Local Wire

Rakim @ Celebrity Theatre

Kanye West may be today's "lyrical mastermind genius," but he was still learning his way around a book report when legendary lyricist Rakim and DJ Eric B began writing hip-hop history. The East Coast rap duo dropped their debut single, "Eric B. Is President," way back in 1986 and set into motion what would become one of the most celebrated partnerships in rap. Tracks like "I Know You Got Soul" pushed the boundaries on copyright law, while "I Ain't No Joke" and "Paid in Full" became instant classics in the late '80s. The two parted ways after only four albums, but not before leaving a lasting impression. Long considered one of the best MCs to ever rock a microphone, Rakim is renowned for his smooth laid-back delivery and cerebral wordplay. Sounding as confident as ever, he boasts, "In a class of greatness/For matching phrases/My predicates last for pages," on the appropriately titled track, "How to Emcee" off 2009's The Seventh Seal. Proving he still has a mastery of the patented internal rhyming scheme he helped pioneer, he is now bringing his Rakim: The Icon Tour to the West Coast for a throwback concert bound to show the next generation how the old school does things.

KEEP PHOENIX NEW TIMES FREE... Since we started Phoenix New Times, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Phoenix, and we'd like to keep it that way. With local media under siege, it's more important than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" program, allowing us to keep offering readers access to our incisive coverage of local news, food and culture with no paywalls.
Anthony Sandoval
Contact: Anthony Sandoval