Raekwon Lost Jewlry

RaekwonLost Jewlry
Clocking in at a little over half-an-hour, this new free EP — how that's different from a mixtape, we're not totally sure — is a strong amuse-bouche from the Chef. Rae does what he does best on Lost Jewlry, crafting intricate crime narratives out of metaphors so multi-layered they verge on code talking, over film score-type beats from the likes of Statik Selektah and Scram Jones. There isn't much time for guest spots, but Raekwon manages to make the most of the few that do appear. Freddie Gibbs's direct delivery contrasts nicely with Rae's dense bars on "New Day," while Altrina Renee's hook adds an unexpected, light, airy feel to "86." Lost Jewlry is proof, if further was required, that Raekwon is just as good an MC in his 40s as he was in his 20s. In some ways, he's better. The only problem with the record is that it's too short. Hopefully the Chef will be blessing us with an entrée-sized album soon. (Ice H2O)