Inside the Raekwon/Aftermath deal
Tuesday September 11th 2007,
Filed under: In The Trenches,Not Your Average
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Apparently the Only Built 4 Cuban Linx 2 album has been finished for a minute but no paperwork was ever signed. Dre contributed a couple of beats to it, but then he went on vacation for two weeks, and when he got back he’d lost interest in the project – for whatever reason – and resumed work on Detox!

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67 Comments so far
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given dre’s history with other now-you-see-them-now-you-don’t projects such as the collaboration album with ice cube and the rakim joint it was always hit-and-miss as to whether raekwon’s album was going to come out…but i’m still very curious to hear it so hopefully it’ll surface elsewhere…i even read an interview with rae recently where he was saying that if he can’t find a label to put it out by next summer he’ll just leak the whole album on the internet…

Comment by Ryan P 09.11.07 @

I don’t know why anyone EVER thought that Rae’s LP was gonna actually drop on Aftermath???

Even Rae himself…what the fuck is dudes thinking??

Rae/Dre two compleeeeetely different individuals, that never needed to mix in the first place.

Come the fuck on!
Rakim gets shelved.
Truth Hurts, M.O.P on G Unit will NEVER drop, and everyone else that Aftermath “signs” never drops.

Its Dre, Em and 50…thats IT!

Fuck Aftermath.

People need this record, fuck Dre and his half assed beats.

Comment by AFFECKS 09.11.07 @

detox my ass.
dre’s beats are’nt even
interesting no more.
and nope, no one will
release on aftermath.
joell ortiz? don’t
think so…

Comment by swordfish 09.11.07 @

this is to bad, I think dre could of done something sweet with this project. Oh well.

Hopefully this album see’s the light of day.

Comment by Jbless 09.11.07 @

Not to mention, Busta Rhymes was also involved in executive producing the project and he can’t stay out of trouble as of late…

Raekwon + Dre + RZA + Busta Rhymes’s legal woes = Only Built 4 Infinite Delays

Comment by Enigmatik 09.11.07 @

World Class Wrekin’ Cru, nuff said.

Comment by Science Is Drought 09.11.07 @

Dre has not put out anything poppin since ‘The Chronic”, In my opinion he not only let the world down by not putting out Rakim’s shit, but he really dropped the ball as far as pushing the envelope on the west coast……So much talent out here but he would rather fuck with Em, and 50………….Back in the day I thought Dre could do no wrong, why 15 plus years later do I despise Dre? Because he turned his back on Hip Hop………He is part of the problem….Dre cornered the market out here, as far as production goes………Even if it’s wack people will always dick ride because of his name and stature in the game………….For the record Dre has always bit beats, robbed other producers, fronted on fly shit, and never written his own rhymes……….

Comment by shamz 09.11.07 @

Its a shame that the truly talented artists can’t get their work out.

Raekwon, and where is the Ras Kass album.

Comment by Jbless 09.11.07 @

You are all a bunch of hatin niggaz, Dre doin it big. You let me know a label executive who only puts out platinum PLUS albums, hes worked on projects that have sold over 100 000 million albums. Dre aint no gangsta i agree with that, but he started NWA, started Deahrow that gave birth to 2pac, snoop, dogg pound, nate dogg than he went on to open Aftermath, Motherfuckers the Game, 50 and Eminem alone sold more than 50 million albums…are you niggaz crazy..u do that motherfucker…all u guys can do is hate and ur hatred comes from jealousy…Also fuck all yall cause you probably all BROKE ASS NIGGAZ..HAHAHA YOU DIRTY ASS NIGGAZ, fuck you and YO MAMA NIGGAZ

Comment by JOe 09.11.07 @

Yea, all dat is true. No doubt. But guess who will sell like a m*f***a on the day Detox drop? Yep, our Doc. Peace

Comment by MC Vjeko 09.11.07 @

Seriously, over the years, how many artists and “blockbuster” projects have been linked to Aftermath? And how many albums have actually been released on Aftermath?

Comment by tres 09.11.07 @

Chronic ’01, Eminem, Truth Hurts, 50 Cent, and Documentary are the only major albums (off the top of my head) that ever came out on Aftermath.

Comment by tres 09.11.07 @

is there actually a decent majorlabel for established Hip Hop artists though?
Def Jam is a definite no, Jive – obviously not, theres no Tommy Boy (who were kind of lame for albums anyway), theres no Loud – SRC is putting out bullshit compared to what they wee doing with Loud.
its all about Koch, Nature ounds,BabyGrande etc

Comment by step one 09.11.07 @

Who didn’t see this coming? Look at how Dre treated Rakim, Rae was thinking Cuban Linx 2 would get mad respect wherever he went, but that just isn’t the case, much as it saddens me.

On a related note, without Ghost on the majority of tracks this shit wasn’t really Cuban Linx 2 anyway. Dec and Gza are great and all that, but part of the magic of OB4CL was Rae and Ghost’s chemistry. A Cuban Linx sequel is like EPMD with Parrish and Das FX or Erick Sermon and Redman – shit ain’t the same.

Also, no matter what he says, Raekwon will never leak the shit.

One last thing – none of the tracks Rae’s put out in the last couple of years even remotely approach the level of Cuban Linx. Sadly, this was a desperate move by him, naming it Cuban Linx 2, kind of like Nas coming out with Illmatic 2 or something (ignoring Stillmatic).

I hope Rae catches a break, he is an incredible artist but the last track I truly felt him on was that joint with Tragedy, Guerilla Rap.

Comment by silent minority 09.11.07 @

Joe……Check this out partner, you are dealing with a human Hip Hop encyclopedia…..When I say Hip Hop I am not talking about sales, I am talking overall artistry……….I have analyzed Dre’s career from the gate {World class wrecking crew. K.Day Mix Master show etc,} And don’t get it fucked up, he deserves his props for setting it off from 86-93……..After that he fell apart and sold out……He once even stated he would “sell his soul to the devil, for a million dollars”……..I am far from jealous my man, I am just a Hip Hop head that does the knowledge, and has opinions based on a lifetime of studying this shit………….I repeat after the “Chronic”, Dre fell the fuck off…..

Comment by shamz 09.11.07 @

Yep Dre is overrated and we just lost another dope album. Thank god it will probably make it to the internet at some point.

Comment by sajr 09.11.07 @

I guess when the pie is getting smaller (hip hop sales are down, aren’t they?), the fight over a slice of it will become increasingly nasty.

If you were Dre, would you bake your own sh*t, or someone else’s?

Comment by Tiny Tyrant 09.11.07 @

I agree Dre fell off. Not after Chronic though, Doggy Style was nice, and whatever he did on Murder Was The Case OST was OK.

However I never felt 2000 at all, even though online he was getting mad acclaim for that shit.

I have noticed though that in the real world what I might not like, will usually have mad online heads claiming it a classic.

Just for the record, I haven’t felt much of Ghost’s recent shit either. His rhymes are still dope but the beats are lacking. He should do more work with K-Def.

I really don’t care if some internet know-it-all comes at me, somethings just don’t add up.

Comment by silent minority 09.11.07 @

I just lost a lot of respect for dr. dre. its one thing to keep your own interests in line, but when you have a project like Only Build for Cuban Linx 2 with Raekwon, who was already had a significant impact on hip hop, its disgusting that he could just drop that. its not only assing out Rae, but its assing out real hip hop fans. He is probably working on Knock’Turn’Al’s comeback album. Dre is not as legendary as everyone thinks he is.

Comment by Sunil 09.11.07 @

this articles says Christmas break? so this was a year ago or two years ago or when? It sounds like dre might have said fuck it about Detox by President’s day

Comment by brian 09.11.07 @

ayo Silent. I respect you for keepin it honest. Lotta online heads be on some real bandwagon shit. Personally, I don’t think Dre has made any of his own beats for years, but that isn’t where his genius lies. He has a great ear in terms of arrangement and mixing. So he fills up his studio with talented producers and uses them to get out his ideas. Its no wonder that a lot of cats that start out under his wing go on to receive acclaim in their solo careers, i.e. Scott Storch. Bottom line, I respect Dre for only putting out classic material. I think the fault is with cats signing to Aftermath that don’t fit his sound. Its like East Coast cats forgot about Preemo, Pete, The Beatminerz, Buckwild, etc. I’m not shocked by the delays at all. Joell Ortiz…Babygrande 2009…You’ll see!

Comment by Shawn Lee 09.11.07 @

Rae should release the album on another label if need be. The days of “selling millions” ie. 50, Em, The Fugees the Score, has skewed the game into strictly a numbers game of BDS spins and first week sales. I understand Hip Hop has become a billion dollar business, but the game lacks balance. I’m all for the artists and labels making a profit but at whose expense? The consumer? As an artist Rae should not worry about records sales as much as putting out quality, timeless music. You may not debut at no. 1 on Billboard but you will have a timeless catalogue that sells plus longevity and respect in your craft. The Roots are a perfect example; when the record is written, they’re gonna be the Rolling Stones or Grateful Dead of Hip Hop, touring and making money to the informed and dedicated listeners and fans of the culture. Fuck a “blockbuster” album, make classic, timeless music that will bump in any era.

Comment by Bronxbred 09.11.07 @

I agree with points made in both of the above posts.

Dre is a master of mixing and engineering or whatever the fuck he actually does, I think it was Rza who was giving him props most recently for his knowledge of mixing. He reminds of Marley Marl in a way in that his ear for sound is respected by other producers.

But a lot of the respect he gets seems like hype. Maybe I’m wrong on that.

On the other points, yeah artists need to make timeless music, the quality will attract sales in the short and long term.

G Rap never went platinum but he gets mad respect. No one can take that consistency away from him. A lot of the people I (foolishly, maybe) looked up to in the 90s when I was a kid just basically forgot that they had unique styles and sounds they were associated with and decided to chase the dollar. Some of them are just making strange shit recently. I hear the shit and sigh. Diamond’s beat/beats on Sadat X’s Experience LP were nice but his last project, Diamond Mine, was just depressing. Alchemist had the best joint on there.

I want to support these artists I grew up on but if the music isn’t good I wont buy that shit, full stop/period. I ain’t rich to be dropping cash on bullshit material. Sad shit though.

Comment by silent minority 09.11.07 @

RAE: Drop the album! It’s been 12 years!!!

Comment by andy p 09.11.07 @

truth hurts has a great voice…

Comment by MERCILESZ 09.12.07 @

Everyone here (myself included) is giving Dre’ enough ammo to come out with another record that’ll make more than I’ll make in a lifeime. Rich people are bored easily.

Comment by phantomfoetus 09.12.07 @

Dudes is finally coming to their senses, Fuck Dr. Dre, and everybody over on Aftermath. Dre is overated. I used to feel him, but basically his character is false to me. This niggah shitted on Rakim the God , to go and fuck wit a cracker, regardless if the cracker could spit some, you just gonna leave a dude like Rakim out in the cold? Been stopped fuckin with Dre, he’s a bird, and all them rumors of him making love with Eazy E don’t help none either. As for his sound, that shit been sounding the same since Snoop Dog first came out on 187.

Comment by mike 09.12.07 @

But seriously, who in their right minds would think, that simply by naming it “Only Built… 2” Rae could make another masterpiece?

I rank the first one, as one of the best albums ever, and maybe the best Wu solo album, even though I can’t understand half of what he and Ghost is saying, and GZA is much more my kind MC.

But obviously somebody or something was involved in OB4CL that isn’t there anymore, since Rae hasn’t released anything since then that comes even close.

And even if Rae could bring his A-game (assuming that is was his A-game that made OB4CL), the “Dre touch” would surely have resulted in something completely removed from OB4CL.
And thats thinking as if Dre would come up with good ish.

Personnally I’m pretty sure it would have been like a combination of Bulletproof Wallets and those boring ass beats Dre did for Kingdom Come.
I’m almost glad we were spared that.

Comment by SeventhSun 09.12.07 @

The real question: what happened to Last Emperor’s Aftermath album? 0_o

Comment by Werner von Wallenrod 09.12.07 @

SeventhSUN, I think this discussion can be put to an end by your comments. Dre has lost his luster and had lost it since the WTC crumbled.
HIP HOP isnt what it used to be, and we have to face this… people stop waiting for the golden era and the mid school beauty of our culture to resurface…
on a different side of the coin (since, lets face it aftermath is a graveyard for the formally great, they are elephants waiting to become bones to add to the collection)…
50’s album proves how far the culture has fallen and its never going to pick itself up…
Download UMc’s and Ultramagnetic and JVC Force illegally off of limewire and call it a day…!


Comment by brandonmccalla 09.12.07 @

don’t know why people are so surprised, Raekwon never made cross over records.

Comment by richdirection 09.12.07 @

But obviously somebody or something was involved in OB4CL that isn’t there anymore, since Rae hasn’t released anything since then that comes even close -Seventh Sun

There’s a Cappadonna interview where he says he was helping Rae out with slang and stuff like that, but he refused to say he wrote any of it. Cappadonna has way more skills than the majority of heads give him credit for.

However they did, if you look at their verseson 36 Chambers and then Cuban Linx, Ghost & Rae came on some entirely next shit. I guess that is a natural part of progression, Gza wasn’t saying no Liquid Swords level shit on 36 Chambers.

Remember on Ironman, Ghost said-“We got trained on the tourbus.”

Comment by silent minority 09.12.07 @

I dont actually think OB4CL will be that good. In interviews Rae is acting like he never put out 2 other albums since then that were both weak.
The main reason his first album was so good was because Wu were at their peak and RZA’s sound was still fresh.
Unless RZA or some other producer comes with a revoloutionary sound it will be ‘good’ at best. He can definitely still rhyme but i dont think there’ll be anything there that will stand up against ‘Rainy Dayz’ or ‘Glaciers Of Ice’ – you dont get music like that these days!
I think he should get Just Blaze on board personally – dude knows about epic beats

Comment by step one 09.12.07 @

Yo JR Writer deals 7 ALBUMS !! W/ Babygrande
man !!

SO … !
raekwon is a real mc, he wants money but he wants
THIS FUCKIN ALBUM WITH real Passion! luv!
So RAE IN 2008, december maybe !!!


peace y’all

Comment by joell ortiz 09.12.07 @

Dre probably lost interest cause he was only getting 2 tracks on the album. Personally, I think 2 tracks is 2 too many. I’ve always thought that Dre was way over-rated with the beats. His recent catalog has been mad boring and one-dimensional. Nothing mind-blowing, just serviceable at best and way too lathargic. OBCL2 on Aftermath was a bad idea all around. The folks involved with this deal should have known better. I mean, look at Busta’s album. It came out on that equally over-rated label and his shit came and went. And those Dre tracks were anemic. If Aftermath only releases “blockbusters”, what the fuck was “The Big Bang”?

And I agree that OBCL2 will not be as good as Raekwon says it is. But I’m curious and want to hear just like everyone else. Just give it to Rifkin and release it in December. The Wu-Tang hype will give it a push and everyone is better off when the shit is finally fuckin’ released.

Comment by sooch 09.12.07 @

Cappa is sick on the mic and definitely underrated. I think the inspiartion works both ways though his solo albums arent up to much.

Cappa on Winter Warz is one of the best verses ever though!

Comment by step one 09.12.07 @

Shawn Lee is completely on point. NY rappers are pissed at the rest of the industry for not loving the East anymore, but they go and get outside production. Where’s the love for Da Beatminerz, Shawn J period, Pete Rock, Primo, Diamond D, Havoc, Large Pro, and other producer demigods. I agree with the rest of yall in here. Dre’s production has been very lacking. OB4CL 2 on Aftermath? Shit I dont know. Busta’s album was cool but he rocked it better over Swizz than any of Dre’s beats. Dre is good but RZA is better, and RZA is too damn busy doing soundtracks because huess what, that’s where the money is at.

Comment by DJManoloco 09.13.07 @

Just pray that Term-anology doesnt sign to Aftermath like Joell Ortiz. Dude put out doper mixtapes than these artist albums!! peep Hood Politics V?!That Ice Water stuff is unlistenable and Rae callin them the FUTURE..ufoutta here! lost it..Raekwon is Ill but aint sayin nish solo wise these days..just lookin forward to the WU-Tang album now.

Comment by Don P.M.ES 09.13.07 @

jvc force was great!!!

Comment by MERCILESZ 09.13.07 @

Dre probably made a smart move, honestly.

That new Wu track that leaked from 8 Diagrams is absolutely atrocious. Yeah, Rae has a hard act to follow since right out the gate he dropped an album that’s in my personal top 5. But modern day Rae does not excite.

Comment by Finally 09.13.07 @

consider the possibility of these and it should put OB4CL2 in perspective:

‘Strictly Business 2’
‘Critical Beatdown 2’
‘Nation Of Millions 2’
‘The Infamous 2’

you get the idea. they’d all be lame or average at best

Comment by step one 09.13.07 @

you mean unfinished buisness?thats in my top 5 of all time easily

Comment by MERCILESZ 09.13.07 @

Fuck Dre. He’s fucked Rakim, King Tee, Hittman, Last Emperor, and countless others out of album releases. He has a lot of classic beats in his catalog, but I can’t see how his dickriders worship those garbage ass ones that sound all alike.

Like homeduke said above, Rae should stick with the “Da Beatminerz, Shawn J period, Pete Rock, Primo, Diamond D, Havoc, Large Pro,” etc. sound. Hearing him rap over another “meh” beat turning out to be Dre will be very disheartening.

Comment by dragondude_r 09.13.07 @

Yo Robbie,

I’ve been trying to contact you but the mail keeps bouncing. I have no idea why……maybe your inbox is full?

Please get back to me.

Comment by silent minority 09.13.07 @

i think those of you that say rae has fallen off are kinda stupid, dre is a producer extraordinaire, and i doubt detox is ever gonna come out, and if it does i hope it sells no records and everyone downloads it, hes on the same level as lars ulrich to me, i’m pretty surprised robbie did an article on dre, seeing as how he usually focuses on east coast hip hop, though rae isn’t exactly west coast, besides the wu mansion, cappadonna, eh, i never really liked his voice, dukes sounds like hes got down syndrome or some shit, imo masta killa is probably one of my favorite if not my favorite wu emcee at the moment, oh, and only 2 dre tracks on ob4cl2 is pointless, just put the shit out dre, put in an interlude or two with your beats on it and call it good

Comment by gstatty 09.14.07 @

Dre still crying cause Game dumped him

Comment by BR 09.14.07 @

I saw the wu here in Texas a while ago and I remember before the show some roadies came out sporting black shirts that said “ONLY BUILT CUBAN LINX: part II” and that shit looked so tight I wouldve forked over $20 right there.

Comment by BR 09.14.07 @

all the Rae hate in this thread is pretty sad. remember when Busta’s album dropped and it was the hottest shit? who wouldve thought that happened? and Raekwon had one of the best verses on the whole thing, no lie. I cant speculate on what’s going on between dre and rae but that shit needs to be released cause I wanna hear it pretty bad.

Comment by BR 09.14.07 @

I really don’t think anyone was expressing hate towards Rae – everyone’s on his side!

On a related note, in hiphop if you express what you feel is the truth sometimes you get called out for hating. That’s unproductive and defeats the whole purpose of being honest.

Comment by silent minority 09.14.07 @

as if dre is the only guy who can do a beat.

if you are waiting for handouts from dre… your career ain’t shit, especially since dre’s own career is in the pits right now. think about it.

Comment by eric 09.14.07 @

I don’t even really feel sympathy for this situation.

Truth is, Cuban Linx II should’ve been out a long time before the Aftermath deal was even a thought. It shoulda been out when Raekwon’s name was still relevant and people dying to see it happen. But the shit got repeatedly put on hold for whatever other ridiculous Raekwon endeavors, it got basically shelved for years, and now that it’s 2007, everyone’s mad cause Dre doesn’t wanna do anything with it? Rae dropped the ball on this whole project- he coulda struck while the anticipation was high, but he wanted to keep bullshittin’ people with it cause he thought he was gonna walk on water forever.

And to be honest, I don’t even think it was gonna come close to the original anyway. Rae’s new stuff bores the shit outta me.

Comment by DANJAMANIA 09.16.07 @

i gotta disagree with you danjamania, on the real, rae is still sharp, some say he ain’t shit without ghost, but ghost is too busy singing his own r&b hooks sounding like hes goin through puberty, and i personally think that he is the single gem on many of these mixtapes out there right now, yeah cuban linx II shoulda been out ages ago, but you know you’re gonna cop it when it comes out, stop playin yaself

Comment by gstatty 09.17.07 @

You think? I’m not coppin’ that shit. I’ll see if it’s worth coppin’ and then I’ll do so if it is. But I’m not amped for it, it’s an album that shoulda happened a long time ago. Ghost has been far more consistent than Rae has, and I wouldn’t say Rae ain’t shit without him- but that combination is needed for Cuban Linx II. If that’s not even gonna happen, that’s just one more strike against the album. I’m no psychic, but I got a feeling that the people still holdin’ out hope for this Cuban Linx sequel to be some kind of great event are gonna be let down.

Comment by DANJAMANIA 09.18.07 @

its not II
its part II
so it’s just an evolution
the story goes ! man !!
this is GREAT
raek the chef !!!
respect that
peace y’all
and check this :
“From Park Hill to 91 Pise”
Ol’kainry feat. Raekwon the chef !
(luv this, track)
OB4CLII sure !!
IN 2008
hahah Goldmine !!!
i hope GOLD !!!

Comment by Greums Da God 09.18.07 @

OB4CL2 has definitely taken too long to come out. You can only sustain a buzz for so long and if the record does eventually get released and it isn’t the bonafied second coming that everyone’s been holding their breaths for, THEN you can understandably say that Rae fell the fuck off.

His verse on “Watch Your Mouth” sounds like mixtape bullshit and I hope that’s not any indication of how he’s coming. You would think with all the frustration he’s dealing with that he would come way harder than that lazy ass bullshit. I hope that record doesn’t make the final cut for 8 Diagrams.

Comment by sooch 09.18.07 @

As time progressed and i looked at Raes last studios releases and Looked at Ghost studio releases…i’ve come to the conclusion that Ghost has a better musical taste while Rae’s taste is mundane…i mean the first time i heard “live from NY” all i could think about was my first Casio…shit was LAME…but look at Ghost shit since Cuban Links…he chooses soulful ill beats….he need to fuck with Ghost and get off that bullshit…Only Built is bonafide classic…everything else is AHHHHHHHH!!!

Comment by Tabauri 09.21.07 @

Remember on Ironman, Ghost said-”We got trained on the tourbus.”

he actually says “Jamie summers got trained on the tour bus”, she is rza’s baby moms and i’m pretty sure it was on either wu tang forever or supreme clientele…

Comment by carm charming 09.21.07 @

I know what you mean, but I still like some keyboard beats.

Comment by silent minority 09.21.07 @

carm charming, thanks for pointing that out-I mixed the lyrics up, haven’t heard that rhyme for years. I’m sure it was on the Iron Maiden track on Iron Man, though.

However, my point still stands – Rae, Ghost and Gza’s rhyme schemes improved by what seemed like light years in the 2 years after 36 Chambers dropped.

Comment by silent minority 09.26.07 @

Thats too bad, woulda been nice to hear dre’s influences on the LP, he probably pushed detox back 4 more years now cos of all that work on Rae’s (2 tracks).

Comment by Chris 10.09.07 @

Just like he has ghost writers he has ghost producers too…….High Tek produced for dre, mel man etc. list goes on. Dre is an arranger he has a ear for music and mixing. He should have released the Rakim album on GP. They could have dropped the rakim joint. Rakim said he only built with Dre 2 times the whole time he was on aftermath and that there were creative differences. If he feel that it aint going to make mad money its getting shelved. It aint even about the music to Aftermath, wich makes you wonder who really is running the show there.

Comment by snakefoot 12.13.07 @

Why did Hittman never released anything after Cronic 2001? He has an awesome flow!

Comment by Stizza 12.24.07 @

Dr. Dre hasn’t produced anything I’ve felt for over a decade.

Comment by Mike G 01.14.08 @


Comment by sj 02.16.08 @

‘carm charming, thanks for pointing that out-I mixed the lyrics up, haven’t heard that rhyme for years. I’m sure it was on the Iron Maiden track on Iron Man, though’ – silent minority

Yeah, you’re right. It’s his second line in his verse…

Comment by siffy 04.07.08 @

I do not believe this

Comment by fornetti 08.31.08 @

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