Release Date: Nov 30, 2011
Record label: Raekwon
RaekwonUnexpected Victory Mixtape[Ice H20; 2012]By Chase McMullen; January 13, 2012Purchase at: Insound (Vinyl) | Amazon (MP3 & CD) | iTunes | MOGTweetRaekwon dropped a free mixtape, in case you hadn’t heard. Of course you have: Rae’s presence, these days, is undeniable. Each and every member of the Clan (yes, even U-God) is eating well simply out of being Wu Royalty, but a slimmer number have managed to retain anything resembling the buzz they feasted off in the 90s.
The avalanche of mixtapes that accompanies every new year has positively blanketed 2012 in rap music, with seasoned veterans and hungry newcomers alike sending 2011 off with one last test of the DatPiff download limit. While Rick Ross' grandiose Rich Forever mixtape, on sheer size alone, has threatened to blot out a lot of its Q1 competition, solid efforts abound for hip-hop fans-- this has been the single best month in what seems like years. It's here, in this overcrowded field, that Wu-Tang dynamo Raekwon has unleashed Unexpected Victory, essentially his first full-length release since 2011's fine Shaolin vs.
Raekwon has been a busy (Wu-Tang Killa) bee over the past three years. The man was right there every step of the way for the 2010 Kanye uprising; he put out the impeccable sequel to the gangsta rap staple Only Built For Cuban Linx; appeared on Wu-Massacre, the joint album between himself, Ghostface Killah, and Method Man; and put out a solid effort in this year’s Shaolin v. Wu-Tang.
Capping off a quiet 2011, Raekwon followed up his fourth solo album from last March, Shaolin Vs. Wu-Tang, with the New Year’s Day release, Unexpected Victory. The mixtape finds Rae trading bars with an assortment of fellow East Coast rap vets like Busta Rhymes, Mobb Deep, Capone-N-Noreaga, Styles P, C.L. Smooth and Sauce Money, as well as introducing his new Ice H2O team.