Hip-hop heads already know the credits for one of the GOATs in hip-hop, so no words are necessary. He’s still going strong and doing his thing and he’s even reconciled differences with his legendary co-star and DJ Eric B.
In 2018, Eric B. & Rakim announced their first tour together in 25 years. The news came after the legendary pair reunited on-stage in celebration of the 30th anniversary of the Strong Island duo’s classic Paid In Full in 2017.
Paid in Full, was released by Eric B. & Rakim on 4th and B’way Records in 1987. The album would peak at 58 on the Billboard 200 chart, producing five singles that are still among the most celebrated rap songs of all time: Eric B. is President, I Ain’t No Joke, I Know You Got Soul, Move the Crowd, and the album’s title cut Paid in Full.
I recently saw the mythical tandem a few weeks ago at the All-Stars of Hip-Hop concert at Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City. The wife and I went and the entire arena was sold out. It was great to see these two rap legends back together, getting money again.
Long live the Golden Era of Hip-Hop.
Here are a few of Rakim’s hits to celebrate his birthday.
Happy Birthday, Rakim! You still “Ain’t No Joke”!
Although Eric B.’s production was like sweets to a pudgy kid with rotten teeth, it was Rakim’s flow that was the catalyst for their ascension. His cadence was so steady, his ability to ride the rhythm was legendary and his ability to place a rhyme within a rhyme elevated the game of lyricism and emceeing like no other artist before or since.
Before Rakim, the overwhelming majority of rappers were very simplistic with their flow, not unlike a Dr. Suess riddle. For completely changing lyricism via his writing style, some consider Rakim as one of the greatest writers the genre has ever seen.
Before Lil’ Kim told us about the keys to life, Q, Bishop, Steel and Raheem demonstrated that the “juice” was in high demand.
Released on January 17th, 1992, “Juice” was the next in line of movies depicting the anger and reality of urban youth and the streets they lived on. 1991 gave us “New Jack City” and “Boyz in the Hood” and to set things off in the following year, Director/Writer Ernest Dickerson gave us a look at the lives of four black teenagers from New York, not too far from CMB and The Carter.