It's been a long time, Rakim. Too long.
The self-proclaimed microphone fiend will break his nearly decade-long sabbatical to release his latest album, The Seventh Seal, next month. Born William Michael Griffin Jr., the Long Island native joined the Nation of Gods and Earths at the age of 16. Shortly thereafter, he proclaimed his new name, Rakim Allah, in the rap game with his DJ, Eric B. Paid in Full (1986) saw The R swiftly establishing himself, displaying an elevated sense of lyrical precision, polysyllabic rhymes, and versatile flows, all delivered with a smooth voice and self-assured demeanor. Three more albums as a duo solidified Rakims stature as one of hip-hop's greatest emcees.
Despite a split with Eric B. in 92 that led to a half-decade hiatus and then three albums that never quite reached expected heights, The God is still universally revered for how he moves crowds. Hell do exactly that when he hits Venue of Scottsdale.
Fri., Oct. 30, 7 p.m., 2009