With Rakim‘s new album, The Seventh Seal, landing in stores today (November 17), SOHH hit up the rap mogul to find out his motivation for giving rap newcomer Maino a guest feature.
Aside from crediting Maino’s street credibility, Rakim also vouched for the rapper’s homage to representing authentic New York hip-hop.
“Yeah, with Maino, it’s like, at this point you got a lot of people repping rap that I feel, you know, some people talk what they don’t live, you know what I mean,” Rakim explained. “And Maino is a cat that I feel is a true cat from the street. And trying to make a statement as far as New York hip-hop, you know, he is one of the cats that is representing New York, I feel, to the fullest right now. To me, it’s not a triple platinum artist, it’s more [about] that integrity, respect that people get from the street and the type of music they put out. Maino is a real dude and you can hear it in his music.” (SOHH)
Rakim’s long-awaited solo project also features rap heavyweights Busta Rhymes and Jadakiss.
After months, if not years of Internet speculation and rumor, the man many call The God MC’s management and label officially confirm that Rakim Allah will release his long awaited new album The Seventh Seal on November 17, 2009. Guest artists include Busta Rhymes, Jadakiss, Maino, Tracey Horton, IQ, Styles P and others, including Destiny Griffin, Rakim’s daughter. The artist’s Ra Records shares the imprint in a joint venture with Tuscan Villa and SMC Recordings and is distributed through Fontana/Universal Music Group. (Press Release)
The renowned emcee previously spoke on his overall reaction to the project’s quality.
“The Seventh Seal is my own revelation — my way of taking the best of what hip-hop has to offer, what we as a culture and a community have to offer, putting my stamp on it and leading us forward while constantly respecting what we’ve already accomplished,” he said in a statement. “When you’ve been blessed with a career like mine, you develop a deep relationship with the music, and that love is recognized by the true heads that share it with you. You’ll see us keep building as we break through each Seal — showing the best of what I can do in many forms, bringing the energy and having fun, but first I’m laying that foundation and giving my longtime fans the conscious fire they expect.” (Statement)
Rakim recently spoke on the new album’s sound.
“I used a bunch of hungry, talented [producers] — Needlz, Nottz and my best-kept secret, Nick Wiz,” Rakim revealed in an interview. “I spoke with Eric B. before I started recording, and we both decided it was in our best interest not to collaborate.” (New York Post)
Check out Rakim speaking with SOHH about Maino below: