Raekwon
Fly International Luxurious Art


2.5
average

Review

by GnarlyShillelagh EMERITUS
April 29th, 2015 | 35 replies


Release Date: 04/28/2015 | Tracklist

Review Summary: You're missing nothing if you choose to skip this album.

Let’s just get to the point: FILA is a glorious disappointment. Maybe it’s the in-house quarrels that Raekwon always seems to have a role in, maybe it’s the delays and setbacks the album underwent, or maybe Rae is just finally getting over the hill, but what was supposed to be an ode to opulence is ultimately a garish, comfortable release that, while never offensively bad, brings nothing to the table and is almost entirely forgettable. Where Rae’s most recent LP, Shaolin vs. Wu-Tang proved itself agile, a generally limber listen made so by braiding quick tracks into a cohesive lattice that allowed Chef’s proclivities for storytelling to shine, it suffered only when the lyricism was overshadowed by dreadfully bad, protracted hooks (“Chop Chop Ninja”, “Rock N Roll”). For FILA, Raekwon neglects to correct these mistakes and actually compounds the problem further by taking a more traditional approach to songwriting, making more ‘complete’ songs that rely more heavily on the beat and the hook to make it through, both of which pretty consistently miss the mark. Only a couple beats complement the themes Raekwon attempts to paint, and there are fewer hooks that work. The album starts out reasonably strong with “4 in the Morning,” a flourish of fanfare and trademark Scram Jones atmosphere and “I Got Money,” a straight hip-hop joint with a rare great hook and a def(t) A$AP Rocky flow that sees the youngster transcend his station with an A1 verse that would satisfy even the most curmudgeonly of golden age clingers. But it’s all downhill from there; “Wall to Wall” interrupts Rae and Busta’s streak of hot collaborations with its overbearing, nauseating hook and absurd length, and “F.I.L.A. World”s ‘celestial’ beat is a bumbling, faux-elegant mess that no one should have ever written over. The rest is a mishmash of throwaways, bland nothings occasionally sprinkled with brief moments of entertainment. And lyrically, the album, much like most of Raekwon’s verses in the past few years, is an incessant rehashing of the same formula over and over again – a dense batter of schemes and luxury with no readily discernible standout bars or flows; it’s not bad, per se, but it’s nothing special and does little to remedy the album’s flawed production and songwriting. Ultimately, FILA suffers not from any sort of egregious mistakes, but rather from being almost entirely forgettable; excepting the standout “I Got Money,” you’re missing nothing if you choose to skip this album.




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user ratings (61)
Chart.
2.4
average

Comments:Add a Comment 
GnarlyShillelagh
Emeritus
April 29th 2015


6385 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

been a while

Trebor.
Staff Reviewer
April 29th 2015


56624 Comments


Rock N Roll is one of the worst songs ever by a good artist

Digging: Carly Rae Jepsen - Dedicated

PappyMason
April 29th 2015


5702 Comments


For a moment I thought the summary said 'You're missing OUT if you choose to skip this album' and I was getting super excited.

Oh well, good review mane.



SPRFanOf5H
April 29th 2015


831 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

Really disappointed over this album, had higher hopes for this one. 1,2 1,2 is one of the strongest tracks on this album for sure, and features Snoop's best raps to date - which isn't saying much as of recently.

ExplosiveOranges
April 29th 2015


4408 Comments


What PappyMason said. *sigh* Welcome back, Aziz.

VaxXi
April 29th 2015


4407 Comments


Whoever formatted the tracklist for this album needs to be shot.

Fort23
April 30th 2015


3037 Comments


Are there any bangers stranded on this thing

oltnabrick
April 30th 2015


36771 Comments

Album Rating: 1.5

the first song with gfk is good, thats it lol

Digging: Sun Ra - Jazz in Silhouette

Fort23
April 30th 2015


3037 Comments


Ahh rae X gfk literal crack

Gyromania
April 30th 2015


27236 Comments


aw fuck. seriously?

trackbytrackreviews
April 30th 2015


3383 Comments


Ultimately, [i]FILA[i]


toomuchtestosterone
April 30th 2015


87 Comments


Makes me sad

L4titudes
April 30th 2015


3649 Comments


Bummer

hogan900
April 30th 2015


2946 Comments


1,2,1,2 was pretty great if I remember correctly.
guess I won't be checking the rest out, good review man.

guitarded_chuck
April 30th 2015


17543 Comments


wait for more opinions but yeah -> damn

Underflow
April 30th 2015


4867 Comments


Sad to hear. I was looking forward to this.

jmh886
April 30th 2015


2350 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

yea. this aint bad. but it aint great. and i expected more. hopefully he bounces back next album. there's always new ghost and gza to look forward to.

aaronrkc
April 30th 2015


345 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Paragraphs

Digging: Kevin Morby - Oh My God

clander270
April 30th 2015


429 Comments


Damn, after I heard 1,2,1,2 I was like OH SHIT THIS ALBUM IS GONNA FUCKIN KILL, sad to hear it didn't turn out well

cvlts
April 30th 2015


9552 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

Rae tries to be too hard on some of these tracks. Lame album... was hoping to be surprised.

Digging: Full of Hell - Weeping Choir



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