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When an artist is known for releasing classic album after classic album, the pressure can sometimes become overwhelming. But for Raekwon, maintaining this classic touch has become routine. By virtue of his contributions to landmark sets from Wu-Tang Clan and his solo platinum debut album, 1995's Only Built 4 Cuban Linx..., Lex Diamonds consistently establishes the mark others aim for.

With such a remarkable resume, it should come as little surprise that Immobilarity, (executive produced by Power), is Rae's second solo dish on Loud Records, stands as the most dynamic hip-hop record ever released. Handling a variety of esoteric styles, the intricate tales of intrigue and thrilling, suspenseful plotlines that are his signature, Raekwon achieves what heretofore seemed impossible--taking his craft to higher ground.

The Immobilarity title deals with the trials and tribulations synonymous with Staten Island's favorite son and comes from one of life's truisms: a brother has to see what he's been through in order to know where he's going. That's why Raekwon, known for his inventive wordplay, calls Immobilarity Cuban Linx's big brother. He's included plenty of songs that revisit the lyrical and sonic feel of the first album, yet each cut has a decidedly new vibe.

"I bring a lot of slang to the game," Rae explains. "I'm always going to be on the level, but at the same time I became clearer. I know how to hit the target without missing now, on any level. My stories are so visual and vivid that fans are going to be like, 'I understand exactly what he's talking about.' I'm like Oliver Stone with this."

Much like the famed movie director, Raekwon drops jewels so potent that they can only be considered bigger and better. There's narrative-driven selections such as "Friday," a wicked tale of double-cross, and "Yayo," a fast-paced caper about a hard-working cat who retaliates after being jacked. These two songs demonstrate that the Chef indeed the master storyteller.

But, as he said, it was time to elevate. That's why Rae flips the script on "Live From New York," a danceable cut where he pays homage o hip-hop's home, and he delivers a fierce freestyling session on "100 Rounds."

Then there's "Pop Shit," where the slang doctor does as the title suggests, masterfully freaking a number of delivery styles as he slides in some new terminology.

American Cream Team, the potent group of emcees assembled by Raekwon, blazes on "Power," another sizzling cut that will surely have the same affect "Ice Cream" had upon its release.

"I'm giving everything a reality check," Rae proclaims. "My style has changed so much. [Yet] all I did was advance my style. I'm flipping it all types of ways, but it's still Rae. My ability to write as a poet is stronger right now.

That strength easily transfers to other aspects of Rae's package. In addition to the magnificent rapping showcased throughout Immobilarity, fans are sure to notice that Raekwon is rapping over tracks from someone other than the RZA. Carlos Broady and Infinite Architects represent for New York, while up and comer Trife (American Cream Team) establishes himself as one of Atlanta's best-kept-musical secrets.

Like the multi-platinum selling group Wu-Tang Clan, who set out to reshape the music industry with their keen business acumen, Raekwon wants to introduce a number of superior beatsmiths who have yet to enjoy their big break to the hip-hop community.

"All I did was see who had talent out there on the music level and know what I could to help them as well as they could help me," Rae reveals. "There's a lot of motherfuckers out there that can't get a chance. That was my shit, I'm willing to give a nigga a chance, just give me what I need from you and I'm going to give you what you need from me. It's all immobilizing."

With a bevy of influential recordings and one of the most distinctive flows in hip-hop, Raekwon will once again realign the rap worked with Imm
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