March 17, 2015

For The Max-Approved Mixtape: Raekwon - "Rainy Dayz"

  


Artist: Raekwon (featuring Ghostface Killah and Blue Raspberry)
Title: "Rainy Dayz"
Producer: The RZA
Album: Only Built 4 Cuban Linx... (1995)

Of course I would start this series with a Wu track, tight?

The most cinematic-sounding track on an album filled with crime story narratives, and not just because of the sound bite lifted from the movie The Killer at the beginning.  The original "Rainy Dayz", which I've long since considered the best song on the classic Only Built 4 Cuban Linx..., and not, bold-underline-italicized not the inexplicably more popular Mr. Dalvin remix, cements the behind-the-microphone reputations of both host Chef Raekwon and guest Ghostface Killah without compromising either man's technique, either through musical backing (the "Rainy Dayz" beat is in my RZA top five, no bullshit) or through the need to force multiple other artists (i.e., the other Wu-Tang Clan members) onto the track.  In-house Wu vocalist Blue Raspberry expresses exhaustion, exasperation, and longing throughout her brief appearances, reaching a high that no other guest singer on a Wu track has yet matched.  It's not often that you wish that the longest song on any given album would never end, but "Rainy Dayz" is the exception to the rule.

Do you agree or disagree with this selection?  Discuss below.

-Max

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40 comments:

  1. insaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaneeeeeeeeeeeee

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  2. Easily my favourite Wu track, takes me straight back to '95

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    1. I feel the same way. Instant nostalgia anytime something from Cuban Linx... pops up on my iPod. I don't know how I would feel about it had I just discovered it today, though.

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    2. I discovered the Wu in 06, fully got into them in '11. The 5 year plan produced some of the best music I've ever heard.

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    3. First track off Cuban Linx I ever heard was Incarcerated Scarfaces in GTA Liberty City Stories. I hated it at first, as Rae sounded like he had a mouthful of rice every rhyme he spit back then. I friggin LOVE it now of course, yet he STILL sounds like that to me. Chef will shine like marble.

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  3. Incredible track. Only issue I have with it is Ghost's "Blow spots like horse shit" line. Kinda throws me off.

    But his delivery is so forceful—it drips with anger and longing. Dude steals the show. Beat captures perfectly the capitalist aim, scheme, that is, to get rich fast, no matter the cost. Not to mention the psychological trauma or toll it may inflict. Probably my second favorite off the album, the first being Glaciers of Ice.

    And I do like this mixtape idea. Keep it up!

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    Replies
    1. I'm going to seriously try.

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  4. howdy jakes, starks is back

    agree strongly. ice water is still my favorite track on cuban linx, but that album has greatness to go around.

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    1. I agree. After writing this post, I kept remembering all of the other great songs off of the album. But I stand behind my choice, since "Rainy Dayz" is the track that keeps following me from playlist to playlist.

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  5. Max can you do a review for j.cole forest hill drive

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    1. I've never written any of the Cole reviews that already appear on the site, so...probably not?

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  6. Max. You've BEEN batshit crazy ever since I've known you. For me, it's either Wu-Gambinos or Guillotine (Swordz), no fucking question. There will be no debate over the matter.

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    1. You know, it IS possible to like more than one (or two) things.

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    2. I meant as standouts.

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  7. Awesome song, and one of my top four from that album along with Glaciers of Ice, Verbal Intercourse, and Crimonology

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    1. No "Guillotine (Swordz)" or "Ice Water" or "Knowledge God" or "Wu-Gambinos" or...I kid, I kid. It's just a great fucking album.

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    2. I think its become my favorite Wu solo album, though Liquid Swords is right up there. I am assuming a song or two from there will be talked about?

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    3. It's one of my favorite albums of all time in any genre, so you assume correctly. Don't know when yet, though: trying not to OD on the Wu right off the bat, so as not to turn anyone away.

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  8. A Max-approved mixtape series?!? LOVE this idea. Can't wait to hear what else comes up in this series.

    As for Rainy Dayz specifically though, I have mixed feelings on it. In general I find it to be a bit overlong. However, this is a good time to listen with a fresh set of ears and re-evaluate... I often don't discover my favourite songs until many listens through an album, maybe this will be an example of that.

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  9. I always thought Rae caught Ghost on this one

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    1. They used to pass the trophy back and forth a lot back in this time period. Now, probably not so much. (*cough* Sour Soul *cough*)

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    2. Wait till FILA drops, then you can cough
      And actually, all due respect to Rae, ghost walks away with most collabos they did back in the day. So much that I include the Cuban Linx series as part of Ghostface's discography. With cappadonna occasionally stealing the show. That's why I pointed out when Raekwon stands out.

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  10. Completely disagree. Rainy Dayz (remix) is better because it's smoother and not as abrasive to the ears as the original. Like rain on a sunny day.

    Honestly, the original Rainy Dayz is one of my least favorite joints on the album. I'm not a fan of Raspberry's singing on the chorus. And the whole song is overlong. Though the track as a whole is still dope of course. It's just not what I rush to listen to when I feel like bumping Linx.

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    1. For me, the smoothness of the remix is what turns me off entirely. I appreciate the fact that they went through the trouble to record new vocals, but it just isn't for me.

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  11. Well played sir, the Wu is always a nice way to start a hip hop playlist.
    Ghostface and Rae are flawless on this track. I also agree with you on this being one of the RZA's most cinematic and powerful works, with its gorgeous layered production and crunchy beats.
    Difficult to settle for a favourite song on Cuban Linx though, Wu-Gambinos is perfection, but Guillotine (Swords), Verbal Intercourse, and so on, are also absolute fire. Actually, my only critic regarding the LP would be Raekwon's insistence on mispronouncing "cosa nostra" as "costra nostra".

    Also, maybe you should start the "Max-approved Mixtape" as a shared playlist on Spotify or something. It could be a good way to keep track with your previous entries as you go along.
    Anyway, looking forward to seeing what's next!

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    1. I can look past that, since rappers mispronounce stuff all the time, but I'm not the biggest fan of how they insist on re-introducing themselves in their Wu-Gambino personas, as though anyone listening to that shit wouldn't have already been familiar with the Clan as a whole.

      And the thought has crossed my mind regarding a playlist, but I need to get a few more of these under my belt first.

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    2. True, but there's mispronouncing to fit the rhyme pattern, and just messing up words in ad libs, haha. I don't mind as much as I think it's a bit of a shame that he fucks up such a keyword in his mafia-themed narrative.
      I see what you mean for the reintroductions on Wu-Gambinos, and I could've done without the intro skit myself, but our hosts sound great on here, Meth spits fire like a raving pyromaniac, and the RZA's verse is ace.

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  12. "It's RAAINIIIING, HE'S CHANGIIING.. MY MAN IS GOOOOOOOOOIIIIIING INSAAAANNNNNNE, INNNNNSAAAAANE!!!!!!!!!!

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    1. Lol.. I always thought it was "these streets, they're changing, my mind is goinggggggg insane" idk which one i like better now

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  13. What is the name of the song that appeared in the skit before 'Spot Rusherz'?

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    1. I think you're talking about the song the Wu recorded for St. Ides:

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=19cjIAK_w1Q

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  14. I've always thought Masta Killa & Cappadonna would've sounded infinitely better had they switched places on Ice Water & Glaciers of Ice, respectively.

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    1. I like Cappa on "Ice Water" though. Did Masta Killa belong on "Glaciers Of Ice"? Debatable, I guess, although he sounds good on it. Did 60 Second Assassin belong on "Glaciers Of Ice"? Definitely.

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    2. Max, m'boy. Every single one of Masta Killa's appearances after 36 Chambers during the 90s is anything but debatable. When 95 hit, he was pretty much on point. Hell, even in fucking Spazzola, he got down proper.

      It's a Can It Be All So Simple thing. You wouldn't understand.

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  15. This has to be called "The Maxtape" haha

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  16. This is the first time I've heard of the remix being better than the original. I don't really like the remix, like Max said its a bit too smoothed out.
    The original has grown on me a lot over the years, mostly due to the beat but also the perfect way Ghost's verse sets things off.

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  17. The war is on, yo
    On rainy dayz I sit back and count ways on
    how to get rich son, show and prove, ask my bitch
    Stood up late nights, build with my a-lias
    We can pull a heist, snatch ice, or rock mics
    But this rap shit, got me wanna clack back the latch
    How it goes Leon, pesos made from scratch.... Classic barz

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