Twenty years ago, Raekwon dropped his debut solo album, Only Built 4 Cuban Linx, sometimes also referred to as "The Purple Tape." Twenty years, damn. To celebrate, the rapper and member of the almighty Wu-Tang Clan, is releasing a jacket inspired by something equally as familiar.
The Linx Beach jacket, made in collaboration with Raekwon's company CL95 Inc., takes cues from Polo Ralph Lauren's iconic Snow Beach jacket, which Rae wore in the "Can It Be So Simple" video, and arguably made popular. "I knew how important [the Snow Beach] jacket was to people and I wanted to say, 'Yo, let me make a new one. Let's do something different,'" he told us. "I've always been a Polo fan—shout out Polo, Polo is basically the grandfather of all sport, casual clothes in my eyes—and we just wanted to come back down memory lane again."
Quality was the main focus with this release. Details include: anti-abrasive overlay, neoprene lined elbow pads, waterproof pockets, 3M reflective accents, Polartec® fleece and Thinsulate™ lining, and a GORE-TEX® shell. There will be two styles available—one with a blue collar and the other with a yellow collar.
Raekwon, one of the biggest 'Lo heads around, is aware that the jacket is similar to the Snow Beach jacket, but he says the idea "wasn't to take anything away from Ralph Lauren."
"Of course we know that's the original, but I think people recognize that I made that jacket a little bit more explosive for Ralph Lauren," he says. "I wish we had a way to really communicate with them and just tell them thank you for adding onto the fashion world 'cause it's clothes like that that gave us all the hope to become successful designers in our own way."
He adds: "People gonna say what they say, but more importantly it was definitely to pay homage to the original. I think a lot of people know I can't look at it like, Polo was gonna get mad 'cause that's like me looking at Jordans and seeing 70 different retro style Jordans and people... We enjoy 'em, we rock 'em 'cause it gives us a feeling."
The Linx Beach jacket, priced at $599, is available for pre-order at CL95.com now. Orders will ship Aug. 1.