Raekwon is one of the best rappers from the Wu-Tang Clan but never achieved the solo stardom of his fellow clan members Method Man, Ol' Dirty Bastard or RZA. In 1995 he released "Only Built 4 Cuban Linx" which is considered to be one of the greatest rap albums of all time and perhaps the most influential of all Wu-Tang solo projects. Raekwon's cinematic imagination and his creation of a narrative album format revolving about cocaine trafficking, criminal activity, and a rise through the ranks of the illegal industry inspired several up-and-coming rappers such as Jay-Z and 50 Cent among others. He then released "Immobilarity" in 1999, to somewhat more mixed reviews than "Only Built 4 Cuban Linx". Many fans disliked his decision to use inexperienced producers rather than the Wu-Tang's in-house producers, though the album went gold. "The Lex Diamond Story", was also released to lukewarm reviews and wildly varying public reviews and moderate success.
Despite his wide appeal, Raekwon uses heavy New York slang and makes little effort to cater to listeners outside of New York. His worldplay can be incomprehensible to those not familiar with his culture and not just hip hop culture, but specifically the New York scene. Like his Wu brethren Ghostface Killah, he paints many vivid and emotional narratives, pictures, or vibes within each line.
In 2005, Raekwon released "The Vatican Mixtape" shortly after the rumours of "Only Built 4 Cuban Linx II" was offically confirmed. He also released "The Da Vinci Code: The Vatican Mixtape, Pt. 2" in 2006. He plans to release his long-delayed sequel to his debut also in 2006 under Wu-Tang; it will be executive produced by Busta Rhymes (informally) and the RZA, with RZA handling most of the production--including the first single--as well as tracks from Dr. Dre and others.
"You got guns? / Got guns, too / what up son duke / Wanna battle for cash and see who Sun Tzu?"
"Me and the RZA connect, blow a fuse, you lose / Half-ass crews get demolished and bruised"