Wu-Tang Clan’s Raekwon recently dished out some music industry advice to hip-hop newcomers and explained why it is vital to ride the wave of a hot buzz.
In the Chef’s eyes, consistency and timing are both important factors to staying relevant in rap.
“Really know when it’s your time, and really pursue it. Pursue being consistent when it is your time, because sometimes artists get hot and they drop the ball after one or two good looks. It’s so important to really take advantage of that moment. When you got a buzz going and your creative fluids is going, you gotta keep running.” (XXL Mag)
In fall 2011, Young Money’s Lil Wayne served up some rap rookie tips.
“All I can say is make sure that you’re not rhyming because you figured you could sound like Drake. Make sure those aren’t the reasons that you’re picking up a pad and pen,” Wayne explained. “Make sure that you’re doing it for a real reason. I did this when I was 8 years old. I started writing raps for a reason, and that reason was because I loved to make words rhyme. That was my reason for making music. So make sure you have a real reason that you want to rhyme. Don’t make that reason be ‘I’m tryna make it out the ‘hood” or ‘I’m tryna feed my family,’ because this sh*t ain’t guaranteed to do none of those things. … If you want to be where I’m at with it-I been in this 18 years. If you ain’t got that kind of dedication, then just leave it alone and do something that can actually benefit your future for the long run.” (VIBE)
Last year, Rae hit up SOHH and dropped some knowledge on the power of longevity.
“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)
Despite big record sales and iconic status, the rapper previously explained why he is still not at legendary status 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)
Check out some recent Raekwon footage below: