Raekwon
Only Built 4 Cuban Linx... Pt II


4.0
excellent

Review

by Bulldog USER (114 Reviews)
April 24th, 2010 | 81 replies


Release Date: 2009 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Only Built 4 Cuban Linx...Pt II is, essentially, a more theatrical, intelligent, sophisticated, clean-cut approach to gangsta rap.

It was momentous, it was anticipated, it was scrutinized. A member of the revered Wu-Tang Clan, Raekwon released his cult classic Only Built 4 Cuban Linx in 1995, and the album is still acclaimed to this day as a hip-hop classic. But after the intial hype died down, and four years after his solo effort, Chef released two substandard albums four years between one another.

Around six years after the unsatisfying The Lex Diamond Story, Raekwon had announced that he would be releasing a follow-up to his underground classic. Reasonably so, a skeptical question arose. Many wondered whether or not this album would be a legitimate sequel to his debut, or a play off of name recognition that was merely on the same level of his two middle releases. Raekwon proved the haters wrong.

Now, that's not to say that this achieved the level of its predecessor, but it's still a great record. After all, how could it not be? With an all-star lineup consisting of Dr. Dre, Slick Rick, J Dilla, Pete Rock, and of course, the Clan, Raekwon was heavily equipped with all the firepower he could possibly ask for. The only doubt that could remain was, "would he capitalize on it?"

Capitalize, he did. A specialist in punchlines and crime narratives, Raekwon elaborately weaves tales of cinematic crack king criminality in a Mafioso fashion. A quasi-conceptual album, Only Built 4 Cuban Linx...Pt II is a slight 3rd person narration of a seasoned crime boss who loves what he does. Complete with useful skits that actually catalyze the story and mob film samples, Only Built 4 Cuban Linx...Pt II succeeds in creating a movie-like atmosphere.

Needless to say, the dark, showmanly production assists in creating this environment. With slicing snares throughout and a black aurora emitting, the production screams out darkness. The midnight buzzing and daunting winds of "Black Mozart" craft an eerie soundscape, just as the dark church organs, rapid, immense pianos and sharp snares of "Surgical Gloves" create a suspenseful one.

However, Only Built 4 Cuban Linx...Pt II isn't without its flaws. At 22 tracks and 70:51 minutes, it's rather hefty and sprawling. inaccessible. In addition, the bite of the heavily-EQ'd snares can become irritating. And because of its cohesiveness and relative intelligence, the album requires attentive listening, as it isn't simply intended to be fun background noise. One could also make a case that the album requires a bit of background knowledge to be fully appreciated. Overall, this makes for a fairly inaccessible album, and it takes several plays before it can be totally enjoyed.

Only Built 4 Cuban Linx...Pt II is, essentially, a more theatrical, intelligent, sophisticated, clean-cut approach to gangsta rap. If Eazy-E's Eazy-Duz-It is the "Scarface" of hip-hop albums, then Only Built 4 Cuban Linx...II is "The Godfather." It's not for those who want to see epic shootouts and illustrious lifestyles, it's for those who want to see great stories and intelligence. So if you aren't down for that, you're in trouble, because the Wu-Tang Clan ain't nothin' to *** wit.



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user ratings (542)
Chart.
4.1
excellent
other reviews of this album
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Comments:Add a Comment 
Bulldog
April 24th 2010


3796 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

http://www.itsjustmusic.net/2010/04/8-album-of-2009-raekwons-only-built-4.html

TheSpirit
April 24th 2010


17930 Comments


I actually tried getting into this quite a bit recently (been trying to get into more rap/hiphop and whatnot) but didn't really enjoy it that much. Army of the Pharaohs and Iron Braydz all are sick though

theacademy
Staff Reviewer
April 24th 2010


28660 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Reasonably so, a skeptical question arised.


nooope'd.

Digging: Jessie Ware - Tough Love

bloc
April 24th 2010


34927 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Still got to listen to this, I already listened to the first Linx and loved it. Loving that last line sucka.

O.J. Simpson
April 24th 2010


408 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

good review mang, luuurve this album.

Bulldog
April 24th 2010


3796 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I have never heard Iron Braydz (damn) and I'm not that big on Army of the Pharaohs. This is way better than I remember, though.

I still, think the first one was better though. By like 0.4

Bulldog
April 24th 2010


3796 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Awww, darn TheAcademy.

I'll try harder next time.

theacademy
Staff Reviewer
April 24th 2010


28660 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

you could start by spell-checking your reviews...

Bulldog
April 24th 2010


3796 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Sorry, I wrote this on Windows Journal, my Microsoft Word won't work.

Please point out all the spelling errors I made.

theacademy
Staff Reviewer
April 24th 2010


28660 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

lol. read comments people write under your review, man...

Reasonably so, a skeptical question arised.


this is like that time when you thought Ruth Bader Ginsburg was a guy.

Bulldog
April 24th 2010


3796 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Except for I never thought Ruth Bader Ginsburg was a guy. So, good job.

And what is spelled incorrectly in the sentence "Reasonably so, a skeptical quesiton arised." ?

theacademy
Staff Reviewer
April 24th 2010


28660 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

And what is spelled incorrectly in the sentence "Reasonably so, a skeptical quesiton arised." ?


i quit.

Bulldog
April 24th 2010


3796 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I quit.


Why?? :'(

Slum
April 24th 2010


2579 Comments


Arose is the proper word, my man

Lambda
April 24th 2010


2455 Comments


And "quesiton" should be "question"

EDIT: Oh, that misspell wasn't in the actual review. K nevermind.

Counterfeit
April 24th 2010


17819 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Good review, need to hear this and the first one still.

HenchmanOfSanta
April 24th 2010


1884 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Also, "question." This shouldn't be negged, though.

Digging: Run the Jewels - Run the Jewels 2

Bulldog
April 24th 2010


3796 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Changed.

This shouldn't be negged, though.


In TheAcademy's world, a review's merit isn't based on how accurate it is, or how well it's written, but what rating its attached to, and if that rating synchronizes with his own.

theacademy
Staff Reviewer
April 24th 2010


28660 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Album Rating: 4


or maybe, its only based on how well it's written...

Bulldog
April 24th 2010


3796 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

or maybe, it's only based on how well it's written...


Or maybe, not. The only criticism you offered was that I put "arised" instead of "arose."

I definitely need to re-write the entire review, I used one wrong word.

Shit.



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