Heaven & Hell
Label: RCA RECORDS LABEL
Allusions to Five Percent Nation philosophy, esoteric metaphysics, La Cosa Nostra-inspired aliases, and mountains of China white: It’s all in a day’s work for the Wu-Tang Clan’s scrappiest MC. Only Built 4 Cuban Linx... is rife with contradictions, from titling a song about holding down street territory “Knowledge God” to using “Ice Cream” as a metaphor for summertime girls. It’s those seemingly incongruous metaphors and phrases – or the clashing of vocal “swords,” in Wu-Tang parlance – that made Raekwon’s debut such a stunningly inventive riff on the dope game. The RZA’s insanely hypnotic production helped, too.