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Live From the Purple Carpet: Interviews and Photos from Last Night’s Raekwon Record Release Party

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Raekwon’s long-anticipated Only Built for Cuban Linx, Part II dropped yesterday with a release party graced by Ghostface, Method Man, Diddy, DJ Premiere, Redman, Eric B, Ice-T, and Cappadonna, among many, many others. The red carpet was purple, of course, and the press assembled around it could be better described as a dangerous mob of fans. In fact, the crowd outside of Santos was so overwhelming that Rae had the NYPD working for him last night; cops lined the entire block, yelling at press and bodyguards. But New York’s rap royalty were in cheerful form regardless, posing for photos and rendering opinions on what looks to be Rae’s instant classic. At least, according to them:

What was the first thing that popped into your head when you woke up this morning?

My kids and my fans. I wanted to see where the fans was at, and you know, I constantly kept them in my heart. It’s like, first my babies and then y’all are getting something that you’ve been waiting for and the vibe is crazy. So, I’ve just been thinking about everybody and showing love.

Favorite song?

“Cold Outside”. There’s a lot of joints though… a lot of songs!

Cappadonna on Cuban Linx II:

I’m still pushing those bricks, you know what it is. I’m feeling really good – me, Raekwon, Ghost, we’re back on our zigga. I think the Linx is a little tighter this time [compared to the first album]. We put a lot of work into this, we’ve been working on this album, for like, for two years. It’s the best fabrication yet.

Ice-T:

If you’re a hip-hop fan, you gotta be a Wu-Tang fan. I know that this is going to be a family reunion. All the hardcore hip-hop cats are gonna show up so it’s a mandatory, you know, a mandatory attendance night. You know what I’m sayin?

Primo on Raekwon:

He’s bringing it back. With the cables and the gold teeth and shell toes… well shell toes are always fashionable. Just certain parts of even the way our wardrobe is, that’s the music, you know what I’m saying? So it’s a beautiful thing.

What’s your favorite Wu-Tang track to play out?

“Bring the Ruckus” or “Shame on a Nigga”. Definitely.

Lil Cease on Wu-Tang:

They influenced my style, not even my style, but they influenced all of hip-hop, you know what I mean? Ever since Wu-Tang came out, you see all these big groups come out – you see Dipset, you see G-Unit – you see one artist help everybody else, but we gone and seen Wu-Tang do that when they first came out. We see all the solo projects – from Method Man, from Raekwon, from U-God, from Ol Dirty Bastard – so you know they kind of opened up the game for other artists to spread out and put out their own stuff. Cuban Linx was one of the best projects – as far as solo wise – so we’ve been waiting for Part II for 14 years! I had to come and show my support!

Grafh on working with Raekwon:

It’s crazy. That’s a legend right there. I grew up on that type of hip-hop. Working with him and hearing the end result and hearing the public responding to it, that’s the best part. We have a track together – it’s called “Cold Backhand” and it’s all over the internet right now. It’s classic hip-hop, that’s what we’re going for.

Marley Marl on the long-awaited release:

I feel like it was about time for this to drop, right now. It’s history and I’m so happy to be involved with it. We had people questioning but we waited for the right time to put it out and we need that right now.

Eric B on Wu-Tang and Rae:

It’s always important to have your own label. They’ve struggled, they started from the ground up and dealt with all the other stuff in the business and now it’s his day. It’s time for him to shine and feed his family.

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