Considered by many to be the greatest rapper of all time, Rakim's hip-hop legacy is bulletproof. Scores of MCs have come and gone in his time in fact, a whole generation has come and gone since his last album, 1999's The Master. After more than a half-decade of delays, his long-expected work The Seventh Seal is finally due Nov. 17, according to the rapper's camp. (Fans have every reason to be skeptical of that date, but we got Only Built For Cuban Linx...Pt. II so anything's possible, right?)
To give an idea of just how old some of these Rakim tracks are, he imparts that he had to edit out a "2004" reference in one of them. "I've got some songs on there that are from 2004, some that might be from 2003, as well as some from 2009," he says. "But I don't think you'll be able to tell [the difference]. I try not to reference certain things people might be doing or wearing today in my songs, so they stand the test of time."
Classic Eric B. & Rakim albums such as Paid in Full and Follow the Leader sound timeless largely due to Rakim's futuristic-sounding, mesmerizing flow. He and fellow Long Islander Eric B. revolutionized hip-hop's sing-songy, elementary style with innovative sampling, scratching and intricate rhyme schemes.
(Photo courtesy Rakim)
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