In the world of contemporary hip-hop, a release date is more like a declaration of intent, a flexible timeframe rather than an actual set date. Even so, the announcement of a new Raekwon album deserves our attention. Now, of course, it’s up to him to make it come true, because the Chef himself already said at the start of last summer that his new one would be out in September, which as we can see, turned out not to be true. According to the new plans of the Wu-Tang baron, his “Shaolin Vs. Wu-Tang” will be in stores in March 2011 via H20 and EMI (who take care of the distribution). So basically we know now what we knew before: there will be cameos by Method Man, Ghostface Killah, Inspectah Deck and GZA as Clan members but also by Black Thought (The Roots), Raheem DeVaughn and Nas, but at least there is a first track, “Butter Knives”, to get us drooling. Dark and oppressive moods, strings and raw beats (courtesy of Bronze Nazareth), kung-fu film samples and direct rhymes delivered in a smoky, sandpaper voice.