On August 1, 1995 Raekwon forever changed the course of music history with the release of his debut solo album Only Built 4 Cuban Linx… The groundbreaking project has been enjoyed by fans, celebrated by music critics and studied by contemporary scholars for almost 20 years. Listed by Rolling Stone Magazine as one of the “Top 500 Albums of All Time,” Only Built 4 Cuban Linx… is consistently praised for its cinematic qualities and unforgettable storyline. The ultimate conceptual album, Only Built 4 Cuban Linx… is credited with ushering in the mafioso sub-genre of Hip Hop, and subsequently laying the blueprint for classic albums to follow from Jay-Z, Nas and the Notorious B.I.G.
Aside from cementing its place as one of the greatest albums of all-time, upon its release fans were instantly drawn to the mystique of the clear purple hue of the original cassette tape version of the the album and has since become commonly referred to as “The Purple Tape”. This purple marking was done intentionally to reference the marketing strategy adopted by neighborhood dealers of tagging their product in order to distinguish it from that of others.
Outside of music, Raekwon has always been an avid sneaker aficionado with a keen fashion sense that continues to influence contemporary streetwear. Rae’s passion for footwear and the recommendation of mutual friend DJ Clark Kent brought him to Teaneck a few years back. This visit birthed a friendship and mutual admiration that would eventually lead to Rae’s influence on the “Snow Beach” Grid 9000 shoe released in 2014, and the rest as they say was history.
With “Only Built 4 Cuban Linx…” celebrating its 20th Anniversary this year, it was only right to combine our efforts and and apply it to a staple shoe from one of the shared-favorite brands of both Rae and Packer over the years with the made in Italy Packer x Raekwon x Diadora N.9000 “Purple Tape”.
Featuring a luxurious premium suede and mesh construction dipped in multiple purple pantones, the “Purple Tape” N.9000 brings together all of the callouts featured on the original cassette tape. The co-branded Packer x Raekwon x Diadora tongue label is direct drawback to the “Parental Advisory” tag featured on the explicit version of OB4CL with “1995” side embroidery paying homage to the release year of the album. Additional features include “side 1” & “side 2” embroidery rear of both shoes and corresponding album track listing both footbeds, clear purple tinted rubber outsoles, metallic silver midsole and 4 shoe lace options sure to make the tape “pop”.
Caping off the last leg of the “OB4BL” 20th Anniversary tour, look for the made in Italy Packer x Raekwon x Diadora N.9000 “Purple Tape” to launch next Thursday – August 20th – exclusively at S.O.B.’s NYC with a special added last tour date concert performance by Raekwon later that evening.