Support Local Journalism, Join the SA Current Press Club.



1995 was a good year for commercial rap. Tupac Shakur dropped his most sincere - and arguably his greatest - album, Me Against the World, while behind bars. Mobb Deep redefined street rhymes with "Shook One Pt II," and Premier released his most slept-on album via Group Home's Livin Proof. 1995 was also the year that Staten Island's Wu-Tang Clan, fresh off the landmark success of Enter the Wu-Tang, released a slew of solo albums by individual Wu members: the Genius, Ol' Dirty Bastard, and Raekwon.

Although the Genius had tighter microphone skills and Ol' Dirty Bastard had the outrageousness, Raekwon's Only Built 4 Cuban Linx was clearly the album of the year. With blistering tracks like "Ice Water," "Verbal Intercourse," and "Glaciers of Ice," Raekwon and his partner in rhyme, Ghostface, unleashed an uncut Scarface remix whose influence still endures. Raekwon's debut featured project classics like "Incarcerated Scarfaces," "Can It Be All So Simple," and "Heaven and Hell," as well as the unforgettable "Ice Cream."

with C-Rayz Walz, Ice Water, Inc.
Saturday, October 18
603 Red River, Austin
Throughout the LP, the Wu was re-introduced as the "Wu-Gambinos," a pre-Sopranos crime syndicate where new aliases abounded; Raekwon became Lex Diamonds, and Ghostface epitomized Tony Starks. A year later, Jay-Z would run with the formula, Cash Money would follow, and today "bling-bling" is officially in the Oxford Dictionary.

None of the followers, however, possessed the liquid swords (i.e. tongues) featured on Only Built 4 Cuban Linx.

Since his debut, Raekwon has appeared on every Wu-Tang Clan release and also dropped a second solo LP on Loud Records. On Saturday, October 18, Rae and his Ice Water crew will bless the stage at Emo's in Austin. Also on the bill is Def Jux's C-Rayz Walz, who should not disappoint. It's been some time since the Wu's last Texas sojourn, so Rae fans are advised to buy tickets early. •

Support Local Journalism.
Join the San Antonio Current Press Club

Local journalism is information. Information is power. And we believe everyone deserves access to accurate independent coverage of their community and state. Our readers helped us continue this coverage in 2020, and we are so grateful for the support.

Help us keep this coverage going in 2021. Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing membership pledge, your support goes to local-based reporting from our small but mighty team.

Join the San Antonio Press Club for as little as $5 a month.

Read the Digital Print Issue

July 28, 2021

View more issues


Join SA Current Newsletters

Sign Up Now

Subscribe now to get the latest news delivered right to your inbox.


© 2021 San Antonio Current

Website powered by Foundation