Today in Hip Hop History: January 12, 1970
Happy birthday to one of the original members of the Wu-Tang Clan, Corey Quontrell Woods, aka Raekwon, the Chef. Raekwon was born in Staten Island, New York in 1970. The MC is one of the pioneers in Mafioso rap, alongside others such as Jay Z, Nas, Kool G Rap and Notorious B.I.G..
Raekwon started his career with the Clan in 1992, and one year later, changed the genre of hip hop forever with the group’s release of their debut album, Enter the Wu-Tang: 36 Chambers. He features on the first verse of “C.R.E.A.M.,” arguably the best Wu-Tang song to this day.
Within the first wave of solo Wu-Tang albums to be released was Raekwon’s 1995 album Only Built 4 Cuban Linx…, which single-handedly brought back the hip hop sub-genre of Mafioso rap. Additionally, the album features Nas, which signified the first time a solo Wu-Tang album contained an outsider on a track. Very fitting.
Since then, Raekwon has released 6 more solo albums, one being the sequel to Only Built 4 Cuban Linx…, and featured on all of the subsequent Wu-Tang albums, albeit very reluctantly on the last one. Despite less success in his solo career than some of the other members, Raekwon is definitely one of the most innovative and classic MCs to come from his era.