After seven years without a full-length recording, Rakim has returned to stake his claim in the New World of hip-hop where rappers with lyrical substance are few and far between. You might have thought that rust had set in since he parted with longtime collaborator Eric B., but this is far from the case. Rakim is on the top of his game on this debut solo release. He shines throughout with clarity, sense and magnificent prose.
One example of how Rakim is in a class by himself is the absence of cameos by other artists. Because of his stature, Rakim could have called on anyone from Wu-Tang to Puff Daddy to appear on this album. He chose to stand alone, delivering grand performances on cuts like the tribute to his hometown, "New York, New York." Rakim's lyrical mastery is particularly evident in "Mystery," which goes back through the channels of time while revealing the true mysteries of life. "Guess Who's Back" and "It's Been a Long Time" are both prime Rakim tracks that fit well into his impressive resume of classics.
If you're new to this true star, prepare to be enlightened.
We welcome readers to submit letters regarding articles and content in Orlando Weekly. Letters should be a minimum of 150 words, refer to content that has appeared on Orlando Weekly, and must include the writer's full name, address, and phone number for verification purposes. No attachments will be considered. Writers of letters selected for publication will be notified via email. Letters may be edited and shortened for space.
Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Orlando Weekly works for you, and your support is essential.
Our small but mighty local team works tirelessly to bring you high-quality, uncensored news and cultural coverage of Central Florida.
Unlike many newspapers, ours is free – and we'd like to keep it that way, because we believe, now more than ever, everyone deserves access to accurate, independent coverage of their community.
Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing pledge, your support helps keep Orlando’s true free press free.