"she take a bone like a rib eye steak at ruth's chris"

Wednesday, September 02, 2009

here is my first look review of raekwon's only built 4 cuban linx pt. 2. it's been a great day for music. make sure to scroll down to read my thoughts on the blueprint 3. let's go!

some listening material to begin:
+ raekwon feat. ghostface killah & suga bang "cold outside" [audio]
+ raekwon feat. inspectah deck & RZA "black mozart" [audio]
+ raekwon feat. inspectah deck & ghostface killah "mean streets" [audio]
+ raekwon feat. inspectah deck & masta killa "kiss the ring" [audio]

+ "return of the north star"
feature papa wu
producer BT
notes it's the intro.
first look score n/a

+ "house of flying daggers"
feature inspectah deck, ghostface killah, method man
producer j dilla
notes recycled dilla production, but i'm not complaining. the album version is much better than the initially leaked version. i approve.
first look score 4.5/5

+ "sonny's missing"
feature none
producer pete rock
notes generally, i dislike pete rock, but the production is quality on "sonny's missing". the brooding pianos followed by the tense horn loops is hauntingly beautiful. raekwon parlays his lyrical expertise into a short story complete with murder, interrogation, drug use, gang violence, and a lot of posturing.
first look score 4.5/5

+ "pyrex vision"
feature none
producer marley marl
notes marley marl? seriously? where did he find this dude? "pyrex vision" is less than a minute long, but the guitar loop and bubbling in the background makes it sound lush. raekwon lazily flows through this as he describes his drug spot. the tracks are seamlessly blending into each other.
first look score 4/5

+ "cold outside"
feature ghostface killah, suga bang
producer ATL
notes oh shit, i don't know who ATL is, but his production is epic. it reminds me of the scene in kill bill where lucy liu and the bride have their final showdown. suga bang is the worst name i've ever heard, but he's sangin'! raekwon and ghostface killah are trading barbs to perfection, but i can't get over this beat. it's fucking wild. this is a beyond perfect track. seriously, i want to stab someone with a samurai sword.
first look score 10/5

+ "black mozart"
feature inspectah deck, RZA
producer RZA
notes oh no! i can't believe RZA used this sample, insanity! this is vintage RZA, dope. raekwon isn't letting up on the lyrical side of things. the singing is kind of off putting, but when inspectah deck energetically comes on, it more than makes up for that. it's feeling like a second birth for the whole clan. wow, RZA's vocal addition was quite strange.
first look score 5/5

+ "gihad"
feature ghostface killah
producer necro
notes get out of here, necro!? raekwon going in with the drug talk. this sounds like a generic necro production, nothing too interesting going on there. ghostface killah is hilariously misogynistic, classic. "she take a bone like a rib eye steak at ruth's chris"! the ad libs at the end are comedy.
first look score 4/5

+ "new wu"
feature ghostface killah, method man
producer RZA
notes we've all heard this by now, but it's still as dope as the first time. they all go in. straight up, ran train on this.
first look score 5/5

+ "penitentiary"
feature ghostface killah
producer BT
notes LMAO. i don't know why i like this because the production makes me want to have a seizure. raekwon trading lines with ghostface killah is a team that cannot be touched. i can't listen to this too many times in a row. sonically, this is kind of terrible, but i love it.
first look score 4/5

+ "baggin crack"
feature none
producer n/a
notes i don't know if this an official track. the drum programming is amateur, but raekwon is making the most of it. it's just non-stop rae-isms.
first look score 3/5

+ "surgical gloves"
feature none
producer the alchemist
notes you can tell this alchemist almost immediately. the chop is kind of grating, not the best sound. this doesn't sound like raekwon. i thought mf doom had substituted until the second verse. flow is lazy and off at times. a lot of randomness and it's not structured well. can't say i like this much.
first look score 2.5/5

+ "broken safety"
feature jadakiss, styles p
producer scram jones
notes can't get enough of the kung-fu samples. primary sound is almost identical to "surgical gloves", but is mixed much lower. it's kind of like video game music. there's a repetitive sound that's kind of annoying. jeez, it's going on the entire time. on the other side of things, they all do a stand up job. styles p sounds like he's rapping on another track, but lyrically, it's nice and standard lox material.
first look score 3.5/5

+ "canal street"
feature none
producer icewater
notes this sounds familiar, but i can't put my finger on it. it sounds like a robber's theme song. raekwon is on point. i'm kind of glad that the production is so unassuming. we're witnessing the rebirth of raekwon.
first look score 3.5/5

+ "ason jones"
feature none
producer j dilla
notes raekwon's heartfelt tribute to odb. it's touching especially with the background music from j dilla. it's kind of a strange track to listen to as it's a tribute to both the fallen wu-tang member and a display of the late j dilla's talent. this is the "put your lighters in the air" track.
first look score 4.5/5

+ "have mercy"
feature beanie sigel, blue raspberry
producer icewater
notes wow, blue raspberry? i didn't even know she was still among the living. come to think of it, i haven't heard beanie sigel in a minute. icewater is an adequate producer, but he hasn't done anything really interesting. it's keeping the same mood as the previous track. introspective and haunting, i think it's a good balance.
first look score 4/5

+ "10 bricks"
feature cappadonna, ghostface killah
producer j dilla
notes a redux of an already dope track from champion sound. the high pitched strings make me think there are bees around me. corny, i know, but i really do feel like i'm about to get stung. the chorus is poorly delivered, but the verses are prime. it's always nice to hear cappadonna in all his off kilter glory.
first look score 4.5/5

+ "fat lady sings"
feature none
producer icewater
notes "we going ricky retardo"! icewater is marginally more interesting on "fat lady sings". you can't say he's formulaic, that's for sure. the singing is extremely grating, but raekwon's short story is nice.
first look score 3.5/5

+ "catalina"
feature lyfe jennings
producer dr. dre
notes search through the archives to find my full write up of "catalina". i like!
first look score 4.5/5

+ "we will rob you"
feature slick rick, masta killah, GZA
producer allah justice
notes oh, slick rick!? story wise, this is flawless. the production is fairly standard and nothing to place attention to, but lyrically, this is perfection. you can easily visualize the scene they are describing, especially GZA. the chorus is very corny, yikes.
first look score 4.5/5

+ "about me"
feature busta rhymes
producer dr. dre
notes the production feels a tad out of place, but this is a perfect example of what dr. dre can do with limited ingredients. i approve of busta rhymes in a guest role. i think that's where he performs the best. if i wasn't considering this in the context of the album, i would probably rate this higher.
first look score 4/5

+ "mean streets"
feature inspectah deck, ghostface killah
producer allah mathematics
notes nearly epic production from allah mathematics. it's not "cold outside", but it's in the running for second. i think my neck is about to crack. this might be the best chorus on ob4cl pt. 2. inspectah deck has murdered every guest spot he's done on this. i mean, it was a given that ghostface killah would handle his co-star status, but inspectah deck surprised me.
first look score 5/5

+ "kiss the ring"
feature inspectah deck, masta killa
producer scram jones
notes damn, this sounds like celebration. the sample is hilarious, but scram jones bodied it. this is a perfect ending. "frontin' like i know i'm the king, i live alone though" raekwon is telling us we just witnessed a classic and i'm close to believing him. once again, inspectah deck just vince carter over frederic weis'd this track.
first look score 5/5

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