Rakim (William Michael Griffin, Jr. born January 28, 1968) another very important pioneer in the sound of Hip-Hop. Rakim is rated as one of the most influential, most skilled MC's ever and has an exceptional flow and lyrical craftmanship.
Rakim grew up in Wyandanch, New York. He began his Hip-Hop career when he was fresh out of high school to record with Producer/DJ Eric B. At his 16th he joined The Nation of Gods and Earths and legally changed his name to Rakim Allah.
In 1986, Rakim started making music with Eric B. as a duo called Eric B & Rakim. They are considered one of the most influential hip-hop groups. Their first album called Paid in Full was very well received by fans and critics. Same happened for their other 3 albums, Follow the Leader, Let the Rhythm Hit 'Em and Don't Sweat the Technique. In 1992 Eric B. and Rakim parted.
In 1997 Rakim released his first solo-album The 18th Letter with collaborations with DJ Premier and Pete Rock (DJ/Producer/Rapper)
In 1999, he released his next album called The Master which was also receiver very well.
Later in 2000 Rakim signed with Dr. Dre's Aftermath Entertainment label to work on an album called Oh, my God. Due to creative differences Rakim split with the label. From what I've heard in interviews with Rakim etc. is that Dr. Dre and his label are known for their aggressive lyrics and tracks while Rakim has more spiritual lyrics and flows, not aggressive.
Rakim's long anticipated album The Seventh Seal was released in 2009. It received an overwhelming response for the Hip-Hop community. Personally I was really happy to find out Rakim was still an excellent MC like he always was and that he didn't sell out. He kept to his style and and kept it real.
Rakim is known for using alot of rhyming technique's in his lyrics. For example he is noted to be one of the first MC's to use internal rhyming (rhyming words withing 1 line) instead of only rhyming the last word of the lines. Among the Hip-Hop community Rakim is acknowledged as one of the best MC's of all time and I must say I can't disagree!
Paid in Full (1987)
Eric B. & Rakim - I Know You Got Soul
Follow the Leader (1988)
Eric B. & Rakim - Lyrics of Fury
Eric B. & Rakim - Follow The Leader
The Master (1999)
Rakim - When I B On Tha Mic
Rakim - Waiting For The World To End (DJ Premier)
The Seventh Seal
Rakim - Holy Are You
Made by Stibbz at 17:19