Raekwon (born Corey Woods, January 12, 1970, Brooklyn, New York City, United States) is an American East Coast rapper and a member of the Wu-Tang Clan. Raekwon may not have achieved the solo stardom of his fellow Wu-Tang Clan members Method Man, Ol' Dirty Bastard or RZA but along with Genius/GZA and frequent partner Ghostface Killah, he's done some of the most critically acclaimed work outside the confines of the group. His 1995 album Only Built 4 Cuban Linx... is widely considered to be one of the best Wu-Tang solo albums, and one of the finest and most influential hip hop albums of the 1990s. Over the years, Raekwon has become known for staying true to his New York street fan base and making little effort to appeal to those outside of the city.
In The Wu-Tang Manual, RZA explains that Raekwon also derives the "chef" moniker from his experience as an actual chef ("He was known for cooking up some really good fish."), though it is also likely a reference to cooking cocaine, though he has expressed disapproval of the use of cocaine, making him one of the first rappers to vilify selling crack. This idea is made increasingly relevant with Ghostface Killah's album, Fishscale, which includes pictures of Ghostface stuffing drugs into fish and refers to a street term for relatively pure cocaine, fishscale.