Artist picture of Rakim


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Guess Who's Back Rakim 04:10
When I B On Tha Mic Rakim 03:42
Waiting For The World To End Rakim 04:05
Flow Forever Rakim 04:11
Guess Who's Back Rakim 04:10
It's Been A Long Time Rakim 03:57
Wonders (feat. Rakim) Michael Patrick Kelly, Rakim 03:29
The 18th Letter (Always And Forever) Rakim 03:00
The Saga Begins Rakim 04:22
Walk These Streets Rakim, Maino 04:05

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The 18th Letter (Always And Forever)
Skit 1
It's Been A Long Time

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One of hip-hop's most pioneering and influential MCs, Rakim made his name alongside his partner DJ Eric B in the 1980s with landmark albums 'Paid in Full' and 'Follow the Leader', acclaimed and recognised for his elegant, instrumental flow and sense of spirituality and social history in his rhymes.

Born in Long Island, New York, his mother was a jazz singer and his aunt was R&B star Ruth Brown. Young William Michael Griffin originally performed under the name Kid Wizard but converted to Islam at the age of 16, changed his name to Rakim and teamed up with Eric B for their first recordings in 1985. The influence of his parents' collection of Miles Davis, John Coltrane and Charlie Parker records gave Rakim a more sophisticated appreciation of rhythms and sonics than most of his peers, and his allegiance to the Nations of Gods and Earth cultural movement helped him become a worldly and thoughtful lyricist. The duo came to end amidst messy legal problems, but Rakim returned in 1997 with solo album 'The 18th Letter', which captured the artist at his deepest and most experimental, reaching number four in the US Charts. He also had a top 20 US single with 'When I B On the Mic' in 1999, and although later records 'The Master' and 'The Seventh Seal' didn't have major commercial success, he remains regarded as a great inner-city street poet and a huge influence on the likes of Nas, Eminem and Kendrick Lamar.

In 2011 Eric B and Rakim were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and in 2016 they reunited to embark on their first tour together in 23 years.