Only Built 4 Cuban Linx...
Only Built 4 Cuban Linx....jpg
Studio album by Raekwon

Released

August 1, 1995

Recorded

July 1994 - April 1995

Studio

36 Chambers Studios
(Staten Island, NY)

Genre

Hip hop, Mafioso rap, East Coast hip hop, Underground hip hop

Length

69:30

Label

Loud Records / RCA

Producer

Ghostface Killah (exec.), Mitchell Diggs (exec.), Oli "Power" Grant (exec.), RZA (also exec.)

Raekwon chronology

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Immobilarity (1999)

Wu-Tang Clan solo chronology

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Return to the 36 Chambers: The Dirty Version by Ol' Dirty Bastard (1995)

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Liquid Swords by GZA (1995)

Only Built 4 Cuban Linx... is the solo debut studio album by American rapper and Wu-Tang Clan member Raekwon, released in August 1, 1995 on Loud and RCA Records. Recording sessions were mostly taken place at 36 Chambers Studios in his hometown of Staten Island, New York City from July 1994 to April 1995. The album was loosely composed to play like a film with Raekwon as the "star", fellow Wu-Tang member Ghostface Killah as the "guest-star", and producer RZA as the "director". It features apperances from every member of the Wu-Tang Clan with the exception of Ol' Dirty Bastard. It also features a guest appearance from Nas, which marked the first collaboration with a non-affiliated artist on a Wu-Tang related album.

Upon its release, Only Built 4 Cuban Linx... debuted at number four on the Billboard 200 chart, and number two on the Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums chart, while selling 130,000 copies in its opening week. The album was certified gold by the Recording Industry Association of America in late 1995, and has since sold 1.1 million copies in the United States alone. Although it failed to acquire the same initial sales success as previous Wu-Tang solo albums, Cuban Linx achieved greater critical praise, with many complimenting its cinematic lyricism and production.

Only Built 4 Cuban Linx... has increased its acclamation among music critics over the years, as many have lauded as one of the greatest hip hop albums of all time. With its lyrics emphasising on American Mafia insinuations and organised crime, the album is widely regarded as a pioneer of the mafioso rap sub-genre. It has proven to be highly influential on future hip hop albums, such as Jay-Z's 1996 album Reasonable Doubt and The Notorious B.I.G.'s 1997 album Life After Death. Along with GZA's Liquid SwordsCuban Linx... is widely classified as the best solo Wu-Tang Clan album.

Track listing[edit | edit source]

All songs produced by RZA.

No. Title Performer(s) Writer(s) Time
1. "Striving for Perfection" - Diggs, Woods 1:43
2. "Knuckleheadz" Raekwon, Ghostface Killah, U-God Diggs, Woods 4:03
3. "Knowledge God" Raekwon Diggs, Woods 4:42
4. "Criminology" Raekwon, Ghostface Killah Adams, Bascombe, Burgess, Coles, Diggs, Patterson, Woods 3:47
5. "Incarcerated Scarfaces" Raekwon Diggs, Woods 4:42
6. "Rainy Dayz" Raekwon, Ghostface Killah, Blue Raspberry Diggs, Woods 6:02
7. "Guillotine (Swordz)" Raekwon, Inspectah Deck, Ghostface Killah, GZA Diggs, Woods 4:22
8. "Can It Be All So Simple (Remix)" Raekwon, Ghostface Killah Wu-Tang Clan 5:38
9. "Shark N#!@%s (Biters)" - Diggs, Woods 1:38
10. "Ice Water" Raekwon, Ghostface Killah, Cappadonna Diggs, Woods 3:38
11. "Glaciers of Ice" Raekwon, Masta Killa, Ghostface Killah, Blue Raspberry Coles, Diggs, Turner, Woods 5:20
12. "Verbal Intercourse" Raekwon, Nas, Ghostface Killah Diggs, Woods 3:31
13. "Wisdom Body" Ghostface Killah Diggs, Woods 2:38
14. "Spot Rusherz" Raekwon Diggs, Woods 3:13
15. "Ice Cream" Raekwon, Method Man, Ghostface Killah, Cappadonna Diggs, Woods 4:13
16. "Wu-Gambinos" Raekwon, Method Man, RZA, Masta Killa, Ghostface Killah Diggs, Woods 5:39
17. "Heaven & Hell" Raekwon, Ghostface Killah Diggs, Woods 4:56
18. "North Star (Jewels)" Raekwon, Popa Wu Diggs, Woods 3:58

Samples[edit | edit source]

Knuckleheadz

  • "Get Up and Get Down" by The Dramatics

Knowledge God

  • "Meadowland" by Stanley Black

Criminology

  • "I Keep Asking You Questions" by Black Ivory
  • "Why Marry?" by The Sweet Inspirations

Incarcerated Scarfaces

  • "You're Getting a Little Too Smart" by The Detroit Emeralds
  • "Wang Dang Doodle" by Koko Taylor

Rainy Dayz

  • "CB#5" by Carlos Bess and Ralph Vargas

Can It All Be So Simple (Remix)

  • "The Way We Were (Try to Remember)" by Gladys Knight & the Pips

Ice Water

  • "Where We Do Go From Here" by Delores Hall
  • "White Christmas" by Bing Crosby

Glaciers of Ice

  • "Children, Don't Get Weary" by Booker T. & the M.G.'s

Verbal Intercourse

  • "If You Think It (You May As Well Do It)" by The Emotions

Wisdom Body

  • "I'm Gonna Make You Love Me" by B.J. Thomas

Ice Cream

  • "The Breakdown (Part II)" by Rufus Thomas
  • "A Time for Love" by Earl Klugh

Wu-Gambinos

  • "I Like It" by The Emotions
  • "If" by Henry Mancini and Doc Severinsen

Heaven & Hell

  • "Could I Be Falling in Love" by Syl Johnson

North Star (Jewels)

  • "Mellow Mood Pt. 1" by Barry White
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