Raekwon Reflects on His Luxe Life

Twenty years ago, Wu-Tang Clan's Raekwon released his seminal debut, Only Built 4 Cuban Linx, providing the street hustler's blueprint for living -- and shopping -- like a one percenter. With his sixth LP, Fly International Luxurious Art, out April 28 on his own ICEH2O label through Caroline, the 45-year-old reflects on the ups and downs of flossing like a boss.

First Splurge

"When Wu-Tang made [its 1993 debut] Enter the Wu-Tang (36 Chambers), we were like, 'I need jewels around my neck right now, because I'm the f---ing shit like that.' So I bought some jewelry and my first Rolex. I went to the Rolex store and took time to learn about the watches. All I knew before that was the name."

Best Sartorial Investment

"The Polo 'Snow Beach' jacket I wore back in the 'Can It Be All So Simple' video in '93; I paid maybe $250 for it. I bought that shit in downtown Brooklyn. I saw it and was like, 'I need that' -- it seemed like it just blew everything out of the water, from jewelry to cars. And that jacket wound up being one of the top pieces ever recognized in hip-hop. It's worth $7,000 now."

Taking It Too Far

"I remember at one point having five cars. Acuras, all kinds of shit. I didn't need five cars. I even wanted to buy a new f---ing lawn mower -- you know what I mean? I wanted the best one."

Older And Wiser

"Now it's about being happy and comfortable and still able to grow. It's all about what's in your heart. But I'm trapped in that closet of wanting to have the finer things in life. I felt like I put in my time, being on the street and just going through that struggle. It doesn't matter how old you are -- if you take pride in who you are, you treat yourself with luxury."