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The Master

Rakim

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iTunes Editors’ Notes

Rakim’s second solo effort essentially reconvenes the team that made The 18th Letter an artistic success. DJ Premier and DJ Clark Kent each contribute a handful of beats, and the remaining tracks are split between old-school pioneers (the 45 King, TR Love) and modern-day hit-makers (Ron “Amen-Ra” Lawrence, of Puff Daddy’s production team, the Hitmen). Conciseness and directness are the outstanding values here. Regardless of who is behind the boards, each beat aims to complement Rakim’s lucid rhyme style. While his verses always exhibit a learned complexity, they also display a monk’s simplicity. There are moments on The Master that reveal the influence of Rakim’s younger students — especially Nas and Jay-Z — but when he is in the zone his verses have a magic that is mystifying yet utterly logical. His excellence is embodied in “How I Get Down”: “They hopeless whoever approaches my high explosives / My vision seditious, and freestyle's ferocious / I wrote this, words flew over my head like a locust / I turned the beat up, sat back, and stayed focused.”

Customer Reviews

Dont sleep on RAKIM.

This is most def. one of the best rappers of all time, there is no question if you are a true rap fan and know what rapper is real or not, Rakim is right up there with 2pac, BIG, Nas. This isnt a joke like 50 cent or something this is some real s!@#! No question.

5 MICZ

one of the illest MC'z of all time

The Master

This album marks the high point of rap in the last 8 years. "When I B on tha Mic", "It's the R", "It's a Must" are all standout tracks. Not the greatest rap album ever, but displays the most evolved state of Rakim, one of the 3-4 best MCs ever. This is new school beatmaking sophistication mixed with the God spitting some of the smoothest rhymes in all of the rap canon. Suffers from slow points, but the standouts carry the album. Seriously, somebody get Rakim back to work. In the mean time, do like the man says, and buy this album.

Biography

Born: January 28, 1968 in Wyandanch, NY

Genre: Hip-Hop/Rap

Years Active: '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

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 that's helped him win numerous polls among rap fans in the know; the majority of his lyrics concern his own skills and his Islamic faith. But in terms of how he says it, Rakim is virtually unparalleled. His flow is smooth and liquid, inflected with jazz rhythms...
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The Master, Rakim
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