Wu-Tang Clan member Raekwon has announced the release date for his next album, Fly International Luxurious Art (abbreviated F.I.L.A.). The rapper’s seventh LP, which was announced back in 2013, will be released on April 28th through his label H2O, and be distributed through EMI. Raekwon released tracks in 2013 for the album such as “Son of Sam,” “Whatever Baby,” and “All About You,” although it’s now not certain if they will now appear on the record. Raekwon says that his 2014 Akon-accompanied song, “Call of Duty,” is the first official single for Fly International Luxurious Art, and he says he will put out another new single this Monday. The record also comes not even five months after the release of the last Wu-Tang group album, A Better Tomorrow.
Due to the series of delays and Raekwon’s status as one of the most consistent rappers of his generation, Fly International Luxurious Art carries considerable anticipation with it for the rapper’s loyal fanbase. While Raekwon hasn’t been the most financially successful Wu-Tang Clan member, he’s often considered one of the group’s best at crafting solo releases, particularly because of his 1995 debut LP, Only Built 4 Cuban Linx… The album is heralded for starting the Mafioso-rap sub-genre that influenced big-names such as Jay-Z, The Notorious B.I.G., and Nas, and many Wu-Tang fans feel it’s among the top-tier records in the group’s immense discography. Raekwon has released subsequent solo project that have been well-received too, including 2009’s Only Built 4 Cuban Linx… Pt. II, a long gestating sequel album that carried on the first record’s themes and subject matter.
With the 20th anniversary of Only Built 4 Cuban Linx… occurring on August 1st, the 45-year old rapper has been preparing for 2015 to truly recall the legacy of his seminal LP. In addition to Fly International Luxurious Art dropping just about 3 months before the anniversary date, a documentary about the album, The Purple Tape Files, is set to come out sometime this year. The trailer for the film was screened at this year’s Sundance Film Festival, which both Raekwon and Ghostface Killah attended.