Kevin Casey’s Sample Saturday – Black Ivory et Raekwon

Sorry for the delay ‘yall, real life came in the way of internet life as it sometimes does.  Moving along…when it comes to arguing about the most influential hip-hop albums of all time, Raekwon’s Only Built 4 Cuban Linx… is in the discussion.  This classic project truly re-defined the New York lingo when it came to that gangsta shit.  Wu-Tang solo albums always feature songs with other group members, giving these projects a collaborative feel. As a whole, the Wu has incredible chemistry, but the tandem of Ghostface and Raekwon is unparalleled. The work they have put in over the years has been remarkable, but Only Built 4 Cuban Linx is what really separates their legacy from the rest of the pack. Cuban Linx is a unique album in the sense that it is recorded like an old school gangster flick with Raekwon as the “star” and Ghostface as the “co-star”. Ghost and Rae take listeners on a sonic journey through the trials and tribulations of a crime syndicate, starting as small time hustlers and working their way to the top of the underworld.  Cinematic.

When it comes to influential hip-hop producers, no one can argue against RZA being amongst the top echelon.  Like many Wu classics “Criminology” is made up of two different samples.  The beat comes in using a triumphant horn loop from the funky “I Keep Asking You Questions” by Black Ivory.  If I may step out and say, this loop is not a perfect one… I hear a little extra on the end meaning either the tempo could have been raised a .10 or the sample could have been stretched slightly.  With that said, RZA skillfully fades this part out while simultaneously bringing in the Sweet Inspiration chops that he uses for the verses.  The verses pretty much contain simple bell chops and the grimy Wu drums that we would expect. Wu Tang is forever. (K.Casey/P.Walsh)

Rakewon – Criminology

Black Ivory – I Keep Asking You Questions

The Sweet Inspirations – Why Marry