By Rahman Dukes
At the close of what has been arguably the most successful year of his career, Raekwon put the icing on the cake on Wednesday night (December 16) when he visited “Late Night with Jimmy Fallon” in New York City’s Rockefeller Center. Alongside a lineup that included Sarah Jessica Parker (who was wooed by the sounds of house band, the legendary Roots crew), Jeff Musial with a reindeer in tow (yes, a real live reindeer) and author Deepak Chopra, Rae closed out the show a killer show with great energy and toughness.
Draped in a fitted “classic” hat, jeans, sneakers and a gaudy iced-out chain, a vibrant Raekwon tore into “Catalina,” the latest hit off his Only Built 4 Cuban Linx … Pt. II album. Backed by a few guest audience members from the 187-seat theater and some assistance from Roots frontman Black Thought, Rae kept the show gritty with the Dr. Dre-produced track. There were even a handful of audience members throwing up the Wu-Tang “W” and waiving copies of his latest CD around.
But the Chef wasn’t done yet. After Fallon closed out his show and thanked his guests and audience members, the production crew shut off the house lights and treated everyone to one more tune from Rae. “Now yo yo, whattup yo, time is runnin’ out. It’s for real though, let’s connect politic, ditto! We could trade places, get lifted in the staircases. Word up, peace incarcerated scarfaces.” As I rapped along in excitement with the classic “Incarcerated Scarfaces,” I couldn’t help but glance in pride at Rae, who was slinging his coke raps on network television in front of a mostly white audience. The kid from Stapleton Projects clearly came a long way. ODB would be proud.