By the time Raekwon’s debut was ready, fans were knocking each other over on album release day. And so, on August 1, 1995 as the legend goes, the first 10,000 cassette buyers ran home and opened their plastic cases to discover that the tape itself was a stunning shade of lavender.
The rest, as they say, is history… and limited-edition history at that. After the initial purple versions, RCA Records switched to the usual clear plastic to house the legendary tape. The “Purple Tape” became an instant collector’s item, a Holy Grail for Wu-Tang disciples, coveted by those who could claim to be the earliest devotees of Raekwon’s lyrical genius. The album is still called “The Purple Tape” to this day, by Raekwon and other Wu-Tang members.
In September of 2012, the newly-minted online boutique Get On Down wowed Raekwon, Wu-Tang and classic hip-hop fans with their Only Built 4 Cuban Linx “Purple Tape Cassette Box,” which was housed in a glass-top, piano lacquer, 4-inch-tall black display case. The ultra-premium set sold out on www.GetOnDown.com in less than two days’ time, after overwhelming demand which crashed the site’s servers not once, but twice.
Get On Down has come a long way in the past 11 months (said to be “redefining the role and shape of the reissue in the digital age” by the New York Times; and called “a premiere reissue imprint” by Forbes), including buying a great deal more server space. But it has not forgotten fans who lamented not being able to own their now-legendary “Purple Tape” deluxe cassette reissue. Act fast, though, because these won’t last long either.