Raekwon aka The Chef aka 1/10th of the legendary Wu Tang Clan (including Cap) released his 7th studio album and in spite of no love from radio or media it’s one of the best albums to come out this year. Is it Only Built 4 Cuban Linx level??? That might be an overstatement, but all the same it’s fair to say it’s his best overall work in the better part of the last decade, and 25 years post 36 Chambers the mafioso style has only matured and gotten better. On this album Rae takes us into The Wild and he murders everything in sight, in other words the Chef is cookin all over this…
The Wild is critiqued track by track below
The Wild (Intro)
“The Wild...The Wild right,the jungle with no rules, we run this forest bitch,we live by the water, we eat the fruits **** and we speak the prophets that empowers strong prophecies, King Lex... this album is dedicated to the honorable Mel Carter, rest in Palaces, kid...The Wild” 🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥
This Is What It Comes Too
“This what it comes to, wilin' like the west and down, in this concrete jungle, homie hope you got ya vest on, and ya weapon is oiled and don't jam but if it do, leave ya crew when it's time for that warfare” This is a fire opening and introduction to The Wild, highlighted by production provided by Xtreme that will make you want to get on the freeway and drive 100 mph
“Automatic tax, not askin’, get your jawbone fractured, we can make a mess or do it classy, I’m talkin to you, you in the red leather, ***** wear lead leathers, he felt bad but respected me, passed the watch and the chain, respectably” Mafioso raps over nice production from Frank G, this is a nice album cut no more no less.
Skit (Bang Head Right)
“Shorty want her head right, shorty want her head right, shorty wanna spend the night, night, so come on over yeah” smooth vocals and a smooth interlude, not mad at this.
Marvin ft CeeLo Green
“April 2nd 1939, the stars is in line, divine intervention at it's own intention, birthed a gift in this DC kid, he sung heavenly, good values and all…” This is a monumental record from the Chef about the life and death of Marvin Gaye, where in the midst of being one of the most beloved artists of the time period, on April 1st, 1984 (a day before his 45th birthday) he was fatally shot by his own father with the gun he purchased for him. Raekwon’s verses are incredibly descriptive (reminds me of how Nas would do this), and the production from Frank G and hook from Cee Lo Green make this record complete, this is one of the best surprises thus far in 2017.
Can’t You See
“Now it’s all about good living raising my children, I done seen the flames, escaped from the hell storms…’" Fire production from Roads-Art 🔥🔥🔥 that brings the best out of Rae, this is one of the standout records off the album and a necessary addition to all playlists immediately. The cypher’s not complete without records like this.
My Corner ft Lil Wayne
“I'm walkin round the mansion on a cordless, arguin with a bitch bout how I cannot be her boyfriend, and then I told her, ‘Hold on, let me click over,’ it was my homie T,'bout to bring them bricks over, we bout to break em down like when hammers hit boulders, if one of us goes down then we keep our lips frozen” Rae gets a better decent than Wayne verse and that’s the highlight of the record, otherwise it’s relatively generic but still a decent album cut.
Skit (Fuck You Up Card)
“I need ninety dollars for slaps, heavy face slaps, 1300 dollars for the broken rib action, 2500 for the full flip” A lil kid puts Rae up on some game and you gotta respect it. Solid skit that’s worth the placement.
M&N ft P.U.R.E.
"We millimeter speakers, M&N, back to back rap, relax" This record produced by Dame Grease is mostly defined by the guest feature P.U.R.E. who carries the hook and general tone of the record overall. It got the video treatment but to me this is one of the skipworthy records on the project.
Visiting Hour ft Andra Day
“That used to be me, young, ruthless, and carefree, until I seen the bigger picture, shifted, my way of thinking, that 25 to life is real, so is the casket once it close on you, word to the youth, it’s not a game, cause life'll swerve on you, and she's a bitch, and could care less about the nerves on you” Produced by Mally the Martian this is one of the best records off The Wild, where per usual the lyrics are on point and this time the record gets a boost through the hook from Andra Day, a Grammy nominated artist from San Diego, California who definitely does her numbers on this.
Skit (Bang Fall Down)
“Fall down, let them lames fall down” this one you can SKIP….
“On top of my game with cuban linx in my chain, Iconic, icon victorious, whenever the mic’s on” 💪💪💪 solid album cut
Crown of Thorns
“Preparing my speech, pulled up in a peach Corniche, seats are burgundy, soccer gear and Louis cleats” fire production provided by J Dot and this one’s definitely a heater 🔥🔥🔥 more 🔥🔥🔥
Purple Brick Road ft G Eazy
“It's G-Rapo and Raekwon, told the homies this wouldn't take long, my verses always just as real as the true story it's based on” No thanks! SKIP!
You Hear Me
“Meet my hounds, sitting on plainsclothes, bitch calm down, all I rock's Kangols, six all brown, inside mangos, getting it hold the town ***** got a rainbow’ I’m good on this - SKIP this is as well.
“I got what you need, and I got what you want” This cool… not mad at this
Overall this album is halfway a masterpiece yet it suffers from simply being 5 records too long, whereas the first half of the album is home to some of it’s best moments (highlighted by Marvin, Can’t You See, This Is What It Comes Too, & Visiting Hour) where the second half is where you’ll find most of it’s misfires (Purple Brick Road the most glaring), the latter being what ultimately compromises it as a classic. Even still it was incredibly refreshing to hear Rae sound this good in 2017, reinforcing the idea that it’s possible for an artist to get better with time.