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Raekwon

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Staten Island, New York (1992 – present)

Corey Woods (born January 12, 1970) is an American rapper most well known as Raekwon (the Chef), one of the nine Wu-Tang Clan members. Raekwon joined Wu-Tang Clan, a hip hop group based in Staten Island, New York in 1992. When the time came for him to release his first solo album, Only Built 4 Cuban Linx… (1995), hip-hop, once again, underwent a momentous transformation. The album moves from track to track like a film moves from scene to scene. With its invigorating instrumentals and dramatic lyrical tales, Raekwon painted vivid pictures and presented powerful imagery through his enchanting verbal expression.

Rae’s groundbreaking debut album helped to bring the flavour of flossing to wax as well as the use of the moniker among Wu brethren and other prominent emcees. The single “Verbal Intercourse” featured the first appearance of Nas Escobar, Nas’ alter ego. Similarly, Raekwon and Ghostface Killah, who served as Rae’s partner in rhyme throughout the entire Cuban Linx album, also developed a slew of other identities. Identities like Lex Diamond, one of the flashy, witty and intellectually stimulating personas of the multifaceted Raekwon.

In the years after the release of Cuban Linx, Raekwon continued to record several albums with the Clan including the platinum Wu-Tang Forver (1997) and The W (2000), as well as the gold Iron Flag (2001). He also starred in the critically acclaimed film Black and White, before releasing his second solo album, Immobilarity in 1999. Four years later, it’s time for another masterpiece from Raekwon.

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