AllHipHop: Tell me about The Lex Diamond Story. RZA produced Cuban Linx in its entirety, but The Lex Diamond Story uses a range of producers. How do you decide who twists the knobs on your records? What do you look for?
Rae: I look for whoevers got the music, whether its RZA or someone else. I give everybody a fair shot. The real talent is on the street as well as the dudes that helped me be who I am. You can miss the target or you can hit the target. RZAs not on the album because he had sample clearance problems. I couldnt use what he gave me and they (the publisher) was asking for too much. Its more about Rae makin a good album and makin sure the music works for me and I think thats what people gotta know. Its about the rhymes and personal feelings. If the sh*t makes sense and the shit is talented, then let it play out. Sometimes you may pass up the gold because you lookin for the diamonds. Theres fake diamonds on the market, too! Im a true Hip-Hop lyricist and its easy for me. I try to be conscious and I try to deal with everybody fairly. RZA helped me with my success and I helped him with his success, but he just didnt make it on the album.
AHH: Youve been talkin about Ice Water for a minute. But what is Ice Water, Inc?
Rae: Ice Water, Inc. is my company with Randy Spelling. We formed a venture which we call The Fly Agent. Its like having an agency where one dude is 007 and he can get you so many different opportunities if you willing to deal. It allows me to get into the types of things that can market my record, as far as television, writing scripts this company is a multimedia company that allows me to get different shit in rather than just writin music. I wanna be an actor, I wanna write a book, I wanna bring sitcoms to the table we doin this to help Raekwon be a better individual.
AllHipHop: How did you manage to hook up with Mr. 90210s son, Randy Spelling?
Rae: When you in Hollywood chillin a lot of people know you in the spot and people approach my family. We set up a meeting and we both talked about things we thought we could both bring to the table. We gonna give it a try. Its something to say, Ive got a bridge.
AllHipHop: I always thought you and the Wu had the most relevant skits on your albums, whether to provide a segue between tracks or just pure comedy, why do you continue to use skits and pepper an album with sound-bytes from films?
Rae: Those skits are made to entertain and give the music a break and go into something you can relate to. Even the interview skit [where he chastises an interviewer for redundant questions], thats not how I feel about every interviewer but there are some characters out there. Its funny because its the shit we wanna say sometimes its like lookin at somebody play you and you see yourself smack the sh*t out of them, but then you open your eyes and you didnt smack them yet. They dont realize they doin you wrong. Skits even the moment. Im lettin you know the level of individual you dealin with and help you get a better picture of where Im going. This is my way of giving the color of the picture.
AllHipHop: How does it feel to be one of only a handful of MCs to get 5 mics in The Source?
Rae: Overall, being a legend I feel Ive put my work in. I feel thats what people need to start paying attention to and I want people to keep the legends close and show the younger generation what we talkin about. The younger generation can forget easily and the next thing you do you have mutha fuckers tryin to diss the legends and we cant have that. Theres a new set of kids that dont know Raekwon. I was reigning supreme about six years ago, but I gotta rhyme for the old and new audience. I gotta adapt to a new audience and they gotta adapt to me. Nobody can dictate my music, but a good listeners a good learner. We gotta break it down and let people see into my world. I gotta shove these vitamins down they throat because this is good food.
AllHipHop: Can you dispel the rumors and doubters and the rest of the speculators, and say for certain what the future holds for the Wu? Are we gonna see a new album next year?
Rae: We definitely gonna do an album because we know how much the fans look at that to come true, but we gotta make it when were comfortable and when we know everyone gonna give it the effort it needs. We sincere dudes and we gotta put it together right. The chemistry gotta be there. We took time out of our lives because we had time to do it now we got label situations, but its definitely gonna happen in the new year.
AllHipHop: Have you talked to Dirty since he was released from prison?
Rae: I talked with him once on the phone, but hes been movin around a lot, so its cool.
AllHipHop: What did you think about the ROC signing him?
Rae: I hope he does good. I wish him the best.
AllHipHop: Ghost has been your partner in rhyme for quite some time. What holds you two together that doesnt do the same for the rest of the Wu?
Rae: Im cool with all my brothers, but me and Ghost were more compatible. We just work good together. Thats why me and Ghosts energy is good because we saw eye to eye.
AllHipHop: Any plans to tour?
Rae: Im definitely going on tour in the new year. We gonna go across seas to a lot of places and we gonna give them the energy they want.
AllHipHop: Any thing else youd like to add?
Rae: I wanna give a shout to all my fans, and everyone reppin real Hip-Hop and recognizing the divisions inside of Hip-Hop. You gotta respect these icons like myself because we bring real sh*t to the table. I made it grittier for all the gritty heads, so all the gritty heads that been lookin for the sh*t, now leave me alone! Enjoy the album.