Truly classic albums of any genre stand the test of time. But there’s an extra special reverence with which hip-hop fans regard Raekwon the Chef‘s 1995 solo debut, Only Built 4 Cuban Linx… Musically and conceptually groundbreaking, OB4CL‘s uncompromising hustler’s sensibility was famously symbolized by a simple packaging detail: its cassette and CD’s purple tinted shell, which announced a product from the streets both elite in class yet undiluted in its aesthetic rawness.
Equally iconic, however, is the album’s striking Daniel Hastings-photographed cover image – a portrait of Raekwon and exuberant partner-in-rhyme Ghostface Killah halo-ed by a haze of blunt smoke set against a fire-engine red curtain adorned with the Wu emblem. Having already worked with the Clan on Enter the Wu-Tang: 36 Chambers, Hastings enjoyed a unique perspective on its interpersonal dynamics by the time of OB4CL. With much recent talk and reminiscing about “The Purple Tape” we caught up with him about his experiences shooting Rae and Ghost for this most classic of classic albums. [Read More…]