Verse of the Year Contender: Raekwon “Renaissance Rap Remix”

To quote my homie Barry, “Everything about this song is good.” 

I’m not sure if Busta doesn’t deserve more shine than Raekwon for my Verse of the Year nomiation, but I’m going with the Chef by a nose hair.  Their chemistry together has always been outstanding, from “Goldmine” on Busta’s The Big Bang to Raekwon’s “State of Grace (Remix)” from one of the Vatican mixtapes.  If I dig around my car long enough, I might be able to dig up this joint both cats did with Papoose that one of the most fierce lyrical romps I’ve ever heard (anyone who knows the name of that joint, feel free to shout it out). 

Before this, I’m not sure if Raekwon ever got on a Q-Tip beat and now I’m wondering what took so long.  Busta flexes his Animal Planet-themed bars in total serenity with situational fury sprinkled throughout, but he and Tip have been getting it in on beats for almost two decades now.  Rae’s flow perfectly sits in the pocket, never stumbling or veering to the side.  I thought he was a little out of place on “Royal Flush” but he makes Tip and Wayne seem like Amish farmers in Nova Scotia on this particular beat by comparison. 

The original “Renaissance Rap” from Q-Tip’s excellent The Renaissance LP (eat it Ciz!) was a quasi-interlude at the end of “Move” and it always sounded intentionally somber and dreary even though big Tribe drums were slappin’ your speakers stupid.  Raekwon’s verse meets the challenge by precisely and delicately explaining how “one line of this will have you leaning like roach spray” and his demeanor suggests nothing more than a guy sitting on his step with someone in the air. 

It’s the Tarzan cocaine clan in the area,
gorillas in Louie hats the more the merrier”

Check it out, kitko.  Happy Kwanz!

“Renaissance Rap Remix” Q-Tip f/ Busta Rhymes, Raekwon, Lil’ Wayne



  1. you see, i liked rae’s verse on “royal flush,” and thought it sat in perfect harmony with big boi’s (especially how rae continues big boi’s rhyme scheme), just in time for 3k to come through and shit on the entire rap game in 48 bars.

    but this particular verse is the early frontrunner for “verse of the year.” looks like we’re keeping track again this year.

  2. Looking at the above quoted lines, you realize how influenced Aesop Rock must have been (and probably still is) by Raekwon.

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