Raekwon Breaks Down His 25 Most Essential Songs

Raekwon "Alphabet Soup" (2010)

Produced by: BT

Raekwon: “That's one of my favorites. That's one of those records that I don't really think got a lot of exposure, but I was using it for a mixtape thing. And I'm glad that you acknowledge the mixtape records, because sometimes I really be feeling like a lot of them songs had the opportunity to be great songs on the albums and all that, but that one was specifically made for the mixtapes.

“My man made that. It's produced by this young white kid named BT. This is also one of my protégés that helped me design Cuban Linx II. He was an engineer/producer/critic/‘Get the fuck out of the room ‘cause you’re pissin me off ‘cause you got so much to say,’ but at the same time became my best friend.

”He did ‘Penitentiary’ [on OBFCL2]. He would sit there and co-produce a couple of things with me, and we would go back and forth, but he wound up being a real good honest critic that I needed to have around me at that time.

“‘Alphabet Soup’ wound up being a beat that he made for me, and I picked it ‘cause I was like, ‘I like that beat.’ I didn't know which way to go with it. So one day I just came up with something like, ‘Maybe I'll do the alphabet. Let me get my Papoose on.’ Papoose did something like that before.

“That shit ain't easy neither. I just kinda wanted to create a nice little bounce to it and I just felt like it was working for the song. I didn't feel that it was a story beat. I didn't feel that it was a freestyle beat. I felt like you had to have a certain concept. Something. And I came up with the alphabet. And it's crazy because I still be listening to that shit. I listened to that shit yesterday.”

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