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From Staircase to Stage

The Story of Raekwon and the Wu-Tang Clan

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Legendary wordsmith Raekwon the Chef opens up about his journey from the staircases of Park Hill in Staten Island to sold-out stadiums around the world with Wu-Tang Clan in this revealing memoir—perfect for fans of The Autobiography of Gucci Mane and Hustle Harder, Hustle Smarter.

There are rappers who everyone loves and there are rappers who every rapper loves, and Corey Woods, a.k.a. Raekwon the Chef, is one of the few who is both. His versatile flow, natural storytelling, and evocative imagery have inspired legions of fans and a new generation of rappers. Raekwon is one of the founding members of Wu-Tang Clan, and his voice and cadence are synonymous with the sound that has made the group iconic since 1991.

Now, for the first time, Raekwon tells his whole story, from struggling through poverty in order to make ends meet to turning a hobby into a legacy. The Wu-Tang tale is dense, complex, and full of drama, and here nothing is off-limits: the group’s origins, secrets behind songs like “C.R.E.A.M.” and “Protect Ya Neck,” and what it took to be one of the first hip-hop groups to go from the underground to the mainstream. Raekwon also delves deep into the making of his meticulous solo albums—particularly the classic Only Built 4 Cuban Linx—and talks about how spirituality and fatherhood continue to inspire his unstoppable creative process.

A celebration of perseverance and the power of music, From Staircase to Stage is a master storyteller’s lifelong journey to stay true to himself and his roots.

Sebastian Duncan

Raekwon the Chef has been one of the most sought-out voices in hip-hop for nearly thirty years. Born as Corey Woods, the Staten Island native is a true originator of lyricism, street culture, and rugged NYC style. As a founding member of Wu-Tang Clan, he achieved success with Enter the Wu-Tang (36 Chambers) in 1993, and followed it up with his platinum solo debut, Only Built 4 Cuban Linx, and countless classic collaborations. He is also an entrepreneur and the founder of his own label, ICE H2O Records, and divides his time between New York, Atlanta, and Texas.

“When master rhyme storyteller, Raekwon the Chef, turns his attention to his own personal odyssey within the rise of his illustrious Clan, expect nothing less than actual facts that offer deep insights into both his complex persona as well as the group dynamics of these rap superheroes. Written with verve and flair, From Staircase to Stage is a welcome addition to the growing Wu Tang canon of literature.” —S.H. Fernando Jr., author of From The Streets of Shaolin: The Wu-Tang Saga