News: Rakim Challenges NY Rappers To Lead By Example

Monday, Feb 2, 2009 9:58PM

Written by Cyrus Langhorne

Hip-Hop mogul Rakim has challenged New York City rappers to step up their emcee skills and lead the path for their genre.

The Long Island, New York-bred artist spoke on the importance of rappers from the Big Apple to be representatives of authentic hip-hop.

"New York is responsible for bringing that raw...real gritty hip-hop 'cause we originated it" Rakim said in an interview. "New York and the East Coast, we gotta represent and do our part and then it's okay for everyone else to do what they do...then it'll be a balance and everybody will be happy...but once New York and the East Coast start submitting certain sounds right now, then yeah, a certain element of hip-hop will die." (Jenny Boom Boom)

The "Paid in Full" rhyme slinger is considered an influential hip-hop pioneer.

Although he never became a household name, Rakim is near-universally acknowledged as one of the greatest MCs -- perhaps the greatest -- of all time within the hip-hop community. It isn't necessarily the substance of what he says, but in terms of how he says it, Rakim is virtually unparalleled. (All Music)

His lyricsm helped him get a deal with Dr. Dre, however, the two later split due to creative differences around July 2003.

A source at Aftermath told MTV News that the split was based on musical differences and that neither Dre nor Rakim was content with the direction the tracks were going in. Rakim, considered by many to be one of the greatest rappers in hip-hop, signed with Aftermath three years ago after Dr. Dre made public a desire to work with him. (MTV)

He recently headlined the closing of New York's famous Knitting Factory venue.

Rakim, Black Thought, Keith Murray and more will unite on stage tonight (December 19) at the Knitting Factory, for the storied New York City venue's last hip-hip-hop showcase. Known for showcasing popular rap acts ranging from Q-Tip to Lord Finesse, the renowned hip-hop venue will close its doors at the one-night only event before the Lower Manhattan spot is finally shut down. (SOHH)

[For more on what's going on around the Big Apple peep SOHH NYC]

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