Raekwon is one of the guests on G.O.O.D. Music’s Cruel Summer with a verse on “The Morning.” The Chef sat down with to talk about how the collab came about, his friendship with Kanye, his inspiration for the track, and more. Rae also spoke about if the crew worked together in the studio and the pressure he was under to not mess up the record. Read what he said below.

Julie A.

Rae, your verse “The Morning” is still on repeat on my iTunes. How did the relationship with you and Kanye start?
Just connecting in the street and just a mutual respect for each others craft. “Gorgeous” started the [working relationship]. I was down for the get down and he knew that and he knew that I respect his production. I like that kid. He’s talented lyrically and production wise.

So he reached out to the kid for Cruel Summer?
He hit me up told me what he was doing said he needed me on it. I’m a big, big fan. He’s making a lot of progression with his music and he recognized a real MC. Because this is all know, all I know. I’m just programmed to touch shit that I feel has substance and is strong and makes me want to write and get in the car and bump that shit.

So what inspired the words you put in the verse?
Smoking some weed and I heard the beat. Heard the West Indian influence and I’m big on reggea. I’m an old reggea nigga so that sound was like amazing grace, thats all I heard.

Were you there together? Did you hear the other raps or the hook before you laid the verse?
I heard Common on it splashing so I was like ok. We wasn’t all there together but I felt the song. I was in Atlanta but I heard Common at the time so niggas was popping. I didn’t want to fuck up the record. Sometimes niggas will get on a song and fuck up the whole direction of the song. I might start writing and start all over at end because I don’t wanna stray from the vibe of it. I wanted to come in and not destroy what other people created. Some heads get on song and change direction of whole song. I just wanted to pull out my little knife on there. But the knife got like a hundred little teeth on the blade.

So you think you held back?
My pen is just like that lever on the toaster that lets you control how toasted you want your bread. Niggas can tell me “I want my shit golden brown” and I can accommodate them. I’m real calculated. Just sit with some cheeba and marinate.

Full interview here.