Leah Brzezinski, contributor
I’m admittedly not a hip-hop expert or “gangsta” in any sense. In 1996, when this seminal album was originally released, I was making up bad dance routines to Ace of Base. Fortunately, I’ve opened my mind since then, as has the world to hip-hop’s cultural significance.
This is one seriously cool limited-edition box set from Boston-based Get On Down and it’s a paragon of the Wu family’s uncanny ability to create brands, influence fashion trends, and completely reshape the genre. A glossy sleeve covers a box-within-a-box, the interior resembling a sleek, velvet-lined cigar case. It opens up to reveal a 24 karat gold infused disc and “Ironman” medallion, plus a full-color hardbound book with liner notes, artwork, and lyrics to raw classics like “Iron Maiden” and “All That I Got Is You.”
The coolest thing? A jigsaw puzzle with the original album artwork, featuring Ghostface, Raekwon and Cappadonna in neon Polo track suits, looking hard as fuck.
Rating: 10 out of 12