Legendary rapper Raekwon The Chef spoke to Consequence of Sound about his 10 favorite hip-hop records of all time. It look’s like the former Wu Tang Clan member has similar tastes as Experience Vinyl curators Talib Kweli and George Clinton! Check out the full article originally published by Consequence of Sound in March, and don’t miss Raekwon’s reflections on his top hip-hop album picks below, as well as a custom Spotify playlist!
RAEKWON’S TOP 10 HIP-HOP RECORDS.
10) SLICK RICK–THE GREAT ADVENTURES OF SLICK RICK
“A classical storytelling album. It definitely was an influence. Rick wrote some of the illest stories ever. He definitely inspired me to be great at storytelling. That rubs off on me in the greatest way.”
9) GHOSTFACE KILLAH–SUPREME CLIENTELE
“Some records you know when you hear it finally together, you kind of already know what you’re doing. One thing about [Ghostface Killah and me], we’re music architects, and we only want to make the best every time. I know Ghost was saying he was going to work on [Supreme Clientele 2], but I guess he got sideswiped, because Ghost is a hard worker; he’s all over the place. I guess when it’s time for you to have it, you’ll have it, but I can’t tell you exactly when or what’s his plan. It just depends how he feels at that moment. If he wants it to come out, it’s going to come, so we’ll see.”
8) RAEKWON–ONLY BUILT 4 CUBAN LINX…
“That was a movie made [into an] album. It describes my life. If there was any way I knew how to describe it, it would be that album. That album right there was my walk into understanding what it is to express yourself musically. It felt good to make that.”
7) SNOOP DOGGY DOGG–DOGGYSTYLE
“Snoop made a statement with that album. Coming in, the production, it was flawless. It was definitely one of those albums when you could tell that Dre and Snoop were really trying to make a move happen. To me, it just started me to thinking like that, ‘Yo, if I make an album, it has to be strong. It has to be influential.’”
6) BIG DADDY KANE–LONG LIVE THE KANE
“I was a kid. The videos and everything that were coming on TV at that time, Kane was one of those guys. He had the lyrics, he had the style, he had the jewelry, he had the charisma, he had the wordplay. These are guys who kept us wanting to listen to music because everything they were saying, it was relatable, it was clever. It was about just being dope on the mic. That, to me, was one thing that I’d always wanted to do, to be as powerful as those guys.
“I seen Big Daddy Kane one day. He told me, ‘Yo, you don’t have to do anything else; you’re in the books already, congratulations.’ It was like being in the hall of fame.”
5) THE NOTORIOUS BIG–LIFE AFTER DEATH
“I miss Big. When he was here, he was a dope artist. He definitely was influential, too. That album right there had a lot of wordplay, a lot of selections of music that made everybody feel good about it. Big gave you every side of who he was on his albums. And, to me, that’s what a body of work represents. It went on to move a lot of units, too, because of the quality of it. Just a dope album.”
“All those albums I mentioned have some kind of reflections to everything that I’ve done to this day, as far as thinking of bodies of work that really meant something.”
3) MOBB DEEP–HELL ON EARTH
“Mobb Deep are definitely one of my favorite rap groups of all time. The production on there was monster. You can tell these dudes were just making what they wanted to make. But it was that talk; it took me back to being a scrambler on the block.”
2) MARY J. BLIGE–MY LIFE
“I’ve always been big on R&B music. That album there was a beautiful album. It’s like looking at an art picture and saying that’s a beautiful picture. That’s how Mary did what she did. She played with something that you could tell she wanted to make a statement. It’s important when you, as an artist, make a statement on your albums. She spoke up for women’s empowerment in way where it was 100 percent accurate.”
1) ERIC B & RAKIM–FOLLOW THE LEADER
“It’s important, man. It’s important.”
All Raekwon quotes taken from the original Consequence of Sound interview.