PNC Radio hosted the official Raekwon “The Lost Jewlry” listening party earlier this month – a collection of songs that will satisfy lovers of classic Wu-Tang Clan music. The EP drops 1/15/13 and features songs by veteran producers like Scram Jones and Buckwild.
The DUMBO loft of PNC’s home location is a perfectly situated space along the water with an outdoor deck, which creates an intimate environment to socialize and network. Drinks by 1800 Coconut Vodka and NUVO quenched the crowd’s thirst, except a strange chocolate flavored edition that quickly needs to be discontinued.
Now, now. I’m usually a fan of places with lots of men…(anyone who knows me KNOWS this is no secret) but this was a bit overwhelming on first entry – a packed house of testosterone x100, readily anticipating a good show. The 14 year-old girl in me wanted to exclaim, “Oh my God I can’t wait to hear him perform!” Yeah, I wonder how that would’ve gone over. Anywho – I fell back and enjoyed the DJ playing rap/hip-hop songs fit for any connoisseur of the culture.
My love affair with Wu-Tang’s music started when I first heard their song “M-E-T-H-O-D Man” sitting on the steps of my Crown Heights brownstone back in the early 90’s. Dope. It was an infectious song that possessed me to feverishly hunt down the origins of this amazing music, which sounded unlike anything I had ever heard before. Those were the days of MixTape DJ’s like S&S and Clue. So anything hot surely ended up on one of those cassettes (yeah, I said cassettes). First you had to ask a friend if they ever heard it, then ask another friend and then friends of friends until you found your mixtape gem…Oh the days when a “buzz” was organic.
Hence, I was exposed to Wu-Tang Clan. And forever a fan. In love with their themes of family, loyalty, pursuit of financial wealth, and plain ol’ good story-telling…14 year-old me – a private school Brooklyn girl rocking Timberlands, Jansport on back, Tommy on Top, Gibaud’s on bottom. was very much so partial hood-rat. Fast forward 20 years later, attending an exclusive listening party for one of my favorite of the Clan, I sincerely hoped the 5 song EP would satisfy my need to connect with the music and be true to having ummmm, grown up.
Raekwon not only made me happy to be in attendance, but also reaffirmed why he’s garnered the reputation of being such a great MC and writer. He spouted words of motivation, being open minded to pursue opportunities where you typically wouldn’t look, and looking damned good while you do it. Those are ideas I R-E-S-P-E-C-T! He enthusiastically encouraged the crowd to become “Hood Mobile.” In other words – stop doing the same things you’ve been doing and change your game up. Think outside the box and explore the world. His song “Lobbyist” playfully ribbed at folks who choose to hang around in building lobbies instead of venturing out to do something different with their time. I can’t even stand to work a job and not do anything else with my time…so, the Lobbyists?? Yeah, I feel you Raekwon. It’s archaic.
Not one to be untrue to himself, Raekwon spoke as a leader and artist. Encouraging other writers to do what they were born to do – write! And even telling the young guys in the crowd to learn to be humble, and that’s how they’ll grow and mature into men. These kinds of messages are true to the culture of hip-hop and I’m glad to see the vets continuing that message. In all, Raekwon’s strong presence , humor, and forward-going energy made the night a worthy experience and one to log into my book of adventures.