Photos, words and interview by Trevor Piper
The ever-legendary Rakim graced the stage in Houston’s Numbers Night Club last Tuesday to a packed house that hung on his every word. The God MC flew through a litany of his classic tracks from “Holy Are You” to “Paid In Full.” The building swelled with every element of hip-hop as Rakim called on all of the b-boys, graffiti artists, producers and MCs alike to rock with him. The speakers’ vibration resonated with the sounds of the culture that we hold dear. Various ages celebrated with the graceful MC as he repeated he loved Houston. Backed by DJ 33 1/3, Rakim never missed a step even when he asked the crowd to help him remember his lyrics. Check out our brief chat with the R below.
Rakim: “Now I’m in the lime light cause I rhyme tight!” Nah, I didn’t man because back in the day we were fighting to make it concrete. Everyone was saying that rap was a phase and wasn’t gonna last and was on it’s way out like disco or jazz. And ’til this day you can throw on some jazz and disco, MCs now even rapping to disco. I’m just glad that hip-hop withstood the bad weather. Not only are we still here, we’re like the biggest genre. You can’t do nothing without seeing hip-hop inspired.
Right, like Sprite and McDonalds.
Ya cut ya TV on… I remember when I saw Kool-Aid coming through the wall with the big gold chain on like, “Yo that’s Kool-Aid!” The cereal cats all hip-hop now. It’s just beautiful to see that they need us to either sell what they’re doing or just get their attention. We’ve fought through the storm. We’ve just got to understand the power we have and not let them take it from us.
Rakim’s track list included: Holy Are You, It’s Been A Long Time, My Melody, In The Ghetto, Move The Crowd, Mahogany, What’s On Your Mind, Addictive, Lyrics Of Fury, I Know You Got Soul, Don’t Sweat The Technique, The Return, Microphone Fiend, I Ain’t No Joke, Eric B For President, Paid In Full, and Know The Ledge.
Piece by Trevor Piper
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