Raekwon sat down with Talib Kweli for his Uproxx podcast, Peoples Party, giving some of the dopest backstories to classic Wu-tang moments, records, and history. The Chef is preparing to release his book “From Staircase To Stage: The Story of Raekwon and the Wu-Tang Clan.” The book will take a deeper dive into some of the incredible stories. Raekwon’s autobiography is set to release later this year on November 9, 2021.
Here are five of the dopest moments that Raekwon shared on the 2-hour long episode of Peoples Party.
1. The word "C.R.E.A.M" Originally Comes From Raekwon’s Cousin.
When asked about the origin of Wu-Tang’s definitive classic, “C.R.E.A.M,” Raekwon explains that the term originates from his cousin constantly referring to money as cream. Eventually, Raekwon would adopt the word, using it around Wu-Tang members Rae the Ruckus and Method Man, finally turning the phrase into an acronym, creating the timeless classic we love to this day.
“The word itself comes from my cousin in [Brooklyn]. He was always about getting money and would always say ‘cream.’” Raekwon explains. “My man Rae the Rucks came up with the acronym with Meth.” The 1993 song would go on to be Wu-Tangs greatest hits to this day.
2. Raekwon and Talib Kweli Met in an Elevator of Loud Records
Talib Kweli reminds Raekwon about the first time they met early in their careers. As the group promoted their debut album, Enter the Wu-Tang(36 Chambers), Raekwon handed Kweli a “Protect Your Neck” cassette tape before Wu-tang officially dropped it as a single.
“I met you on the elevator of Loud records back in the day when y’all had the ‘Protect Your Neck’ Method man cassette.” Kweli reminds Raekwon.
3. Cappadonna Was Working As a Security Guard Before Cuban Linx
Cappadonna was introduced to us on Raekwon’s magnum opus, Strictly Built 4 Cuban Linx, as an associate of Wu-tang. Fresh out of jail while he was on parole, Cappadonna was working as a security guard at his apartment building. A childhood friend of Raekwon, the rapper knew Cap would be the perfect supporting role for his classic cinematic album.
“We knew Cap was home and would tell him to come to the studio,” Raekwon explained. “He has always been a specialist MC, and that’s something we couldn’t stand for, leaving him behind when he was important to putting this all together.”
4. Ghostface and Raekwon Got Close After the “Protect Your Neck” Music Video
Of course, the dynamic duo, Tony Stark and Raekwon the Chef, have known each other since their high school days in Staten Island. But Raekwon says that the two started to get closer after the “Protect Your Neck” video was shot, as they relished in their newly found success, love of fashion, and sense of humor.
“We got close genuinely just being funny, dressing, going shopping, rhyming, sharing the same room,” Raekwon told the podcast. “We seen a lot of the same visions not only through music but also through life.” We were gifted earlier this year with a Verzuz battle between the two Wu-tang MCs as they went back and forth and played some of their greatest hits. Fans will be able to see them as they are set to go on the ‘3 Chambers’ tour with GZA later this year.
5. Raekwon Has a Barbershop in Toronto
Before he was a rap star, Raekwon cut his friend’s hair in his project stairwell to earn some cash. In 2019, Raekwon opened his Purple Tape-inspired barbershop, 611 Purple Factory, in Toronto. Raekwon has always loved doing shows over the years in Toronto, constantly receiving lots of love from fans, which prompted the rapper to return to the grooming business, opening his first barbershop in Toronto.
“It was always love in the city, so we decided to create a store and mix it with a little nostalgia of The Purple Tape because we knew how much that album changed the lives of the people in the city of Toronto,” Raekwon explained. “Toronto is a lot like New York, just a little bit smaller with a lot of heart. It kind of raised a lot of dudes out there.”