Rakim’s Red Bull Music Academy Lecture (Video)

blame it on JES7 May 5, 2013

The GOD MC recently held a lecture for Red Bull Music Academy in NYC, alongside triple OG Chairman Mao (what’s up sir!) where he broke down his lyricism, how “Don’t Sweat the Technique” came about, getting a lot of his inspiration from Jazz and much more. Over an hour and some change of nothing but jewels.

Hip hop’s golden age began in 1986, the day Rakim stepped to a microphone to record “Eric B Is President.” Only 18 years old (though he sounded considerably more worldly), Rakim (real name William Griffin) had a smooth, effortless flow that brought a cool melodicism and high intelligence to the MC game—he gave both fire and ice, set within the wiry frame of his serious features. Even those who didn’t get the Five Percenter reference wouldn’t have bridled at his nickname, God. His partnership with his DJ, Eric B, yielded four great albums and numerous classic singles before Rakim split for a solo career. Despite initial success with 1997’s The 18th Letter, he endured several frustratingly fruitless years signed to Dr Dre’s Aftermath, working on an album that never came. Now Rakim back in his native New York, the city where his immense influence is most clearly audible, notably in other NYC wordsmiths such as Nas. As recently as 2012, The Source named him the greatest MC of all time.

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  • kidrobot

    This man introduced me to Hip-Hop

  • rey

    Love Ra, L.I.’s Golden Child

  • G $

    Fully agree w/ MAO’s statement that the history of rap music is divided into “before Rakim and after Rakim.” He made emcees step up their lyricism, leading to emcees like Nas, etc.

  • david

    Can’t wait til I get back home later to watch this. Hope he talks a bit about his solo work too because too many tend to only credit him for his work with Eric B

  • q12www

    lamo at the crowd
    everbody just to awkwarkd haha

  • DQ

    very insightful