Raekwon – “The Lex Diamond Story” review

After disappointing a lot of hardcore fans with his decent sophomore album I.M.M.O.B.I.L.A.R.I.T.Y. (I Move More Officially By Implementing Loyalty And Respect In The Youth) a little over 4 years ago, Wu-Tang Clan member Raekwon is back with his 3rd full-length album but his 1st under his newly founded Ice H2O Records. Just like last time, we aren’t hearing any production from the Wu’s de facto leader RZA but we are getting a lot more features than we did on I.M.M.O.B.I.L.A.R.I.T.Y. (I Move More Officially By Implementing Loyalty And Respect In The Youth). The opening track “Pitbull Fights”, where Rae’s aggressively talking about ghetto stakeouts over a horn sample. The track “King of Kings” with Havoc of Mobb Deep has more horn samples than the previous song, but Hav & Rae definitely compliment each other on here. The song “Clientele Kidd” with fellow Wu member Ghostface Killah as well as Fat Joe of D.I.T.C. gets into some mafioso shit, but I’m not too crazy about the production. However, I think Ghost EASILY had the best verse on the entire song. You can never go wrong with his storytelling. The track “Musketeers of Pig Alley” with Masta Killa & Inspectah Deck has a beat that I can totally hear in a boxing ring & while I like the Rae verse that kicks the track off, he once again gets outshined by his fellow Wu members on here. The song “Ice Cream, Pt. 2” with Cappadonna & Method Man is a sequel to the song off of Rae’s flawless debut Only Built 4 Cuban Linx… & that isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but the beat for this sequel over here is unbearably sweet. The track “Planet of Da Apes” with Capone of Capone-N-N.O.R.E. as well as Sheek Louch of The LOX talks about fucking you up over an ominous beat & I absolutely love the overall aggression in this song. The final song (but penultimate track) “Once Upon a Time” is kinda similar to “Rainy Dayz” off of his debut & honestly, it’s just ok. Although this is yet another decent album from Rae, I’d say the previous one is slightly better

Score: 2.5/5

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