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Black History Month at Finesse Foreva: Rakim

To commemorate Black History Month this year, Finesse Foreva will be celebrating one artist, musician, or black icon each week to profile. We will be focusing on a wide range of people that have a contribution to Black History and what it means to be a black man or woman today. Check back each week to read up on our picks!




hip hop has had countless influential figures, and Rakim was the golden child of the golden era of US rap.


These are the act's & individuals who changed the landscape of hip hop culture forever.


For better or for worse, these artist left an impact that many other's knowingly or not followed.


Lyrics have always been the cornerstone of rapping. But rappers forget to factor in how they saying their word's, rhymes and punchlines.


What sets you apart from the rest of the pack.

Going further, what set's you apart from hip hop act's in the cultures "Golden Era"

The 1980's with act's like Run DMC, Public Enemy, Big Daddy Kane, Mc Hammer, NWA and so on.


Well Rakim brought a new technique.


In hip hop history, when it comes to hip hop lyricism and flow. The timeline goes....


before Rakim/after Rakim.


No one sounded like Rakim before he arrived on the scene but countless rappers are influenced by his blueprint.


William Michael Griffin Jr. grew up in Wyandanch, New York on Long Island, and became involved in the New York City hip hop scene when he was sixteen years old.


Eric B. brought him to the house of hip hop legend and innovator Marley Marl

Where he would record "Eric B. Is President" forming the legendary duo Eric B. & Rakim


the duo were seen as trailblazers and innovators to the craft. rakim especially when it comes to mcing


deviating from simple rhyming patterns and flows, he pioneered the use of internal rhymes and multisyllabic rhymes. something seen as normal today was game changing.


even with his flow and vocal inflections, rap stars like chuck d, ll cool j, run d.m.c were known for their loud, distinctive high energy vocals. rakim executed a more calm, methodical style.


allowing you to hear every punchline and adsorb how like water his flow was.


way ahead of his time on a technical level. the god mc displayed talents that could still rival artist today.


below is a perfect breakdown of his classic lyrical onslaught "lyrics of fury"



the use of internal rhymes and multisyllabic rhymes, the rhyme schemes he pioneered have been past down to near all lyrical mcs for generations.


building his style around his appreciation of jazz, he played saxophone that he has said contributed to his unique style.


hiS content revolving around his magnificent skills AND HIS ISLAMIC FAITH. TELLING STORIES ABOUT HIS YOUTH IN NEW YORK THAT WERE GRITTY BUT ALSO POETIC. A ALTERNATIVE VIEW POINT ON LIVING IN THE INNER CITY THAT WAS A HEAVY INFLUENCE ON NAS.


also known to be very reclusive, when he comes to deliver a verse he proves his pen is still shape.


appearing on the much loved dj premier collaboration with nas,krs one and kanye west years after his debut

The rappers have been influenced by rakim spans generations and that is no joke.


from gza,jay z, biggie smalls, eminem, kendrick lamar, logic. even to artist over here like ghetts, wretch 32, kano.


the fundamental elements of hip hop were broken and changed completely.


the commercial success of his career doesn't match his contributions to the culture.


you could argue this individual literally changed how hip hop artist speak to their fans. such integral accomplishments aren't often rewarded. but they should never be forgotten.


every rapper on the planet should at least listen to one rakim track in their lifetime, you don't earn the title of god mc for nothing.

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