Raekwon Breaks Down His 25 Most Essential Songs

Jodeci f/ Raekwon and Ghostface Killah "Freak N You (Remix)" (1995)

Produced by: Mr. Dalvin

Raekwon: “That right there was when we really started to look at making a transition for our careers, and when we made that record what was going through my mind was that maybe I could still be hardcore and still do these kinds of records too. But RZA wouldn't let me go there.

”When we made that record and it started taking off, I kinda just wanted to start making music like that. I wanted to try to open up that R&B world because like I said I'm the Chef. I'm versatile. You can't just put me in one box.

“Jodeci gave us a call. I remember me and Ghost up in the studio with them niggas ‘cause we was the only ones that went to go get at ‘em that day ‘cause they called specifically for us. And, them niggas was pissy, pissy, pissy, pissy drunk. We was in New York City, somewhere up in the city. I remember we was all just up in the studio having fun. Them niggas was singing their verses. Next thing you know, we was just pacing as it go on and while they was up in there doing their thing, I'm over there trying to write my first line like, ‘What the fuck am I gonna say to set off this rhyme?!’ It wasn't easy for me, so I think it may have took me like an hour and a half to just come up with the first line.

“I caught a lot of female love on that. So that's why I was trying to get my little female shine on. Now I wanna be a sex symbol like Meth. Meth is a sex symbol, and that record was allowing me to be a sex symbol to a degree. So I'm like, ‘Yeah, I need to start making more records like this!’ [Laughs.]

”RZA was like, ‘Man, listen here, you gonna stay right over here. Stay in your chamber.’ I was really one of the dudes back then that was just so amped up to do whatever I can. I believed in myself like that. Confidence got the Chef where he at today.”

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