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Raekwon – Only Built 4 Cuban Linx (1995)

August 7, 2015

[Album 413/1001]220px-Raekwon_only

What’s your 5-year plan?

Standard interview fare, yes, but the answers can go a long way in determining a candidate’s ambition.


It’s safe to say the folks at Marvel had a 5-year plan leading up to this year, strategically placing solo movies around the group-based Avengers films.

I’m not sure what the vision is for the next 5 years (though I’m certain the decision-makers have a very clear picture), but here’s my hastily assembled excel chart of the 5 years leading up to this year:



The question is, did they borrow their 5-year vision from the Wu-Tang Clan?

The plans aren’t dissimilar (one of the Wu-Tang solo albums was even called Ironman!) and it was certainly a lucrative strategy, worthy of copying:



Raekwon is the Captain America of the Clan.

He’s not the loudest, not the flashiest of the group.

But like his Avengers counterpart Steve Rogers/Captain America, there’s a quiet determination about him.

To borrow from the opening to track 5:

” He looks determined without being ruthless. Something heroic in his manner. There’s a courage about him…Comes across so calm. Acts like he has a dream. Full of passion”

I also appreciate that Raekwon was open about his dreams, including continuing to move on to bigger and better things, taking care of his family, and striving to be original.


One slight issue: Only Built… is a solo album that doesn’t feel like a solo album.

Whereas Tony Stark’s father makes a small appearance in Captain America: The First Avenger, Tony Starks (aka Ghostface Killah) appears here on just about every track!

Although the back & forth can be effective, it’s misleading to call Starks a ‘guest star’ here.

Though from what I gather, Only Built… is meant to play out like a film, so maybe movies are supposed to have stars & guest stars appear together.

It just feels a bit crowded; I can’t see a Captain America picture being enhanced by Robert Downey Jr. chiming in every few minutes.


If the Wu-Tang Clan really had the 5-year-solo-albums-interspersed-between-group-projects plan mapped out in advance, nicely done.  If not, it still worked (and it’s still working for Marvel), nicely done either way.

Talent is important, bravado can sell a lot of records/movie tickets.

But sometimes, the more important skill is ambition.

And Captain America & Raekwon have plenty of that to spare.

From → 1990s

  1. Ugh! Comparing Raekwon to the Cap?? No thank you! I’ll stick with Cpt. Rogers and his one true love, Agent Carter!

    Sorry just not a Wu-fan.

  2. Incidentally I’ve seen the five year Star Wars plan. I’m most interested in the rumoured film Kenobi: Balance of the Force.

    • I haven’t seen beyond the one trailer yet – can you single out a favourite star wars? Or is that like asking a parent to pick a favourite child?

      • Oh , it’s easy for me. The first one’s my favorite. I know Empire is the popular choice but I gotta go with A New Hope!

        The toys for the next movie started to hit the shelves yesterday (early) but they’re coming…..

      • Nothing wrong with that choice – I haven’t seen them in years, I’ll have to brush up before seeing the new films

      • I would still say Empire, then New Hope. It’s just stronger in lots of ways. But I like both of those better than Jedi…

      • Haven’t seen Jedi in decades, I remember liking the ewoks as a kid, I’m sure there’s more to it though!
        Chuck Klosterman had an essay tearing the Jedi to shreds, not sure what he made of the next 3 installments

      • I don’t get that. Jedi has Ewoks, but it also has EVERYTHING ELSE! Vader! The Emperor! Luke being a badass! The final battle in Jedi is as powerful today as it was in 83.

      • It’s funny that a scene can completely overshadow the movie.
        Dumb & Dumber – the bathroom scene is the one non-fans inevitably remember, but there was much more to be enjoyed!

      • Which one? I can think of two hilarious Bathroom scenes!

        1. “Seabass”

        2. “I’m just brushing my teeth!”

      • That would be (appropriately based on your # options), Number 2.
        Forgot about Cam Neely’s cameo as Seabass!

      • Ah yes. #2.

        “For my friend Harry…the matchmaker!”

      • Big Gulps Eh? Well, see you later!

      • Petey doesn’t even have a head!

      • Brilliant – though I heard the sequel wasn’t as strong

      • I agree. My sister likes the sequel better, but I didn’t desire a rewatch.

        I honestly feel the Three Stooges movie is the spiritual sequel to Dumb and Dumber. It was just as funny as the original Stooges.

    • Is it also rumoured that there’ll be a film called Jar Jar: The Lucas-ing Of The Franchise?

  3. Funny, if Raekwon is the Cap, I woulda put the RZA as Tony Stark!

    • I might have, but apparently Ghostface Killah already claimed the name (or at least close to it with Tony StarkS!)

      • Yeah maybe, I dunno. Maybe there isn’t a perfect match between universes…

      • And the lack of females in the Wu-Tang Clan made it tricky to find a suitable Black Widow!

      • Yeah, and even then they probably would’ve changed it to N**** Widow anyway.

    • I’d say Nick Fury.

      But who gets to be Dum Dum Dugan?

      • I never liked the Fury character. And then they got Samuel L. Jackass to play him, and I thought that was perfect. I don’t like him either.

        And Dum Dum? Haha that’d probably have been ODB… thfffbbbpt!

  4. I’m glad to see this here. It’s a record I really need to revisit – it’s been ages since I played it (I don’t even think I have it here, anymore), and… I think we talked about his a while ago – I didn’t like this one as much as I did the Genius/GZA Liquid Swords record (that one’s a GEM and I recommend it completely). Guess I better get on that!

    This post is a fine example of creative writing, an interesting connection not normally made, realized and explained clearly. Well done! Also charts. We love charts.

  5. I like this one loads. Haven’t listened to it in a while, but those Wu chaps certainly made a bunch of great albums.

  6. I need to get high!

  7. Marshall Gu permalink

    fucking great analogy

Trackbacks & Pingbacks

  1. GZA – Liquid Swords (1995) | 1001albumsin10years
  2. Method Man – Tical (1994) | 1001albumsin10years
  3. 1995 | 1001albumsin10years

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