Raekwon Needed To Tease F.I.L.A. Album With Lost Jewelry

By Maurice Bobb with reporting by Sway Calloway

Appetizers like Raekwon’s latest mixtape, Lost Jewelry are great but nothing beats the full meal, according to the Chef, who plans to release his sixth studio album, F.I.L.A. (Fly International Luxurious Art), sometime this year.

“I just throw a big piece of steak out there and see how many people gon’  bite it and I can drag ‘em back over here to get the meal,” Rae told Sway on Wednesday’s (February 20) “RapFix Live.” “That’s the whole project coming together, that’s the vegetables. I just wanted to give them the Lost Jewelry so they can say, ‘Yo, that’s mean.’ And then when I tell ‘em, ‘Yo, that ain’t even the meal. Get ready for the meal!’ That’s when we ‘bout to go crazy because they get the taste of the appetizer.”

The Only Built For Cuban Linx MC didn’t get into the details of his upcoming LP, like what artists will make guest appearances, etc., but he did explain the thinking behind what he chose to release on the mixtape as opposed to what he kept in his hip pocket for F.I.L.A.

“When I’m making the music, I feel like everything I throw out has to work. It counts,” Rae said. “Because if you don’t have people turning they neck all the way around to see what it is, it ain’t stick on the wall. So for me, I had to get something going to promote the new project that I got. I decided to come with the Lost Jewelry EP, which is a mixtape but it’s more sexier because it’s all fresh music.”

“Sometimes, me I’m old school, I look at the mixtapes and say, ‘Mixtapes to me is when you rhyming on somebody else’s work.’ But when you come with something that’s different, but you still giving it out free, it’s kinda like an extension, but it’s free. You can’t go get it in the store. It’s not that kinda product. It’s original, it’s authentic, it’s something that we came up with.”

The Staten Island rapper may have the kind of music catalog that most rappers can only dream of, but he’s not here just to reminisce, he’s here to keep feeding the streets with copious amounts of classic material. “I stay excited cause for me, this is something I love to do,” Rae said. “I’m like Coca Cola with it. I been here for a long time, I just gotta keep it nice and stay up to date and also give them that quality taste that they been looking for. It’s nothing to me. When you built for it, you born for it, you do it cuz you wanna do it, not cuz you have to. So far me, I love it.”