Raekwon – “F.I.L.A. (Fly International Luxurious Art)” review

Considering how fantastic Only Built 4 Cuban Linx… Pt. II & Shaolin vs. Wu-Tang were, it seemed like Raekwon of the Wu-Tang Clan was on the path of redeeming himself after I.M.M.O.B.I.L.A.R.I.T.Y. (I Move More Officially by Implementing Loyalty and Respect in the Youth) was decent & The Lex Diamond Story was subpar. Some were quick to dismiss the album after seeing the features, but I decided to go into with an open mind since the Wu’s my all-time favorite hip hop group. The first song “4 in the Morning” has a decent beat while Rae & fellow Wu member Ghostface Killah definitely do what they do best, it’s nowhere near the level of “Can It Be All So Simple?” or even “R.A.G.U. (Rae And Ghost United)”. The next song “I Got Money” with A$AP Rocky is a braggadocious track which isn’t a bad thing, but it gets boring after a little bit. The song “Wall to Wall” has a soulful beat, but the rhymes on here weren’t interesting me at all. The song “F.I.L.A. (Fly International Luxurious Art) World” has this nice vocal sample & the rhymes are actually fine up until the redundant 2 Chainz verse starts near the end of the song. The song “1,2 1,2” is a mafioso track with has a solid Isaac Hayes sample it was kinda cool to hear Snoop Dogg going back to his Doggfather days on here. The song “Live to Die” has a somber beat & I love the serious tone in Rae’s voice as he vividly talks about death. The song “Soundboy Kill It” has a hard hitting beat & while Rae’s verse isn’t bad at all, I wasn’t feeling the guest verse from Assassin. The song “All About You” is a ladies track & while we’ve heard this before, I find it to be pretty relaxing sounding. Honestly, this is the worst album Raekwon has ever put out. There are some solid cuts on here but most of the time, I feel like he’s trying to go just as commercial as Method Man did when he dropped Tical 0: The Prequel back in ’04. Hopefully, Rae will redeem himself again with his next album

Score: 1.5/5

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