GQ magazines’s interview with Raekwon is great because I’m a Wu-head. Every Sunday after church I would go to my grandma’s house after church to eat. While we waited for her to warm up the food, I would watch Super Samurai Sunday and live out my kung fu dreams.
My dreams of being able to learn kung fu and travel to China were planted. Fast forward to the days of 1993 when everyone was nodding there cranium to west coast G-funk I was the weird kid at my midwest catholic high school screaming Wu-tang. The inserts of kung fu clips sent shockwaves thru me as my childhood fascination was being put on wax by a group of brothers from State Island. Kung fu and Hip-Hop was such a genius combination of creativity and I was hooked for life! Raekwon first infiltrated my eardrums on “Can It Be So Simple”, a classic Wu-Tang Clan track and the video by Hype Williams brought tears to my eyes by the story that was told. I’m excited to share this interview that GQ did on the Chef, click the link for the full article! GQ Article
GQ: From the very start, Wu-Tang always had critical support. How important has that been for the group?
Raekwon: We grew up on the critics paying attention to us and saying, Yo, ya’ll got it. We peep the spark somewhere. When I sit here and see that the eight brothers from the neighborhood that I grew up with still have success, it had to be magical. I doubt if you get another Wu-Tang Clan. That might be harder than getting the new Jackson Five. Certain groups you only get one time, and we just happened to be that group.
GQ: Unlike a lot of MCs, you’re better known for albums than singles—have you ever been talked into chasing a hit?
Raekwon: Yeah, and that was around of the time of my slump. I’m not an artist that makes singles, I’m an artist that makes albums, and it’s a totally different thing. People judge you whether your record is hot on the TV, and I happen to not be in that situation. These A&Rs is so backward sometimes, they think they know everything:Yo, do this, you need a radio record. My thing was always—When you say that, that’s when you fucking me up. When we came into the game it was all about what the people felt. They made the decisions. [During the slump] I had to really sit back and think of all the mechanics of how can Rae get better. And I’m always gonna stick my head out to what the masses want.
GQ: You and Ghostface have one of the best collaborative relationships in hip-hop. What was it like working together in the early days?
Raekwon: A lot of times, we would be the first cats at the studio. Me and him were like the kids that sat in the front of the class. I might come in and he already hogging the mic, and I’m like, Yo, that’s where it need to be at! And I just touch it because I’m there to touch it. Me and Ghost sat around and wrote multiple songs together. We did [the song] “The Watch” together, the children’s one where he’s talking about Wilma and Woody Woodpecker [“The Forest”]. We sat around and wrote many joints together. When I first came into Wu-Tang, I was just a team player: Nah, say this word, or, He just said that word, so we gon’ say another word. We was always heavily in tune with the darts.