Rakim, whose birth name is William Michael Griffin Jr., was born on January 28, 1968, in Wyandanch, New York, making him currently 55 years old. Rakim is widely recognized as one of the most influential and skilled rappers of all time. He is known for his exceptional flow, complex lyricism, and revolutionary contributions to hip hop.
Rakim’s impact on the genre cannot be overstated, as he raised the bar for MC technique and pioneered the use of internal rhymes and multisyllabic rhymes. He is also credited with popularizing complex flows and intricate lyrics packed with clever word choices and metaphors.
Rakim’s career began as one half of the golden age hip hop duo Eric B. & Rakim, and he later released three solo albums. He has received numerous accolades and is highly regarded within the hip hop community.
Eric B. & Rakim: Influential Hip Hop Duo
Rakim’s career took off when he partnered with DJ Eric B. to form the influential hip hop duo Eric B. & Rakim. They released their debut album, “Paid in Full,” in 1987, which is considered one of hip hop’s seminal albums. The duo’s innovative sound and Rakim’s impeccable lyricism earned them widespread recognition and acclaim.
They went on to release several more albums, including “Follow the Leader” and “Let the Rhythm Hit ‘Em.” Eric B. & Rakim are often hailed as one of the most important DJ/MC combos in hip hop history, with their groundbreaking contributions to the genre setting the stage for future artists. Their impact can be heard in the work of artists like Jay-Z, Nas, and The Notorious B.I.G.
Rakim’s Solo Career and Legacy
After parting ways with Eric B., Rakim embarked on a successful solo career. His solo debut album, “The 18th Letter,” was released in 1997 and was met with critical acclaim. The album showcased Rakim’s continued brilliance as an MC and featured collaborations with renowned producers like DJ Premier and Pete Rock.
Rakim’s subsequent solo albums, including “The Master” in 1999, further solidified his status as one of hip hop’s most influential lyricists. His remarkable wordplay, intricate rhyme schemes, and thought-provoking lyrics captivated audiences and earned him a devoted fan base.
Rakim’s impact extends beyond his solo work. He has been recognized by numerous publications and organizations, cementing his legacy as an iconic figure in hip hop. MTV ranked him as the greatest MC of all time, while The Source named him atop their “Top 50 Lyricists of All Time” list.
Today, Rakim’s musical legacy continues to inspire and influence current hip hop artists. His innovative approach to storytelling, his smooth delivery, and his impeccable lyrical technique have left an indelible mark on the genre. As fans eagerly await his future projects, there’s no denying that Rakim’s contribution to hip hop is timeless.