Wu-Tang Clan has made it clear that they are nothing to f—k with since the release of their debut album, “Enter the Wu-Tang (36 Chambers)” in 1993.
Nearly three decades later, nothing seems to have changed, at least not for original member Raekwon. While the legendary emcee was one of the leading rhyme assassins for the groundbreaking New York hip-hop group, he also reached great success as a solo artist starting with his platinum-selling debut, “Only Built 4 Cuban Linx…” — a.k.a “The Purple Tape.”
Not only has he built longevity in the music industry, but “The Chef” has also been cooking himself up a business empire.
As previously reported by AfroTech, his ventures include wine brand Licataa, cannabis strains, and now, a cannabis lounge.
Coming from his era, Raekwon has seen firsthand how cutthroat the music business can be. However, he took the insight from his lessons learned to create success in his business ventures.
“For me, it was just more about paying attention to the players and seeing if people really stand on the same principles that you may stand on,” Raekwon told AfroTech. “It’s all about having a strong team. If you don’t have a strong team [specifically in the music] business, you will get run over bulldozer style if you don’t be on top of your A game.”
He continued, “It’s just all about really making sure that you have a solid team and you know the sacrifices that you’re making to do what you need to do to move forward. Sometimes things don’t actually always be your way if your brand is not as powerful as you may think it is. So it’s all about just building and at the same time, keeping your eyes open in the game.”
For the opening of his cannabis lounge, Raekwon was backed by a supportive team.
The entrepreneur’s latest venture in the cannabis business is with Hashtoria in Newark, NJ, as AfroTech shared previously.
Starting from opening multiple dispensaries outside of New York City, he and his team embarked on the lounge.
“It was just the right timing. And we did everything that we needed to do legitimately to get this business started, but it’s a team effort,” Raekwon emphasized.
As cannabis has helped him in his own career, both mentally and spiritually, he aims to support others on a larger scale with Hashtoria.
“I’m excited to be a part of something great like this in Newark and to be able to offer jobs and certain things to the people in Newark,” Raekwon shared. “This is something that’s part of the culture. You got a lot of kids and adults out there that cannabis — it helps people. It helps them in many different ways where physically and mentally it could do something great for your body. For me, it was just always about just trying to do something that makes sense to my lifestyle and everything that I was around at the time coming up. So we were able to legitimize the situation and plan this into something.”
On top of supporting the Newark community, Raekwon is set to connect to fans with the help of Patreon. The platform will give members access to exclusive content including NFTs. Raekwon aims for the launch to teach his fanbase about the metaverse, as well as inspire them to tap in.
In addition to his moves in the metaverse and building his empire, Raekwon is still touring.
In September 2023, Wu-Tang Clan and Nas will be back on the road for the second half of their N.Y. State of Mind tour.
What’s more, Raekwon and his fellow group members are heading to South America for the first time ever ahead of the North America leg of the tour.
As 2023 marks hip-hop’s 50th anniversary, it’s not lost on Raekwon just how remarkable it is for him to still have loyal supporters show up and show out for him after 30 years in the game. His music journey officially started in the ‘90s yet it continues to evolve as both “day ones” and the new generation show their love for his gift to the world.
“We’ve been in the game for so long sometimes we don’t know if our fanbase still remains out there like that supporting us, but it was a big surprise for me to just see that every night the shows are just sold out,” Raekwon recalled of the first half of the tour. “People of all ages are coming out representing us.
“Wu-Tang, Nas, we’ve been traveling for a long time back and forth around the world. We all probably ran through about five passports right now in our career, maybe more,” he continued. “For us, it’s very important to engage with our fans all over the world. So this gives us a big opportunity to go back and visit them, recollect on the times when we were out there in the beginning of our careers, and now, just still letting them know we here. We still out there doing what we need to do. We always gave that oath as an artist to always come back and visit all the places that show love to you. So now, we get that opportunity to do it again.”