Just when it appeared as if the typical holiday lag in music releases was going to extend indefinitely into 2012, Raekwon came through to wish everyone a Happy Wu Year.  The rapper released a new mixtape entitled Unexpected Victory (quite unexpectedly, I might add) early Sunday morning as the calendar changed.  The album, which features beats by producers with crossover appeal such as 9th Wonder, Scram Jones and Statik Selektah, as well as guest verses from MCs like Busta Rhymes, Styles P, and Fred Da Godson, is available via Dat Piff. According to The Smoking Section, this is Raekwon’s first official free release in his entire career.

2012 is shaping up to be a good year for the Chef and his Wu-Tang Clan— as Raekwon is set to drop the third installment in his critically and commercially successful Only Built For Cuban Linx series, and the legendary hip-hop crew is celebrating its 20th anniversary this year.  While we’ll have to wait and see what sort of festivities are planned for that celebration, it’s good to kick off the new year with a new, totally gratis Raekwon tape.

Veteran Southern rapper T.I. also dropped a mixtape on the first day of 2012.  Entitled Fuck Da City Up (which, if he’s smart and really wants to avoid going back to the clink, T.I. should refrain from doing), the tape includes production from prominent artists such as Dr. Dre and Just Blaze as well as features from Nelly, Pusha T, 2Chainz, Jeezy, and a whole slew of other MCs/producers.  Get it via LiveMixTapes.

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