Raekwon is an American rapper and a member of the Wu-Tang Clan who has gained a few Top Ten albums on his own.
Corey Woods was born in Staten Island, New York on January 12, 1970, and joined the nine-member collective Wu-Tang Clan in 1992. Under the stage name Raekwon the Chef, the clan released the debut album Enter the Wu-Tang: 36 Chambers with single C.R.E.A.M. The track reached spot 8 on Billboard’s Rap chart. Their biggest success was the 1997 LP Wu-Tang Forever which was certified platinum 4 times. Other projects that the crew released are The W in 2000, Iron Flag in 2001 and 8 Diagrams in 2007.
Under the representation of Loud Records, Raekwon released his debut LP Only Built 4 Cuban Linx… in 1995. It was received to great critical acclaim. After a few collaborations with Allure, Fat Joe, and Nas, he released the not so welcomed LP Immobilarity. The feedback was mixed due to the absence of Wu-Tang members collab from RZA and Ghostface Killah. The 2003 effort The Lex Diamond Story was issued under Universal Records but did find moderate success. After several label disputes, disagreements and delays, Raekwon finally released Only Built 4 Cuban Linx…Pt. II under EMI. Getting production value from the likes of Dr. Dre and the Alchemist, the album was able to enter number 4 on Billboard 200.
Ice H2O label
The next 10 years were dedicated to his new label Ice H2O, issuing numerous mixtapes and signing underground artists. A collaboration between him and Wu-Tang was struck with the arrival of Wu-Massacre in 2010. The 5th LP Shaolin vs. Wu-Tang was Raekwon’s released in 2011 with features from Busta Rhymes, Nas, and Rick Ross. He reunited with the Wu-Tang Clan for the LP A Better Tomorrow and supported it with a tour. After some delay, he released the 6th album Fly International Luxurious Art in 2015 accompanied by the single All About You. Raekwon’s latest effort was The Wild revealed on March 24, 2017.
Photo credit: The Tape Deck