Raekwon the Chef has always been known to cook up some dope ish (pun intended), and this effort is no different. The lyrical assassin from the home of Shaolin, accompanied by DJ Scram Jones, brings a heavy flow along with witty and ear-catching bars on 'The Chef vs. The Beast.'

The Wu-Tang Clan rapper has a little bit of everything for everybody on this tape. If you grew up on '90's rap music or are just a fan of that era, he has features with Busta Rhymes, Mobb Deep and Wu-Tang members Inspectah Deck and Masta Killa. If you mess with later generation artists, not to worry, there's something on there for you too with Lloyd Banks and Vado making appearances on the tape. The common denominator here is emcees who never slack on the bars, making for heavy competition on the tracks.

One of the biggest surprises from the tape is 'Footprints of Osama.' The title of the track will throw you off at first glance and Rae's lyrics throw you through a loop. The Chef jumps into the rise of Osama in what may seem like an ill-fated attempt at being an Osama sympathizer to the untrained ear, but in actuality he's giving an unfiltered take on the man that was and how he came to be.

Unbiased in discussing Osama, Raekwon rhymes "Now sit back, a song with the data / A boy from Saudi Arabia who had it made, but hated the fortune, the glamor, the fame, the game / An Oxford graduate who 'd rather see the sun when it rained / He studied economics, Islamic, drink tonic, hate chronic, he didn't hate America, he hated the congress," the Chef challenges the public narrative of the mastermind behind the 9/11 attacks in fulling the track with "data."

Trading bars with two-thirds of the LOX on 'Broken Safety' Raekwon, Styles P and Jadakiss lock in for a competitive hip-hop track that brings back a cypher-under-the-lamp-post feel. The three challenge each other constantly in competing to outshine the other, bringing sheer awesomeness to the record. Styles is a beast on this one spitting, "I used to move brown rectangles, roll you a blunt, then smoke you with death's angel / Chrome trey pound is making your neck dangle / Blue trey eight is leaving your chest mangled."

The 26-track mixtape is full of that grimy storytelling and pure flow that Raekwon has built his legendary career on. With very little holes on this project, The Chef delivers a solid outing that's worth a listen.



Listen to Raekwon & Scram Jones' 'The Chef vs. The Beast'

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