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Get On Down release Raekwon Only Built 4 Cuban Link Purple Tape re-issue

by Jo Ching. Published Tue 25 Sep 2012 12:38, last updated: 25/09/12
Raekwon - Purple Tape Cassette Box
Raekwon - Purple Tape Cassette Box

Get On Down release deluxe limited-edition Chef Raekwon Only Built 4 Cuban Link Purple Tape Cassette Box re-issue.

In the most adventurous release yet in the label's acclaimed Masters Series, Get On Down is proud to present the limited edition cassette-only release, limited to 1000 copies.

The set, which weighs four pounds is housed in a premium, glass-top, piano lacquer, four-inch-tall black display case with gold-coloured hardware, embossed white-on-black Raekwon logo and The Purple Tape placard on the front

Cassette only: actual Purple Tape (with full audio from the original album), with multi-panel J-card fold-out featuring original cassette artwork.

32-page hard-cover liner notes book, including text by Brian Coleman (featuring an in-depth interview with and track-by-track reminisces by Raekwon), artwork from original Only Built 4 Cuban Linx album and reprinted graphics from original Loud/RCA promotional singles.

Premium, glossy 24 x 24 promotional poster (from original Only Built 4 Cuban Linx 1995 Loud/RCA campaign).

Only Built 4 Cuban Linx sticker.

*Limited edition: only 1,000 copies worldwide*

In what is sure to be considered among the most unique hip-hop releases of 2012, Get On Down has upped the ante in the re-issue game with their stunning Raekwon The Chef Only Built 4 Cuban Linx Purple Tape Cassette Box. The set, limited to 1,000 copies, is available only at GetOnDown.com.

Hip-hop fans who will salivate at this re-issue already know the story: in 1995, Wu-Tang Clan frenzy was at an all-time high.

Beginning with the Wu-Tang Clan's epic 1993 debut Enter the Wu-Tang (36 Chambers), which changed the shape of 90s hip-hop, with ripples that still resonate today.

Then followed the solo albums, all produced by Wu patriarch RZA: first up was Method Man's Tical (late 1994), then Ol' Dirty Bastard's Return to the 36 Chambers: The Dirty Version (spring 1995).

By the time Raekwon's debut was ready, fans were knocking each other over on album release day.

Back in 1995, hip-hop heads bought their albums on cassette more frequently than CD or vinyl ran home and opened their plastic cases to discover that the tape itself was a stunning shade of lavender.

After the initial purple versions, RCA Records switched to the usual clear plastic to house the legendary tape.

The Purple Tape became an instant collector's item, a Holy Grail for Wu-Tang disciples, coveted by those who could claim to be the earliest devotees of Raekwon's lyrical genius. The album is still called The Purple Tape to this day, by Raekwon and other Wu-Tang Clan members.

But, colours aside, let's not forget about the album itself! Backed by arguably RZA's most wide-ranging, hard-hitting and at-times lush beats on any Wu-Tang family album before or since, Raekwon and co-MC Ghost Face Killah run the lyrical gamut, introducing Wu-Gambinos slang, dishing out Ice Cream for the ladies and melting Glaciers of Ice along the way to influencing just about every MC who followed in their wake.

Boasting five singles Heaven & Hell, Glaciers of Ice (promo only), Criminology, Ice Cream/Incarcerated Scarfaces and Rainy Dayz, the album was revered from the get-go, earning 4.5 out of 5 Mics in the 90s hip-hop magazine The Source (later upgraded to 5 Mics in 2002) alongside rave reviews in publications from SPIN to the Los Angeles Times. It went gold in two months.

Beyond Ghost Face (who shines on 12 out of the album's 17 tracks), guest appearances from Nas, Method Man, Inspektah Deck, Master Killa, RZA and the debut of Cappadonna (aka Cappachino) solidified the album as an undisputed hip-hop classic. It's a record that hit hard in 1995 and continues to resonate with new fans to this day, 17 years later.

As Raekwon explains in the new Purple Tape Cassette Box liner notes book: "A lot of rappers wasn't [sic] being creative [at that time] and we came with a potion that just shocked the game. We introduced shoes, we brought about different names and aliases. That record inspired maybe 95% of the game's lyrics [afterwards], and integrity on just making music, period. People from our era know how real it is. It's timeless."

Celebrate the majesty of Only Built 4 Cuban Linx with Get On Down's Purple Tape Cassette Box, a release to treasure, bump in your home and car and proudly display in your collection for decades to come.


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