Illustration: @stayvers

The 36 Best Raekwon Songs, Ranked

Raekwon’s early contributions to the Clan, and by extension to hip hop in general, cannot be overstated. He’s got the first verse on the Wu’s biggest hit (and possibly best song) “C.R.E.A.M.,” and he’s the leading man on one of popular music’s most cinematic masterpieces, The Purple Tape, aka Only Built 4 Cuban Linx…

The Slangmaster General’s supreme confidence in his own vision, coupled with an unwillingness to stick to old scripts, led his career down a couple of rabbit holes where some fans chose not to follow (specifically, 1999’s Immobilarity and 2003’s The Lex Diamond Story). But beginning with his long-awaited Cuban Linx sequel in 2009, Raekwon is in the midst of a career renaissance that has made him the Clan’s most consistent artist over the past decade, with a style of rhyme that’s aged like fine wine. Now a quarter century into his career, with yet another well-received album released this year (The Wild), The Chef is still cooking up some marvelous shit.

As part of MASS APPEAL’s Wu-Tangsgiving Celebration, below are Raekwon’s 36 best solo cuts, meaning cuts from his solo albums, which may or not include other rappers, as well as solo cuts from soundtrack albums—but which will not include such memorable features as “Skew It On The Bar-B.” This list, and MASS APPEAL’s other Wu-related lists that follow, were assembled with curatorial guidance by hip hop consigliere and esteemed Wu-Tang scholar, Bönz Malone.

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