Every month I will do a “Diamond in the Dirt” edition of Karlito’s Korner, where I will listen to an album that hip-hop fans consider a disappointment. If there are any gems or overlooked songs, I will write about them. So, here’s the first edition.
To not know Raekwon is to not know Wu-Tang Clan. Rising to prominence with his verse on C.R.E.A.M., The Chef gave us a hip hop classic with his Only Built 4 Cuban Linx debut in 1995. Four years later he returned with Immobilarity. Though it went gold the first month out, fans considered it a HUGE disappointment. They complained of the weak delivery, sub-par production and the lack of a feature from Ghostface and beats from the RZA. The story is that Rae wanted to establish his own version of Wu-Tang known as the “American Cream Team” and Immobilarity was to set it off for them.It’s a good thing that it didn’t. No one in that camp had skills B. But anyway, I bought this album summer ’15 and took a listen. I see why fans didn’t relate. Nothing stuck with me until the 5th listen. Here are some of the diamonds I found in the dirt known as Immobilarity.
The Intro – Besides Power being in the background sounding like a Striving for Perfection rip-off, the instrumental transitions into a Jurassic Park sample that makes me look over my shoulder, hoping a T-Rex doesn’t chew me for brunch. The overall message in the intro sets the album with a theme of Black Organization overthrowing a white-dominated industry. (Basically RZAs original plan for Wu-Tang to dominate the industry by having each member at a different label to establish flagship).
Yae Yo– Classic Rae story telling. He tells a story of approaching his connect after the product proves to be trash when he tries to cook it(That’s why they call him the Chef) He details the emotion behind feeling gipped by his connect and makes some pretty funny sound effects of cracking ice out of an ice tray. What makes me mad is that the song ends on a note that makes it all sound fishy. So he finds out that the coke isn’t good and that’s about it really. All that suspense to find out you got gipped and you don’t even go out in the blaze of glory.
This beat is smooth with a mafioso thugged out 90’s feel. Probably one of the best beats on the album. Another story by Rae that could have been Cuban Linx material. I like that he sticks to the Immobilarity theme. He drops about 100 bars with a hook that feels more like an epilogue.
My favorite song on the album! When I first started listening to Raekwon , this video kept my attention. Having a young Floyd Mayweather and Zab Juda guest star definitely gave the video and song a rugged underground vibe. This song could have been the theme for KnockOut Kings 2000. The energy Rae brings as well as the bar structure he delivers makes this a banger. My favorite line is “Yo he famous like Ali Feet” ha ha haha. And of course, the hook is very confrontational. My only problem is that this beat sounds just like Casablanca, just sped up. Also, he uses the same bassline for the Casablanca and the intro. Ehhhhhh
All I got is You part 2.
Very interesting that he made a part two to a song that wasn’t his. But Wu-Tang is big on sequels. Also, it is the closest we get to a Ghostface vibe on the album. First thing Rae says is “Ghost I love you, man.” The song is set up like Casablanca; 80-100 bars then a hook and a bridge from Big Bub who brings the emotion and a New Jack City feel. Rae flawlessly reminisces on growing up with his mother, getting caught smoking weed in the crib, her alcohol abuse, and Rae being strong when his grandfather died. This song is touching as well as thoughtful. It’s my mom’s ringtone by the way.
Overall this album is the perfect example of a diamond in the dirt. Great concept, just lacked the consistency to fully execute. Raekwon will always be one of the best story tellers in Hip-Hop. This album was a brave concept but it fell flat after song #4 it feels like. If he had better beats, I believe this album would have been more cohesive. Go back and listen to the songs I named and you’ll see what I’m saying. If you find any other songs that you like off this album, let me know. Ill update with your logic as to why.