US - SMC Recordings
In the history of the Hip-Hop, few artists have had as great an impact on the development and progression of the art forms lyrical style as Rakim. Universally referenced as one of the Masters of the Microphone and an influence and inspiration to his peers and followers alike, Rakim first exploded onto the scene with the release of iconic “Eric B. is President” in 1986 with long time collaborator Eric B. The single marked a turning point in the Rap world – raising the bar for future emcees and revolutionizing the way rhymes are delivered to this day.
No serious discussion of the music’s greatest performers is held without a deferential accounting of his achievements, and no serious rap artist grips a microphone without channelling some of his legend.
Rakim’s intricately intellectual lyrics draw their force from his worldly experience, inner faith and progressive contemplation; his liquid and seemingly effortless delivery – often imitated but still unrivalled – from a fire fuelled by a deep understanding of not just Hip-Hop, but also the Jazz and R&B influences that have surrounded his family since his youth. His recordings – including the all-time classics Paid In Full, Follow the Leader and The 18th Letter – have sold in the multi-millions worldwide. Billboard, Rolling Stone, MTV and a host of others consistently refer to Paid in Full as “the greatest Hip-Hop album of all time” – a claim that often repeated in audience polls. These Platinum albums line the walls of the Broadway, MCA and Universal labels and, with a Rakim appearance near guaranteeing an explosion of sales, he has been recruited to add his star talents to projects for Alicia Keys, Jody Watley, Damian Marley, Jay-Z, Dr. Dre, Mobb Deep, Lloyd Banks, Limp Bizkit, Gang Starr and Truth Hurts among many others.
Rakim’s uncanny innovation was the focal point of the critically acclaimed recreation of Bob Marley’s Concrete Jungle and has helped propel movie soundtracks such as Juice, Brown Sugar, the Rugrats, American Psycho and 8 Mile to Best Seller status. His role model status has led world famous brands such as Reebok, The Coca Cola Company, LVMH, Ecko and Sean Jean to choose him as spokesperson and his worldwide fans have flocked sold out performances in the USA, Canada, UK, Italy, Germany, Mexico, Puerto Rico, Brazil and Japan.