Rakim Discusses His Legendary Career [Video]

Considered one of the greatest MCs of all-time (many say the best), Rakim’s innovative lyricism changed hip hop and music forever when he hit the scene in the mid-80s.

Staying true to his love of knowledge, “The God MC” recently gave a lecture at Red Bull Music Academy in New York City, offering unprecedented insight into the evolution of hip hop and his career.

The video is nearly two hours long and definitely worth watching in its entirety. Here are some of our favorite parts:

(09:16 – 11:00) His musical inspirations – how jazz influenced his flow
(12:35 – 16:14) His first encounters with hip hop
(18:10 – 20:36) Meeting Biz Markie and attending his first MC battle
(25:23 – 30:03) Meeting Eric B. and recording his first track at Marley Marl’s studio
(36:19 – 39:26) Recording Paid in Full
(49:09 – 51:34) How the relationship between hip hop and fashion has changed
(53:32 – 54:40) Being an original MC
(1:14:27 – 1:19:58) Why he spilt with Dr. Dre and Aftermath Music

Standout quotes:

“Our music spoke louder than what we were wearing”

“The originality of hip hop was strong then…to sound similar or to say anything similar to another MC was a no-no”

“I was always trying to paint a picture, inspire people and uplift”