If Nas' Illmatic is the hip-hop bible and Dr. Dre's The Chronic is the blueprint, Raekwon's 1995 debut, Only Built 4 Cuban Linx, is rap's greatest motion picture told on wax.
Conceptually, it's the only rap album to rival the Scarfaces, The Godfathers and Goodfellas of the world. But that's not to say the LP is just another interpretation of prototypical gangster flicks that hip-hop emulates time and time again. Instead, what Rae, RZA, and Ghostface Killah managed to do was lace up a hyperdetailed narrative that made even the precision of a ginsu blade feel so palpable. At 18 tracks, its only flaw is having the expertly crafted story tale limited to a single cassette tape.
As today (August 2) marks 21 years, REVOLT revisits Rae's criminology rap classic with words from the man himself. #HappyPurpleTapeDay