As the Wu-Tang Clan flag still waves in the air after maintaining nearly 20 years of relevancy, SOHH recently spoke to Raekwon to get his perspective on longevity in the rap game.
In addition to longevity, the “Chef” also killed the notion of staying power being based off record sales.
“You still have these artists who go on tour that are 60, still getting loved by the young [fans] as well,” Raekwon told SOHH when asked about his thoughts on rap longevity. “It’s all about partying but they’re doing it for the passion. They do it because they still want to go out there and live the dream. This is an American Dream regardless of us becoming this famous in the game. For me, I don’t really sit there and think sometimes, ‘We’ve been here for so many years.’ So I guess I’m getting better as I get older and I’m understanding more. The money is always gonna come. I’m not doing this music just to say, ‘If I don’t go platinum then it ain’t official.’ F*ck the numbers and all that other sh*t. Did I give you quality work? I think that’s more important.” (SOHH)
In late January, Rae spoke on why he feels has hasn’t reached legendary status as of yet.
“I don’t consider myself a legend because I feel I’m still in the mix of trying to become a greater artist,” Rae explained in an interview. “I always grew up knowing legends to be somebody that stopped and just did everything they wanted to do to reach a certain plateau. For me, I’ve always been a team player with the Clan and I actually haven’t had an opportunity to put in enough work to be considered a legend. As far as the group thing, yeah, I know the group is legendary but Rae still got, Rae ain’t gonna never gonna put himself higher than he needs to put himself. I just feel like I have more things to go. I’m only four albums in. I just got more to offer. I think a legend always, in my eyes, is supposed to have multi-talented albums out, multi-talented discs — I do think I have that success but I just need a little bit more though. Word.” (Ruby Hornet)
Last fall, Rae gave tips on how to remain relevant in today’s hip-hop industry.
“Analyze the last s**t that you did that was hot; pay attention to it,” Rae suggested in an interview. “Study it like how a boxer studies their fights. My thing is just stay believing in yourself, and be relevant. You can’t make you’re a** relevant when you aren’t out on the street, if you not really around to be found. It takes a lot; a lot of dedication, and a lot of time, and the right staff and the men around you. If a ni**a tell you something is weak, or ‘No, I don’t get that from that,’ then be willing to take that criticism in a great way. I think that’s what I did, I had a lot of people around me that were determined not to let me do what the f**k I felt, and it had to make sense to everybody. If I had one person that was against that, that bothered me. I was like why did you feel like that? ‘Yo I feel like that because of this or whatever.’ And then they had a great thing that I had to pay attention to.” (All Hip Hop)
After taking a hiatus from recording, Rae released his latest solo project, Only Built 4 Cuban Linx 2, in 2009.
Wu-Tang Clan’s Raekwon has returned to store shelves with his long-delayed Only Built 4 Cuban Linx Part 2 landing at No. 4. The Chef’s new album has sold a total of 67,900 records after one week on store shelves. (SOHH Sales Wrap)
Check out some recent Raekwon footage below: