Raekwon the Chef “Only Built 4 Cuban Linx Purple Tape Cassette Box Deluxe Reissue” | Get On Down

Legendary release right here that ushers in a new wave of cassette releases that are springing up on underground and indie labels all over the world. I always remember hearing Ghostface Killah mention the Purple Tape but I never knew the origins of what that had meant until this year when we got news of this special release on Raekwon’s first album. Only Built 4 Cuban Linx is a timeless record that showcases some of the most raw lyrics, beats and samples of asny Wu-Tang album. This set a trend and influence in the world that is still being felt.

This is easily the most impressive release from the labels prolific work in the reissue world and brings back some much needed attention to a classic in the hip hop legacy. Below is a full run down of the contents and the notes from Get On Down Records. This one will go fast, don’t hesitate to get a copy now if you want this in your life.






· The set, which weighs 4 pounds, is housed in a premium, glass-top, “piano lacquer,”     4-inch-tall black display case with gold-colored hardware, embossed white-on-black Raekwon logo and “The Purple Tape” placard on front

· Cassette only: actual Purple Tape (with full audio from original album), with multi-panel “J-card” fold-out featuring original cassette artwork

· 32-page, hard-cover liner notes book, including text by Brian Coleman (featuring an in-depth interview with and track-by-track reminisces by Raekwon); artwork from original Only Built 4 Cuban Linx album; and reprinted graphics from original Loud/RCA promotional singles

· Premium, glossy 24” x 24” promotional poster (from original Only Built 4 Cuban Linx 1995 Loud/RCA campaign)

 · Only Built 4 Cuban Linx sticker

 · Limited edition: only 1,000 copies worldwide

  · Available at GetOnDown.com and a very limited number of outside retailers, September 17

In what is sure to be considered among the most unique music releases of 2012, Get On Down has upped the ante in the reissue game with their stunning Raekwon The Chef Only Built 4 Cuban Linx “Purple Tape Cassette Box.” The set, limited to 1,000 copies, is available only at GetOnDown.com.

Hip-hop fans who will salivate at this reissue already know the story: in 1995, Wu-Tang Clan frenzy was at an all-time high. First there was the Wu-Tang Clan’s epic 1993 debut Enter the Wu-Tang (36 Chambers), which changed the shape of ‘90s hip-hop, with ripples that still resonate today. Then the solo albums, all produced by Wu patriarch RZA: first was Method Man’s Tical (late 1994), then Ol’ Dirty Bastard’s Return to the 36 Chambers: The Dirty Version (spring 1995).

By the time Raekwon’s debut was ready, fans were knocking each other over on album release day. And so, on August 1, 1995 as the legend goes, the first 10,000 cassette buyers – NOTE TO YOUNG’UNS: back in 1995, fans bought hip-hop albums on cassette more frequently than CD or vinyl – ran home and opened their plastic cases to discover that the tape itself was a stunning shade of lavender.

The rest, as they say, is history… and limited-edition history at that. After the initial purple versions, RCA Records switched to the usual clear plastic to house the legendary tape. The Purple Tape became an instant collector’s item, a Holy Grail for Wu-Tang disciples, coveted by those who could claim to be the earliest devotees of Raekwon’s lyrical genius. The album is still called “The Purple Tape” to this day, by Raekwon and other Wu-Tang members.

But, colors aside, let’s not forget about the album itself! Backed by arguably RZA’s most wide-ranging, hard-hitting and at-times lush beats on any Wu-Tang family album before or since, Raekwon and co-MC Ghost Face Killer run the lyrical gamut, introducing “Wu-Gambinos” slang, dishing out “Ice Cream” for the ladies, and melting “Glaciers of Ice” along the way to influencing just about every MC who followed in their wake.

Boasting five singles – “Heaven & Hell,” “Glaciers of Ice” (promo only), “Criminology,” “Ice Cream / Incarcerated Scarfaces” and “Rainy Dayz” – the album was revered from the get-go, earning 4.5 out of 5 Mics in the Source (retroactively upgraded to 5 Mics in 2002) alongside raves in publications from SPIN to the Los Angeles Times. It went gold in two months.

Beyond Ghost Face (who shines on 12 out of the album’s 17 tracks), guest appearances from Nas, Method Man, Inspektah Deck, Master Killa, RZA and the debut of Cappadonna (aka Cappachino) locked the album as an undisputed classic. It’s a record that hit hard in 1995 and continues to resonate with new fans to this day, 17 years later.

As Raekwon explains in the new “Purple Tape Cassette Box” liner notes book: “A lot of rappers wasn’t being creative [at that time] and we came with a potion that just shocked the game. We introduced shoes, we brought about different names and aliases. That record inspired maybe 95% of the game’s lyrics [afterwards], and integrity on just making music, period. People from our era know how real it is. It’s timeless.”

Celebrate the majesty of Only Built 4 Cuban Linx with Get On Down’s “Purple Tape Cassette Box,” a release you will keep safe, secure and proudly displayed in your collection for decades to come.


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