Raekwon Previews ‘Shaolin Vs. Wu-Tang’ in New York
On Wednesday night, Raekwon mingled with media while previewing his latest project 'Shaolin Vs. Wu-Tang,' due everywhere on March 8. Originally positioned as Wu-Tang Clan's RZA-less followup to '8 Diagrams,' Raekwon, who takes credit for the name of the project, grabbed his title and ran with it. Good thing, too.
Listening to the 17 cuts (not including the bonus tracks) on the album, Rae does justice to the kung fu theme with soundbites from vintage martial art films and theatrical beats that segue songs titled 'Chop Chop Ninja,' 'Butter Knives' and 'The Scroll.' While Rae is the clear star, he isn't scared to share the stage with a laundry list of guests, including Nas, Rick Ross, Mobb Deep, Busta Rhymes, Jim Jones, Lloyd Banks, Raheem DeVaughn, Estelle, Black Thought and, as expected, Wu's Ghostface and Method Man. Ghost teams up with Rae on four tracks begging the question: When will we see a Chef and Ghost collaborative album?
As the room of bloggers and journalists chatted among themselves, took notes and tweeted, Rae stayed close to the speaker, eyes closed at times, and rapped his verses while bobbing his head to each track.
"We were tryna show y'all a little movie," Rae says of 'Shaolin Vs. Wu-Tang.' The emcee succeeded. The conceptual project seems to work best through Rae's eyes making it easy to forgive the Clan for not releasing this as a group effort.
Listen to Raekwon's 'Shaolin Vs. Wu-Tang' Title Track