells incident caught him in ‘a compromised situation.’ The rapper explained that the ‘playing field levelled out within the hour’ because they ‘were in LA,’ the home of his good friend Crooked I, stating that ‘it wasn’t six on one anymore.’  He then continued to challenge Raekwon, saying that the only resolution was ‘a squaredance.’ Budden then confirmed that Rae declined his offer, before mocking his age and weight. He then called for fans to ‘urge’ Rae to fight. 


‘Escape Route’ can be bought online from www.amalgamdigital.com.

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