First Look: Get On Down Revives Raekwon's Infamous Purple Tape

The latest in the Get On Down Masters Series is a loving reissue of the classic 'Only Built 4 Cuban Linx' original collectors item cassette.

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Complex Original

Image via Complex Original

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On August 1, 1995, RCA Records dropped Raekwon's now classic Only Built 4 Cuban Linx. The first 10,000 cassette copies (according to legend), were cased in a brilliant purple. An instant collectors item, and impetus for a nickname, the tape remains one of most creative packaging choices in hip-hop history.

Get On Down celebrates creativity. The small brand, established in 2010 by record industry veterans Matt Welch and Joe Mansfield, is giving hip-hop fans reason to celebrate legendary records and forgotten classics. Majors hadn't been pushing rap beyond regular reissues and, as Mansfield says, Get On Down was formed as a way of "presenting releases in a really fresh way, as far as innovative packaging and cool bonus material."

They started with Common's Resurrection and then blew the doors open with a brilliant idea for ODB's Return to the 36 Chambers, recreating the food stamp card on the the original cover, reminding of the power of music and its associated objects to entice us beyond disposable download culture. "That one to me had so many different parts from different manufacturers, and when it came together it was really exciting," says Matt Welch, "It made people take notice of what we were doing."

Since ODB, they've reworked GZA's Liquid Swords with a chess set and now adds to the Get On Down Master Series with the "Purple Tape Cassette Box."

The full-length audio from the original is set in actual Purple Tape and housed in a "piano lacquer" display case with gold-color hardware and embossed white-on-black Raekwon logo. In addition to the tape, the box set includes a 32-page, hard-cover liner notes book with text by Brian Coleman and reprinted graphics from the original Loud/RCA promotional singles.

The cassette-only Only Built 4 Cuban Linx "Purple Tape Cassette Box" reissue is limited to 1,000 copies available exclusively from today at for $44.95.

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