Album Review | Raekwon – Fly International Luxurious Art

This album came out on April 21st this year. If you want to know more about my experience with the Wu-Tang Clan, read the preamble to my Sour Soul review. The original cover for this album… is fucking horrible.

F.I.L.A.

Even the fan made covers weren’t that good (the one I used up there ain’t bad tho). Raekwon is one of the more recognizable members of the Wu-Tang Clan, but his more recent songs haven’t been that attention grabbing. The track list for this album is making me think that that hasn’t changed much for this project. Why the fuck is Raekwon working with French Montana? Why does French Montana exist? Why is French Montana allowed to vote? I’m sure that none of these questions will be answered with this album. It is cool that he did a song with Assassin tho. I love how so many rappers are starting to put him on they songs. Assassin is dope af. I’m expecting this album to be okay. There will probably be some dope songs, but the overall album will probably be kinda… bad…

Track 1: Intro (Prod. Jerry Wonda)

This is some skit with a lady that works at the airport tryna talk to Raekwon, but he’s focused on “Versace shower sprinklers” & “suede walls.” This isn’t a song. It’s just a weird ass pointless ass intro skit. I’m so tired right now. I’m finna go to sleep. I’m not gonna give this a rating since it’s just an opening skit. It was pointless.

Track 2: 4 In The Morning Feat. Ghostface Killah (Prod. Scram Jones)

I fuck with Scram Jones. He released an album called Dead Giveaway a while ago. I don’t think I listened to the whole thing, but the songs Friday The Thirteenth and Diabolic were dope. Ghostface Killah is dope af too. I was kinda disappointed with Sour Soul tho… This beat is alright I guess. It’s nothing special. Oh. Damn. It’s actually kinda nice. When the horns come in it gets a lot better. Raekwon’s first verse was dope. The hook isn’t bad, but the people yelling in the background is annoying as hell. Raekwon did his thing on the second verse. Ghostface’s verse was dope. This song is dope. I fuck with this. 4/5

Track 3: I Got Money Feat. A$AP Rocky (Prod. S1)

I fuck with A$AP Rocky. LongLiveA$AP was my shit. LiveLoveA$AP was cool too. This beat is dope af. Raekwon’s first verse wasn’t bad. The hook isn’t very good… It’s not bad enough to ruin the track, but I coulda did without it. Rocky’s verse was dope. That hook is just… I hate hearing little ass kids sing. That shit is corny af to me. I wanna hear Beyoncé singin’ the hook, not Blue Ivy. It’s not terrible, but I really wish it wasn’t there. The thing is, it sounds like a kid came up with it too. It’s annoying. Even if Beyoncé WAS singing it, it still wouldn’t be very good. It’s just not a very good melody. “I got money, na na na na na / I got money, na na na na na / I got money, na na na na na.” You can see how that would get annoying. At least fill those parts where you say “na na na na na” in with some actual lyrics. It’s not terrible, but still. I do like the song tho. Just wish the hook was better. 4/5

Track 4: Wall To Wall Feat. French Montana & Busta Rhymes (Prod. She Da God & Snaz)

Wall To Wall

I fucking hate French Montana. I mean, I hate his music. I think he might just be the worst mainstream rapper. Aside from Iggy Azalea. I even like Young Thug more than French Montana. There are Young Thug songs that I like. I’ve never heard a good French Montana song. I’ve never heard a good French Montana verse. The only thing that he’s ever done that I’ve liked is the hook on I Be On It by Meek Mill. That was nice. That hook he did on Doesn’t Matter by Pusha T…. Horrible. Fucking horrible. Busta Rhymes is nice. He be fuckin’ up sometimes tho. That song Twerk It? Horrible. Fucking horrible. That song Calm Down with Eminem? Dope af. I fuck with that song. I’m not expecting much from this song. French Montana is talking on the intro. He just sounds stupid. The way he speaks makes him sound fucking stupid as fuck. You could have him explain income inequality in a really detailed way and he would still sound like a fucking idiot. It’s not even what he’s saying that makes him sound stupid. Just the way he speaks and the way he slurs his words. It sounds like he’s trying to sound like an idiot. Oh God. French Montana is singing. Why does he do that? Who told French Montana he could sing? That hook on Stay Schemin’ is fucking horrible. I can’t take that shit. How the fuck did they have French Montana and Drake on the same song and end up with Montana on the hook? That just doesn’t make any fucking sense. Stop singing. Please. French Montana. Stop. Singing. This hook is fucking horrible. The beat keeps dropping out and French Montana is saying dumb shit that I don’t give a fuck about. Or believe. Of course he’s on the first verse. Raekwon what are you thinking? “Everythin’ in that showroom, nigga, I was in it / On my son, I was in it, I was in it.” Does he have a son? That’s really a horrible thing to say when you think about it. His verse was fucking terrible. Who didn’t see that coming? I just listened to 2 minutes of French Montana. That’s too much. For the first two minutes of this song, all you hear is an average beat and French Montana. Raekwon’s verse wasn’t bad. He hasn’t really said anything that amazing so far. On the whole album. Oh my God. The more you listen to this hook the worse it gets. Busta’s verse was dope, but anything with this much French Montana in it can’t possibly get anything higher than a 1. It really feels like a French Montana song featuring Raekwon and Busta Rhymes. He stole the show for all the wrong reasons. This is fucking horrible. Wack af. 1/5

Track 5: Heated Nights (Prod. Frank G)

There’s a fairy man talking about some shit on the intro. I don’t know what he’s talking about, nor do I care. This beat is nice. I feel like I’m drivin’ in the rain in New York city at 2 AM. The hook is cool. He’s tallkin’ about his younger days. This is dope. This is the first song where it doesn’t sound like he’s desperately trying to appeal to a mainstream audience. I guess 4 In The Morning wasn’t bad. I really fuck with this song. This is dope af. 5/5

Track 6: F.I.L.A. World Feat. 2 Chainz (Prod. Scram Jones)

Huh. 2 Chainz on a Scram Jones beat. This should be weird. This is a weird beat, but I fuck with it. It kinda sounds like it would play in either the intro or the credits of a Disney movie. It sounds… emotional. I like it, but it’s just… different. It’s just weird. I don’t know how to describe it properly. Raekwon is rapping on this soft beat and… he doesn’t sound like a Wu-Tang member. This isn’t a beat that a Wu-Tang clan member should be rhymin’ over. I don’t know. This is just weird as fuck. 2 Chainz is pitch shifted on the hook. It’s not bad, but… This song is so fucking weird. I don’t understand this song. Raekwon’s verses weren’t bad. I like the song… I think. It’s just… I don’t know what’s happening. I can’t tell whether this beat sounds happy or sad. It’s just soft af. Do I like this song? I don’t even know… 2 Chainz is about to start rappin’. 2 Chainz’ flow is nice. Is this a good 2 Chainz verse? It’s stupid as hell, but I think I like it. “I use machetes to eat spaghetti.” The lyrics aren’t really that good, but his delivery and flow are nice. I… don’t think I want to hear this song again. I think I don’t like this. It’s not horrible, but I don’t think I’ll ever want to hear it again. That’s weird as fuck. This song just doesn’t make sense. Why the fuck is 2 Chainz even on here? I don’t know what’s happening. This is okay I guess. It might be wack tho. I really can’t say if it’s bad or good. I’m not gonna be playin’ this again. You might like it tho. I have no idea what to think. 3/5

Track 7: 1,2 1,2 Feat. Snoop Dogg (Prod. Scoop DeVille)

1,2 1,2

Hopefully this will be dope af. I haven’t ever listened to a Snoop Dogg album, but I’ll definitely review Doggystyle someday. This beat is nice. Raekwon’s flow is dope. Fuck yes. There’s no hook. They just spittin’ bars. This is dope. Raekwon’s first verse was dope. Yes. Snoop’s flow is dope. It sounds like he’s actually trying again. That was great. The beat was dope and Raekwon & Snoop both killed it. I fuck with this song. This song is dope af. 5/5

Track 8: Live To Die (Prod. S1)

This beat is average. He did his thing on the first verse. Nothing out of the ordinary about this song. Don’t really have much to say. The hook was nothin’ special. This isn’t a bad song, but it’s just kinda generic. He did his thing with the verses. Nothing about this song is bad, but nothing really stands out. It’s okay. 3/5

Track 9: Soundboy Kill It Feat. Melanie Fiona & Assassin (Prod. Jerry Wonda & Swizz Beatz)

Soundboy Kill It

Huh. Melanie Fiona. What’s she been up to? Is she really famous? Do people like her? I don’t think I’ve ever heard her shit on the radio. Or at all tbh. I have no idea what she sounds like. I’ve heard of her tho. Assassin, as I said before, is dope af. The hook he did on The Blacker The Berry was phenomenal. I think that’s the first time I’ve ever used that word. I’m only 40 seconds in right now, but so far the beat is pretty shitty. Yeah, I’m at the hook now. The beat’s still shitty. Damn. Melanie Fiona is singin’ her motherfuckin’ ass off. She actually did a good ass job with that hook. That was nice. I have no idea what the fuck Assassin is saying. He, uh… He should probably stick to hooks. Him yelling with that thick accent over this shitty ass beat sounds pretty fucking terrible. This beat is really… really bad. Well, that was disappointing. The only shit I really liked about this song was Melanie Fiona’s hook. She’s bad af btw. I guess I never talked about Raekwon’s verse. It was average. Not really feelin’ this track. 2/5

Track 10: Revory (Wraith) Feat. Ghostface Killah & Rick Ross (Prod. Bluerocks)

I wish Rick Ross wasn’t on this song. He may end up surprising me, but I really don’t expect him to have an entertaining contribution to this song. This beat is nice. This is a really energetic track. Raekwon had a dope verse. Rick Ross is about to start rappin’ now. Let’s see how he does. “Twice a day I change watches, chains and the charms / Tatted on my back, chest and my palms.” It’s just an average, copy & paste Rick Ross verse. He doesn’t say anything on this song that he hasn’t already said a million times. His flow wasn’t too bad. It wasn’t as good as Raekwon’s tho. His verse wasn’t terrible, but I think this song would be a lot better without it, assuming Ghostface has a good verse. Huh. He actually didn’t. It wasn’t bad, but it wasn’t really anything special. This song is good, but Ghostface definitely could’ve done better and Rick Ross didn’t need to be here. That was actually really random now that I think of it. Ghostface’s verse was pretty short too. That was disappointing. It’s not a bad song tho. The beat was dope and Raekwon did his thing, but the other two verses were average. I really don’t see myself coming back to this song. It’s not bad. It’s just ok. That’s not how you spell reverie, btw. 3/5

Track 11: All About You Feat. Estelle (Prod. Jerry Wonda)

All About You

Not really feelin’ this hook. At all. The beat is nice, but the hook is wack. Estelle actually sounds like an adolescent boy on the hook. “But what’s a man to do?” Wait a minute… Why did she say that? Is… Is Estelle a man? Okay, I just looked her up. She’s definitely not a man. I don’t see anything on Wikipedia about her getting a sex change operation. Maybe I’m looking a little too deep. She didn’t really do a bad job singing, but it just isn’t a very good melody. This song is soft af. This song is called All About You, but all Raekwon does on the first verse is talk about himself. It’s all about how successful HE is and how HIS life is awesome and how the listener should love HIM because HE’s so awesome. That doesn’t really change on the second verse either. Estelle says “It’s all about you” 10 times on the hook (yes, I counted) and the first thing Raekwon says is “It’s been about me, I’m a king from the rip / My own millionaire style, my swag on dip.” When he said, “It’s been about me,” I assumed he would stop there and talk about the girl he was tryin’ to smash, but he just gets sidetracked and talks about himself more. That’s why I hate songs like this. Rappers always act like they’re sorry for being narcissistic, but they usually just use it as an excuse to talk about themselves. “I’m sorry that it’s always about me and how I be stackin’ paper, and I’m a real nigga, and I ain’t nothin’ to fuck with, and I be packin’ heat, and I gotta big dick, and I be fuckin’ other men’s bitches, and I can fuck you good baby, but today it’s about you. It ain’t about how I got money, and I’m a gangsta, and niggas shouldn’t play wit me, and I be bussin’ at da ops, and I got a foot long dong, and I get a lot of pussy, and I’m real good at fuckin’. It’s about you, because I can fuck you good and I got paper…” You get my point. This is a bad song. I’m not feelin’ it at all. 1/5

Track 12: Nautilus (Prod. Scram Jones)

The scratches on the hook of this song are dope. Scram Jones has always been good at that shit. This beat is dope. Raekwon is doin’ his thing. This is the hardest song on the album so far. His other verse was dope af too. Not much to say. It’s just a dope ass gangsta ass song. I fuck with this song. This song is dope af. 5/5

Track 13: Worst Enemy Feat. Liz Rodrigues (Prod. Matthew Burnett)

Liz Rodrigues (no idea who that is) is singin’ right at the beginning of the track. This is about to be an emotional ass song. I think. “I’m my own worst enemy.” This beat is actually dope af. Raekwon sounds great over it too. It’s actually not a soft song. Liz’s hook is just a little over dramatic. I coulda did without that hook. It ain’t very good. Everything else about this song is dope tho. It is an emotional song, but not in the Drake way. In the rough life gangsta way. “Ridin’ with the gun cocked, sweatin’, musty tee on.” I enjoyed listening to this song, but that hook kinda ruins it for me. I’m not feelin’ that hook at all. I can’t keep this song. The hook just… Nah. I ain’t feelin’ that. I liked the rest of it tho. Just take out Liz Rodrigues. There really didn’t need to be a hook. He could’ve done a simple hook himself. It’s alright. 3/5

Final Thoughts:

That was not that good. There were some good songs on there, but as a whole this album just felt really unfocused. It felt very commercialized and desperate. This isn’t what people wanna hear from a legendary rapper like Raekwon. Nothing about this album is legendary. This album is loaded with features, which is a shame since two of the best tracks on here were solo tracks. Speaking of solo tracks, there are only three of them on this album. That’s a problem. When you buy an album from a Wu-Tang member, you probably don’t want to hear French Montana, 2 Chainz & Rick Ross. Who wanted that? Who was waiting for a French Montana & Raekwon collaboration? Who was waiting for anything with French Montana? I don’t mind Busta Rhymes, Snoop Dogg & Ghostface Killah. This didn’t even feel like a Raekwon project tho. It felt like a fan made DJ Khaled compilation with Raekwon on every track. This album really felt lazy. We want to hear bars from Raekwon. We don’t want to hear “bars” from French Montana. This album was supposed to come out in 2013. What the hell happened? This is what we waited 2 years for? What did he add to this album in those 2 years? These features are obvious attempts at reaching the mainstream. 2 Chainz on the F.I.L.A. World song made absolutely no sense. Why was he on that song? What made Raekwon think that 2 Chainz was the perfect rapper for that song? 2 Chainz? He had no reason to be on there. Half of the features on this album are completely out of place. Raekwon fans are gonna be let down by this album. People that listen to mainstream Hip Hop aren’t gonna wanna hear this in the first place. Some guy that’s just pickin’ out random albums to buy is gonna be turned off by the horrible album art. This album feels cheap. If anything, this should’ve been a mixtape. Raekwon needs to get his shit together. Wu-Tang just isn’t what it used to be. Ghostface Killah has been doin’ a pretty good job. Still waitin’ on that DOOMSTARKS album tho…

Favorite Track: Heated Nights

Least Favorite Track: Wall To Wall

Verdict:

65%

MEH

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