If you’ve at least mildly kept up with hip-hop music, I shouldn’t have to begin to tell you why the mighty Rakim Allah is in the holy pantheon of rap gods. The year I was born, The R and Eric B (aka the East Coast Suge Knight) dropped Paid In Full and pushed hip-hop culture forward a generation. Rocking Dapper Dan suits, chunky gold chains and esoteric 5% knowledge mixed with street wisdom, Rakim set a standard MCs are still held to in 2013.
We’ve come a long way in those 26 years. The culture has been co-opted and monetized, in the process losing its zeal, and the music has been fractured and stagnant — but to this day you can throw on “My Melody,” “I Ain’t No Joke,” “Paid in Full,” or any other of Ra’s classics and get your adrenaline pumping. And like a true artist, after more than two decades the MC that let Niles be born through his penmanship still packs a punch.
Recently, in anticipation of his Newport Authority mix tape, Canadian producer Marco Polo dropped “What’s Wrong” featuring Rakim. The new-age boom-gap fit the legend’s craft like a Gucci-print leather jacket as the Asiatic MC drops gem after gem on the artisan track.
OkayPlayer reports :
“The Canadian-born Polo has been a highly sought after producer since settling in New York City, so it comes as no surprise that he just happened to have a Rakim track sitting around. Originally recorded for Rakim’s 2009 album Seventh Seal, the track was shelved until recently when Rakim gave the track back to Polo, who decided to add it to the project. Notorious for his mastery of the classic east coast sound, Marco Polo has won the respect of a legion of hall of fame caliber rappers.”