Tag Archives: rakim

Watch: Rakim Remembers Signing A$AP Rocky’s Diaper, Addresses Will Smith Biting His Style + More: “Big Up Dapper Dan”

Rakim Hot 97

New York rapper Rakim has stories for days. The hip-hop veteran pulled through to Hot 97 this week to dish on everything from his early relationship with Harlem fashion legend Dapper Dan to topics centering on A$AP Rocky, Will Smith and MC Serch. Watch below!

The post Watch: Rakim Remembers Signing A$AP Rocky’s Diaper, Addresses Will Smith Biting His Style + More: “Big Up Dapper Dan” appeared first on .

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Rakim Stops at Morehouse College to Drop Jewels on Humility, Purpose and Being a Dope Lyricist

Words by Dylan Kemp

 

“… It wasn’t the records that made me Rakim. I was Rakim and I wanted to interpret that through my records”  ~Rakim Allah

Morehouse College is the premier institution for higher learning for Black men, and it only made sense that Hip-Hop’s most premier emcee stopped by the school to talk about his new recently released autobiography, Sweat The Technique: Revelations on Creativity From The Lyrical Genius.

The all-male historically Black college was on a roll. Earlier last week, Oprah donated $13 million dollars towards her Oprah Winfrey Scholarship Fund. Days later Rakim graced the campus, providing an attentive audience of students an opportunity to see the “god MC” engage in a provocative conversation-style talk back with Morehouse College professor of psychology, Dr. David Wall Rice. The two discussed anecdotes about his life, challenges that he had to overcome, and the inspiration behind his memoir/ writing manual.

Dr. Rice introduced Rakim to a warm crowd of about 100 students and faculty. Despite the artist having his emergence in the late 80s, gauging the thunderous applause the millennials and gen zs in the audience understood clearly Rakim’s impact on Hip-Hop.

While this may seem like a “duh” moment, consider that Rakim’s career defining debut album, Paid In Full, was released in 1987, almost released a decade before many of the students were born.

READ MORE: Exclusive: Here’s Your First Look at the Cover For Rakim’s New Memoir ‘Sweat The Technique’

Dr. Rice asked Rakim, “How would you define yourself?”

Rakim responded with a calm and laid-back demeanor,  “That’s a good question… you’re asking the wrong person. [I’m] Just a regular cat that grew up in Long Island. Loved sports; played football, basketball, baseball growing up. Played in a band, played sax… You know, I went through regular things that we go through. Just [had] an extra love for music and a deep understanding for it. And I think I was able to take that and convey it into what Rakim do… Just a regular person who grew up loving life. And a very humble person at the same time”

What makes you happy? What brings joy into your life?

What makes Rakim happy?… Being at peace. Being around my kids and my grandkids running around. Just being at peace. And for me you know it’s like, what do you do for fun? Nothing. You know what I mean? I tour a lot, move around a lot, move from state to state, city to city. When I get home, I like to do nothing. Just sit around and relax.

Rakim later revealed that he wasn’t originally interested in writing his autobiography, but then found a way to make it interesting by trying to inspire people rather than simply telling his life story.

Purpose was a common theme throughout the conversation. When asked how important his writing is to him, Rakim responded by saying: “It’s everything… It’s my way out”. He further shared that his purpose was to use his writing to “try to make everybody feel as if I [Rakim] was speaking to them directly.”

READ MORE: He Ain’t No Joke! Rakim Threathens To Knock MC Serch ‘The F*ck Out’

When asked a question from the audience about whether his purpose changed throughout the course of his career, Rakim responded:

“My purpose, I think, was instilled in me through my people and manifested itself in my work. I think who I am…that’s what makes me. I had a good sense of who I was before I started making music. My purpose, I think, was, from day one, to try to push the envelope, I wanted to make a statement in my work, I wanted to bring consciousness and awareness to music and the neighborhood… It wasn’t the records that made me or wanting to be Rakim. I was Rakim and I wanted to interpret that through my records.”

In addition to having students in the audience, he also had the adoring eyes of first grader Jack Streat watching him. Jack is a huge fan of the rap legend. His presence was a clear example of how Ra’s rhymes extend over generations. So it was appropriate that he shared something about character for the youngun’.

The highly regarded lyricist spoke about how he sees himself, attributing his awareness of self and humility to his upbringing within his family. He stated that his parents were no nonsense people.  Doting on his parents, he let the audience know that they were good and decent people who were respected in the community and taught him good values.  These values has carried him throughout his career. They have also afforded him the humility and grace that distinguishes him from other entertainers.

READ MORE: Before Gaining Knowledge Of Self, Rakim Caught His First Gun Charge at 12 Years Old

Young Jack is there with his father, a Morehouse man, and is squirming in his seat. He is nervous about asking a question. Finally he does. Jack pries, “Are you and Eric B still friends?” He said “yes,” but went into how complicated their relationship has been over the years. It was refreshing. It made the god MC more like a man. The conversation was no longer only about how great his life has been. It shifted into a peek into the challenges he has faced over the years. He placed a particular highlight on getting caught with his first gun charge at the age of 12, and his father’s passing. After his father passed, Rakim stated that he did not want to do music anymore. He felt as if rapping would keep him away from his father. He returned to his life-giving craft after six months after hearing the beat for classic song, “The Ghetto.”

“Long story short I went into his [Paul C] house and the first thing he played was “The Ghetto,” the beat. And when I heard that beat, everything came back to me. It was like, that track made me feel like alright, it’s alright to write a rhyme. That track just fit how I was feeling to a tee. I felt that I could talk to my father and at the same time it made sense to want to write again”

The last question to Rakim was “How do you want to be remembered?” Rakim kept his answer short and sweet.

“I want to be remembered as someone that had an idea… someone that did it his way… someone that loved music and pushed a genre…    and a good person and dope lyricist.”

He will be remembered as a dope lyricist indeed, at least Jack believes so.

Backstage, after the students poured out. Jack inched his way up to talk one-on-one to Rakim and to get his book signed. What did he say to him once he was face-to-face with this star that he only knew to pump from his dad’s speakers? Ra was just as personable and careful with this young fan, as he has been throughout his career (as detailed in his book) as writing his rhymes. The question came up in the room about Jack actually knowing Rakim’s rhymes. The room hushed as the future Morehouse man told the “Mahogany” rapper his favorite lyric of all time. “Thought I was a donut, you tried to glaze me,” he said.

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Every day is a proud Dad moment, but today was extra special. My lil pup got to meet one of my idols, @officialrakimallah aka @rakimgodmc I was so proud of how he embraced the moment and asked Rakim a question during the Q&A session. He even made the God MC laugh when he told him what his favorite lyric was – “Thought I was a donut, you tried to glaze me.” Definitely was a day to remember. Big up my man @dwallrice for looking out👊🏾. #thejackattack #lilpup #lilstreat #myminime #fatherandsonmoments #fatherandsontime #fatherandsonlove #fallbreak #hiphopenthusiast #trainupachildinthewayheshouldgo #rakim #rakimallah #sweatthetechnique #iaintnojokeishisfavoriterakimsong #mineisericbforpresident #morehousecollege

A post shared by G. Streat (@lifentimesofgstreat) on

That would sum it up for real, for real. Just like this line, genius in all its simplicity, Rakim can take what might seem common and change someone’s life. Yeah… he is not just a good person… but a dope lyricist too.

The post Rakim Stops at Morehouse College to Drop Jewels on Humility, Purpose and Being a Dope Lyricist appeared first on The Source.

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Rakim Offers MC Serch The Fade Over Ghostwriting Claims, Issue Cleared Up Real Quick

Rapper Rakim performed live at the People's Poetry and Jazz Festival in Philadelphia

Source: WENN/Avalon / WENN

Rakim is currently on a press run for his new book Sweat The Technique and has made his rounds to all the notable outlets. During a visit with The Lord Sear Special on Shade 45, a conversation ensued where Lord Sear brought up a controversial moment involving MC Serch allegedly ghostwriting for the God, to which Ra said he’d put the mitts on the 3rd Bass rapper.

In the conversation, Sear asked Rakim about MC Serch’s interview with DJ Vlad where it seemed he said that he was approached to write for Rakim who allegedly had a writer’s block but that wasn’t the case according to the Follow The Leader rapper.

“No disrespect to my man Serch but I will knock my man the f*ck out if he is trying to say that he wrote something or I needed some help. Don’t throw no bullsh*t in the game 40 years later, man. Serch, I love you man but I will knock you the f*ck out, f*cking up my legacy. Don’t do that,” Rakim said.

Serch replied with the swiftness because although Rakim’s threats came with a rare chuckle, it still sounded deadly serious. Serch took to video for the discussion and while Lyor Cohen did indeed ask for the ghostwriting assignment, Eric B. disapproved of the move thus Rakim never knew about it. As it stands, Lord Sear appears to have a brewing beef with MC Serch to contend with and will appear on SiriusXM today to discuss the matter.

Check out the Lord Sear and Rakim interview below. Hit the 13:00-minute mark for the ghostwriting discussion.

Check out MC Serch’s response below.

 

Photo: WENN

Source: HipHopWired.com

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He Ain’t No Joke! Rakim Threathens To Knock MC Serch “The F*ck Out”

What you don’t want to ever want to do is play with the Microphone Fiend and his gift. But that is exactly what MC Serch did when he went on Vlad TV last year and said that Lyor Cohen, then the lead manager at Rush Management, asked him to write some lyrics for Rakim. Rakim needed a ghostwriter? Well, that is exactly what Serch contends.

MC Serch says to Vlad, “… With writing the lyrics for Rakim… I got a call from Lyor. He was managing us. And he was basically like look ‘Rakim has a bit of writers’ block. I know you are cool with Eric B. Could you write some lyrics and maybe get him jump started.”

“So Rakim (even to this day) is the ‘Greatest Emcee’ of all times.” he declares. “So it is a tremendous honor to be asked to write anything for Rakim… to write a word for Rakim… yet alone a song.”

He continues, “So it was easy for me to get into his mind-frame.”  That what did the Queens lyricist see in his mind-frame?

“I saw him in my head with Supreme and with his crew: Them stepping to the A.M.” he reveals. “I was yeah. Them stepping to the A.M. that’s dope.” But Eric B did not think it was dope.

Serch tells the story of how Eric B hung up on him after he heard the idea that he wrote something for the god emcee. Somehow he (and we assume Lyor) thought this was a good idea. The result was Eric B never spoke to Serch again.

Ain’t with Rakim’s new book, Sweat the Technique, being released Rakim has finally addressed this ghostwriting controversy at SiriusXM radio.

The interviewer sets up the question.

MC Serch went on someone’s platform and said that he wrote something for you. And you were like ‘what?’ Was that true?”

Rakim smoothly addressed it. “He said he wrote something?”

“I don’t even know if it got to me.”

“Yeah he said that you needed some help. Ra needed help.”

That kind of did it and is actually why Sweat the Technique is an important book to cop. Why? Cause people always sweating the man’s technique.

Ra’s whole being shifted from the otherwise cool and calm collected vet that have grown to know, and showed to the people why he ‘Ain’t No Joke!”

“I mean no disrespect to my man Serch. But I will knock my man the f*ck out if he is trying to say that he wrote something or that I needed some help. Don’t throw no bullsh*t in the game 40 years later. Serch I love you but I will knock you the f*ck out, f*cking up my legacy. Don’t do that. Never.”

Hopefully, this was all a misunderstanding on management’s part and there is no love lost between the two parties.

When asked on Twitter who is his favorite rapper of all times, Serch still contends: Rakim.

The post He Ain’t No Joke! Rakim Threathens To Knock MC Serch “The F*ck Out” appeared first on The Source.

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11 Things We Learned from Rakim on ‘The Breakfast Club’

Rakim

Source: Power 105 / Power 105

Before Nas was dubbed the prophet or The Notorious B.I.G. was crowned the King of New York, Rakim was known as The God MC and though he’s hasn’t dropped anything new in a hot minute he’s still nicer than 95% of rappers from the past and the present. Now with his book Don’t Sweat The Technique hitting bookstands, Rakim Allah checked in with The Breakfast Club to build with Charlamagne Tha God, Angela Yee, and DJ Envy while getting into his historic run in Hip-Hop.

Getting into his legendary rap beef with fellow OG Hip-Hop legend Big Daddy Kane, his issue with KRS-One, and why he had a problem with Nas’ “Autobiography of Rakim,” The 18th Letter MC showcases how he can command the crowd even when he’s not spitting rhymes on a mic.

Here are the 11 things we learned from Rakim on The Breakfast Club.

 

Though he’s a legend now, Rakim admits that before he ever cut a record he “was content with being a neighborhood rapper and wanting to go to college” where he planned on playing quarterback for the football team. It wasn’t until his man convinced him to get down with Marley Marl that he decided to pursue a rap career.

Source: HipHopWired.com

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Before Gaining Knowledge Of Self, Rakim Caught His First Gun Charge at 12 Years Old

Everyone is raving about Rakim Allah’s new memoir/ writing manual: Sweat The Technique: Revelations on Creativity from The Lyrical Genius. There are so many levels to the book that has everyone talking, but most surprisingly fans are allowed into the reclusive world of  “The god Emcee.”

READ MORE: Exclusive: Here’s Your First Look at the Cover For Rakim’s New Memoir “Sweat The Technique”

Recently, he appeared on The Breakfast Club starring DJ Envy, Charlamagne Tha God and Angela Yee to talk about this new literary offering. While recounting how he started, some levels of rap beef (including how disappointed he was to not be included on the “Self Destruction” track), and how much loved his family, he also mentioned that as a very young man- he did some very grown up things.

First, he started rapping at 7 years old. Then he met the love of his life, his wife, while still in school. He wrote “Eric B for President” as a teenager in high school. But most shockingly, it was revealed that he caught his first gun charge at 12.

What?

READ MORE: Rakim Believes Smack Evolved Hip-Hop With Battle Rap

You heard it right. The even-toned emcee, who has always on wax talked about peace and living in your highest vibration, was wilding as a kid.

When asked about beef, he explained that the man he is today was not the child he was back in the day.

“Where I grew up, I was pretty much known. I had a couple of brothers and sisters that kind of paved the way. I was Lil’ Griff. I was also a little wild. I caught my first gun charge at 12.” He shares with the trio.

In disbelief, Envy exclaims “12!!!!”

Rakim calmly confirms, “12 years old.”

When asked where was he carrying a gun at 12 years old, he punctuates, “Everywhere.”

“Cause at that time, I am rapping and I hanging out with people that are in high school and college, going all over Long Island and some places in New York.”

C Tha God breaks the energy with a joke, “You were always a little advance. You wrote your first rhyme at 7. Carrying a gun by 12.”

“Word Up!” Rakim chuckles.

Angela hops in on the laughter, “You were always an old soul.”

Angela later asked the “Paid in Full” rapper, “Do you think that your parents’ relationship affected how you viewed marriage?”

“No doubt. They instilled a lot of good morals in me. To this day, I still do things as if my moms and pops were here. Both of them are gone. They brought me up good.” A reflective Rakim shares.

Charlamagne chimes in and says that he has a few more questions. He asks him, “In the book you discuss that Hip-Hop is a way of thinking and you also studied Five Percent teaching. What gave you more confidence: Hip-Hop or the teaching of The Five Percent Nation?”

“The teachings of the Five Percent. That right there… there was a time in the early 80s… 81 or 82…” the rapper talks about his reform, “Remember I had the gun charge at 12 and a couple other incidents, I got to a point where I knew I needed guidance. I needed something to keep me in line. I thought about Job Corp. I tried to join Zulu Nation. And then shortly after Zulu, I met somebody that had knowledge of self. Once I got that, it helped answer all my questions.”

READ MORE: Happy Birthday Rakim! 5 Rappers That Made Careers Sounding Like The God MC

So glad that he got knowledge of self and chose to use Hip-Hop to pass it on to others.

Check out the entire interview below:

 

 

The post Before Gaining Knowledge Of Self, Rakim Caught His First Gun Charge at 12 Years Old appeared first on The Source.

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Watch: Rakim Reveals What Inspired His Rap Grind, Dishes On Dr. Dre Session, Updates Everyone On Eric B. + More

Rakim

New York rap legend Rakim is finally speaking up. The hip-hop pioneer pulled through to the “Breakfast Club” this week to dish on everything from his early rap grind and Eric B. relationship to his short run with fellow music mogul Dr. Dre. Watch below!

The post Watch: Rakim Reveals What Inspired His Rap Grind, Dishes On Dr. Dre Session, Updates Everyone On Eric B. + More appeared first on .

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Look: Just Blaze Had A Chance Encounter W/ Rap Icon Rakim At Cousin’s B-Day Party – “I’m Like, ‘That Looks Like Rakim…’”

Just Blaze Pic

Roc-A-Fella Records alumni Just Blaze is giving people a reason to venture out to family parties. The hip-hop hitmaker went to Instagram Sunday to reveal how an innocent appearance at his cousin’s birthday party turned into a legendary rap moment.

The post Look: Just Blaze Had A Chance Encounter W/ Rap Icon Rakim At Cousin’s B-Day Party – “I’m Like, ‘That Looks Like Rakim…'” appeared first on SOHH.com.

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Exclusive: Here’s Your First Look at the Cover For Rakim’s New Memoir ‘Sweat The Technique’

When anyone who respects and understands the culture of Hip-Hop refers to Rakim as “The God MC,” there’s never any real debate to challenge that bestowment. The reason? He literally is the greatest lyricist of all time and would have no problem proving that today in or out the booth, on or off the stage, at the wise age of 51 years old.

However, if you still need a crash course on his legendary stature in the rap game, all you have to do is read his new memoir, Sweat The Technique: Revelations On Creativity From The Lyrical Genius, which The Source is exclusively unveiling the cover for today.

Amistad Press / HarperCollins Publishers

As the official description states, Sweat the Technique is a “part memoir, part writing guide” penned by the rap pioneer alongside seasoned journalist Touré. The book details how Rakim influenced and even changed the way rappers actually rhymed, his intrinsic skills that helped make a certified classic debut album alongside Eric B. with their 1987 magnum opus Paid in Full and ultimately his journey from a young Black man hailing from Long Island with nothing but a dream and talent into the most respected MC of his era.

So, why now? Sure there’s a market for rap memoirs at the moment — JAY-Z’s classic Decoded, Common’s eye-opening Let Love Have the Last Word and My Famous Life by the late Prodigy of Mobb Deep are all gems — but what makes this moment so special for Rakim? We’ll leave it to the man himself to tell it via this exclusive quote he gave us to go with the cover reveal:

“Why now for ‘Sweat The Technique‘? There’s been a lot of points of reflection in my life over the last couple of years. I turned 50; my first album turned 30. I’ve welcomed some new editions to my family and lost some beloved ones. I got back together with my partner Eric to tour and release a box set and, while we were doing interviews, the same questions all seemed to come up. A lot of those questions were rehashes of some issues that I wanted to finally speak about and, more importantly, almost none of them covered what my fans and supporters are always asking….which is pretty much ‘How do you do it?’ It made sense to put a little focus on the craft and where I, and hopefully the readers, can search for inspiration. After over three decades of being an artist who mostly speaks through his music, the time felt right to pull back the curtain.”

Rakim, The God MC

Get your reading glasses out — this one definitely sounds like it will make for a good read! Sweat The Technique: Revelations On Creativity From The Lyrical Genius, the prolific new memoir by Rakim, goes on sale starting September 24.

Take a #ThrowbackThursday moment with us by watching our Source TV interview with The God MC from 2010 below:

The post Exclusive: Here’s Your First Look at the Cover For Rakim’s New Memoir ‘Sweat The Technique’ appeared first on The Source.

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Rakim Believes Smack Evolved Hip-Hop With Battle Rap

What would happen when your favorite rapper’s favorite rapper says you elevated the game?

Would you be at a loss for words or would that make you work that much harder?

In light of their last two cards, Resolution and NOME 9, dominating the rap conversation for close to three months… Rakim Allah aka the 18th Letter has weighed in on how important Troy “SMACK” White and URL are to the Hip-Hop as a culture.

READ MORE: NOME9 Proves That There Are Levels To This Rapping Stuff

“I remember when URL was S.M.A.C.K. DVDs and it started hitting the streets back in the early 2000s.  You used to [have to] pull up on 125th, and grab a copy or someone would hit you with it backstage at a show.” The Microphone Fiend reflects   “Watching it brought me straight back to the parks and parties where we all started.  I’m known as a lyricist but, like every great rapper I know, my lyricism was born trying to out rhyme the guy next to me in front of a handful of onlookers.”
The god-emcee has always noted that “iron sharpens iron.” Many have heard Rakim give praises to other emcees in the past. Most notably he has given props to Nasir Jones aka Nas as one of those who carry of the culture. But Nas is another rapper and depending on who you ask, is represents an older generation. And while he has evolutionized the game from a lyrical perspective… who has caused a paradigm shift for this new generation, ultimately saving the culture?

It seems like he is pointing to SMACK URL as an enterprise.
“The evolution URL [and battle rap] is like the evolution of Hip-Hop.” Rakim offers “It’s a little slicker now, it’s got the global reach of the internet, and the networks bringing it to the mass audiences.”
He continues, “So the rappers [on his platform] know the stakes have risen, and [one battle] can make or break a career overnight.” When Rakim used to battle in the park, your pride and maybe a couple of dollars were at the price you paid if you loss a battle. But what Smack White, Eric Beasley and their other partner Cheeko at the helm, their team Norbes, P, KD and NuNu as strong support systems, has done seems to have taken the tradition of battling and advanced it. Rakim sees what they they are doing with this platform and appreciates him for keeping this energy alive.
Rakim states, “That core energy of two artists elevating each other, and trying show the world that they are the biggest beast in the land… that’s always gonna be the real heart of what we do.”

The post Rakim Believes Smack Evolved Hip-Hop With Battle Rap appeared first on The Source.

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