Only Built 4 Cuban Linx… Pt. II cover

Only Built 4 Cuban Linx… Pt. II

Released

In one sense, this is only a sequel to Raekwon’s magnum opus in name: the three-years-gone J Dilla gets more beats (three) than RZA (two), the guest-verse roster spans far further outside the Wu than the original’s sole nod to Nas, and the production appears to sacrifice a cohesive sound for a Dream Team of sample-slayer icons like Pete Rock, Marley Marl, The Alchemist, Erick Sermon, and Dr. Dre. In another, more important sense, this is the much-needed return to form that arrived after a late ’90s/early ’00s run of neglectful, half-formed solo enterprises — the don reclaiming his turf with consigliere Ghostface at his side. As franchise continuations go, it’s like the difference between the tension-and-horror dynamic of Ridley Scott’s suspenseful Alien and the explosive action-flick bombast of James Cameron’s sequel.

Nate Patrin

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