Justin Bieber and Kanye West: Raekwon tells us all about their unlikely collab, plus the 'uncommon brilliance' of Kanye's next album

raekwon-kanye-bieberImage Credit: C Flanigan/FilmMagic; Kevin Knight/Retna Ltd; Scott Legato/FilmMagicThe Justin Bieber-Kanye West team-up that began with a Twitter conversation this week has become a reality. Take it from the Wu-Tang Clan’s Raekwon, who flew to NYC yesterday at West’s invitation to add a verse to West’s remix of Bieber’s “Runaway Love.” “This is definitely taking place,” Raekwon tells the Music Mix. “It’s a historical moment for hip-hop.”

Raekwon and West have been meaning to work together for years. But the Staten Island rapper was as surprised as anyone to see his name come up in West’s tweets with Bieber last weekend. “Justin being a young cat, he probably wasn’t even really there when I was doing my thing [in the ’90s],” he says. “But he recognizes the Wu-Tang legacy.” Indeed, Bieber wasn’t even born until four months after the Wu-Tang Clan’s classic debut dropped.

The Staten Island rapper arrived at the historic Electric Lady Studios yesterday to find West hard at work on assorted projects with a handful of other stars. “He had Mos Def there, just chilling on the side. Akon was there. Charlie Wilson, the legendary soul singer. Everybody was running through this studio. Kanye is running around doing him. We’re having drinks, we’re vibing, great music is being made. It felt good to be there, man.” Bieber, sadly, was not present. “I’ll get a chance to see shorty sooner or later,” Raekwon laughs. “We’ll discuss it over a glass of water or something.”

After hearing West’s near-complete “Runaway Love” remix, Rae came up with something slightly different from the gritty crime tales his hardcore fans might expect. “I made it rated PG, not rated R,” he says. “I stayed with the concept of the record. When you’re doing a record with an R&B person, you’ve gotta make sure it glides into the hook and complements what it needs to complement. There’s no curses up there. It’s not me giving you the raw Raekwon.”

West also let Raekwon hear a substantial portion of his own mysterious fifth studio album. “It’s uncommon brilliance,” Raekwon raves. “He’s mastering the art of sound… Any time a man can put on eight or nine records and you’re still like, ‘Gimme more! Gimme more!’ — you know you’re in the right building.” While he hasn’t yet contributed any vocals to Kanye’s project, he hopes to do so soon: “We discussed that. I’m definitely shooting to be on his album.”

As for his own music, Raekwon is “96 percent done” with Shaolin vs. Wu-Tang, the album he told me about earlier this year. “It’s going to be an action-packed thriller,” he says. “I was going to drop it before the year is out, but I decided to take my time. I never want to rush my product.” He’s particularly excited about a song called “The Masters of Our Fates,” featuring the Roots’ Black Thought. “When I heard this track, I needed his voice,” he says. “I needed him to explain to me on the track why he’s so ill. He just went in.”

Are you excited to hear Justin Bieber, Kanye West, and Raekwon’s “Runaway Love” remix? How about those other projects? Speak up in the comments.

(Follow the Music Mix on Twitter: @EWMusicMix.)

More news from EW.com’s Music Mix:
Travis Barker’s solo debut to be packed with A-list rappers
Eminem-Rihanna collab leads Billboard singles chart for fifth week
MGMT play New York’s Radio City Music Hall: on the scene
Conan O’Brien releasing two records. On vinyl. Featuring Frankenstein and rockabilly. Naturally.


Comments (20 total) Add your comment
Page: 1 2
  • miranda

    HEY YOU MAKD A NEW SONG

  • jared

    I am NOT digging all these “Remixes” the Biebs is doing for My World 2.0. Somebody to Love didn’t need Usher and Runaway Love sure as hell doesn’t need that racist Kanye West on it. The only reason West is even doing it is for publicity hoping the 4 million+ beliebers will buy his new record

  • Ixarix

    Its definitely interesting turn of events.

    • Yhomara

      Wow, I think some people need to get lives and quit winryorg about a teenager who can actually sing. It’s not like the kid was just thrown into music. He was on youtube for 3 years before Usher discovered him. It’s pretty sad to see you wasting your time waiting on Justin to put a video or song so you can dislike it! GO GET A LIFE AND START LIVING IT!!

  • dfg

    wu-tang died died with ol dirty

  • Renee

    Justin Bieber cannot sing at all! he has no talent! so he should leave the music business forever!

  • Cat

    That’s pretty cool!;) can’t wait!!!!!:D and in my opinion… Justin Bieber is a great singer! But u can disagree if u want to!!! Trust me the Bieber fever is spreading!!!! Soon everyone will love him! Lol!!;P

  • elway

    This litle girl can’t sing.

  • Sasha Grey

    JB has started a new contest and the winner gets to meet him in person. I’m entering in a few hours. youtube.com/JBLiveTour

  • nickey daniels

    jb is a very cool person i love and adore his music,if he continue this way he,ll get far very soon i no ill b collaborating with him i av 3 albums waiting on my time to start. “keep up tha good works jb”,peace out.

  • dominic peparh

    l want
    to be part of must
    list mudic.

    • Linh

      1] Like this comment . 2] Go to this video song that u may msiisng > v=YR12Z8f1Dh8 (plz like this comment before u go bcoz comments are flooding here and there too so u may not find my comment to like when u get back here so plz do like this comment 1st )

  • Wu-Tizzle

    I don’t know about this, but I still love Raekwon…and Wu-Tang is not dead!

  • fortydogg

    bieber wont be around in another 2 yearz where as wutang clan iz 4 eva for you dumb retards that think wutang is dead

  • Niix St*rkyllah

    Let’s see, all the artists in this article publicly give props to each other and talk about wanting to work together … and yet their fans are on here bashing one or the other guy. Jokes.

  • victor

    i want ro get cold play clocks

  • victor

    coldplay is really a cool band my
    favourite is clocks

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