LINK: Rakim interview on Pitchfork

In a new interview with Rakim Allah on Pitchfork, the God speaks on his successful tour, recording his next album and why hip-hop needs to come together to save itself.

“When they created jazz years ago it was the best thing to happen since fried ice cream. But then you look at it now– it’s not so popular as far as [being] universal. The jazz lovers still support their music, but when you look at it on the wide span it went from being the only thing to one of the many. The same thing can happen in hip-hop if we take it for granted and don’t cherish it.”

CLICK HERE to read the full interview.

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  • TaZ

    Best rapper ever and one enlightened cat… He is the pioneer of hip hop and half of these so-called hip hop fans have never heard of him. He is exactly right about classifying the music…just listen to it, fuck where its from.

    • Alden

      Rakim, Jay-Z and 50 mad at Wayne and the South because we get more money. Please tell Rakim, JAZZ was born in NEW ORLEANS, not new york stupid.

      • Dezzy

        First of all, Jay-Z and 50 have way more money then any of your so-called favorite rappers in the south. They just workers at the end of the day. Jay and 50 are BOSSES. What down south artists have u seen in the top 5 of the Forbes magazine. Stupid ass hater. Secondly, money has nothin to do with hip-hop ass hole. If it wasn’t for the great Rakim Allah, then hip-hop wouldn’t be as far as it has become. Show some respect to the people who made it possible for u to even have a favorite rapper. It’s people like u who fuck hip-hop up because of ur ignorant way of thinkin. Thirdly, he’s just statin the fact the their needs to be appreciation for the art. He wasn’t sayin Jazz started in NY. U gotta be a youngin. What he stated is that if these artists keep takin our art for granted and keep makin bullshit music to sell a ringtone, then we will lose hip-hop. Ur a clown!!!

        • Priority Records

          Master P

          He amassed over 400mill within a 7year span sold over 100million records with no limit

          lil j of rap a lot/ he also a sucessful boxing promoter

          back 2 Master P he own his own catalog/publishing and the deal was 85/15

          jay z don’t even own reasonable doubt/ curtis don’t even own get rich or die trying

        • mark cartel

          as far as 50 not ownin da rights 2 get rich or die tryin..ur right, but wut da fuck u mean jay dont own da rights 2 reasonable doubt?! as long as dat nigga been in da game him, dame, & biggs burke owned da rights 2 EVERYTHING on rocafella dat means jay, bleek, beans & any body who was on da roc @ da time…wen jay & dame split they had 2 settle btwn da 2 of them who would get da publishin rights 2 rocafella..after jay & dame sold da roc 2 def jam 4 $30mil, jay became president of def jam and bought rocafella back, which makes HIM da owner of REASONABLE DOUBT & EVERYTHING other album on da roc…do ur research b4 u say sum crazt shit like dat again

      • Mr. Twojay

        First of all hip hop is not just about making money. And anyone who thinks that making money makes you better than someone who doesn’t make as much is an idiot. The best people in hip hop are the ones who stay true to themselves and rap about real shit not the same old ” I got 26inch rims and diamond earings. Fuck the bing no one gives a shit about how much money you got or how much bling is on your wrist. Everyone from the east,south, and west are responisble for the way hip hop is today but it all started when the south took over. Thats why everyone blames the south for where hip hop is today.

  • mohamed

    why the F*ck is his name Allah***
    that’s like nameing you self
    (GERG GOD)

    it means god in the relgion of islam…
    if your reading plz do consider a change of name!!!

    • Silverback Gorilla

      Allah means God in the Arabic language brotha. Even Christian arabs call God “Allah”.

      Pertaining to what Ra said… I agree 1 million %

  • AldenCantRead

    Alden – you got everything Ra said twisted. He didnt claim new york invented jazz or get mad at the south. dumbass.

    He said if we keep seperating east/west/south/etc we will lose hiphop, it’ll become east/west south music not hiphop, just as all the different genres in jazz ghettoised jazz. Basically ‘united we stand, divided we fall.’

    great interview.

  • Bear

    I’m definitely a Rakim fan. There will always be underground hip hop. Whatever style of music is “in”, there will be people not as attracted to it as others are. That’s where the alternative comes in. It wasn’t that long ago southern hip hop was underground and the east coast ran it. I don’t think anything is wrong with it. Evolution is a good thing. Look how far hip hop has come from Herc, Cold Crush, and the Sugar Hill Gang. Financially, Hip hop will be just fine as long as the white people are interested. I don’t know who goes to the concerts. Is it predominantly white, black, or a good mixture? I do know hip hop artists don’t get much from black people in album sales.

  • smog

    who got more money then jay and who ever said rakim was ever mad at the south?

  • Fire

    Great interview. He is dead on with his view on not segregating hip hop, but coming together and unifying. He is one of the best MCs ever and it’s good to see that he’s still doing it for the love of hip hop. Finally, a legend’s gonna come to Kansas City! It’s gonna be awesome seeing Rakim and Ghostface.

  • Word


  • maxamill


  • the nigga frum the bay

    nigga ur a fukin clown jazz was made in harlem

  • mega_tron_201

    aight…first of all….Jazz is an original American musical art form, traditionally considered to have originated around the beginning of the 20th century in African American communities in and around New Orleans……and second of all…Rakim NEVER said Jazz was started in NY…he was giving an example of how Jazz has been around for so long and still has loyal fans from all over and NOT just the SOUTH…….and that we should appreciate southern hip hop because it is still in fact HIP HOP…..its just diff folks tellin their stories, diff slang, diff beats………its all the same imo…..if a New York cat grew up in the South he’d be usin southern slang……that was Rakims point….this was just an FYI >=D

  • Gofthe7

    Earth To Mohamed!!!! Rakim is A champion of the 5% nation[Nation of Gods&Earths] And they Beleave that each in Every fully realized Blackman is A God and his Proper name is AllAH. Arm,Leg,Leg,Arm,Head

  • AZ40

    Them south niggas ain’t seein’ more money than 50 or Jay, Jay worth 320 mil. when you in shit like forbes that’s how you know you got money! Fuckin bumkin’

    • AZ41



  • 5yearslockeddown

    yall weirdos r missin the point rakim wasnt aimin at the south u dickheads. he said ppl loyal to the old style of hip hop need to be open to new things cuz like jazz there r loyal ppl and alot that like jazz dont like rock n roll. sorta like hip hop.get it? if not yall just to damn dumb.

  • Supreemwun

    mohamed says:

    why the F*ck is his name Allah***
    that’s like nameing you self
    (GERG GOD)

    Mohamed why the F*ck you on this site? You can’t be checkin for hip hop and not know about Rakim! He is the Architech of the Classic “Paid in Full”. Pay respect and homage to a real Emcee LEGEND! Or keep it movin!

  • Rodjilius

    he speaks the truth and looks like we wont be able to do anything to stop what rap is turning into

  • Ryan

    Man, I love it, this is how shit gets twisted. Ra is saying something positive, talking about how everyone needs to stop doing all this bullshit to each other and some ignorant ass motherfuckers who obviously can’t read twist it and say stupid shit. Seriously, READ THE WORDS IN THE FUCKING INTERVIEW!!! Rakim didn’t dis anyone, he didn’t “hate” and the educational system obviously failed you all.

  • texasboy

    fuckin haters!!! when rakim krs1 and the rest of them ny dudes was rappin–nobody was worried about the state of that the south is in front everybody got something to say…Y is that?? damn–dont yall understand its the industry that puts out what they want people to buy!!its bigger than the artist–be mad at la reid, kevin liles— def jam , universal, warner brothers, interscope. and the internet!! holla –technology ruined the game!!!

  • fligh

    rakim has made same valuable points yes but the only reason hip-hop is so divided is cuz these cocky ass niggaz from new-york…yall the rerason we down south said fuckem they wanna hate and dis well just boycot they whole movement which is a waste cuz there is alot of good music up there that aint reachin the masses the same way soutern hip-hop music used to be…so if yall could please pull your skirts down and stop hatin then hip-hop coiuld continue to be the best thang out…its tha suits and crackers and corparate america we should be fightin not ourselfs…think about it!

  • texasboy

    FLIGH– seems like we on the same page about this shit! the reason why we got shows like hiphop vs america is because all black people do is criticize each other..then BET talks shit about the rap shows and videos but air shit like “take the cake” to take black people money over some silly questions that everyone knows!!if ur so concerned with the violence BET, y air american gangsta and lil kims lock down..where are the positive shows at?? so black people lets stop hatin on eachother and work with what we have a progress..hip hop will never die-just evovle…chuuuuuch

  • thedon

    rakim is not puttin down the south he just sayin we as hip hop artist and as fans need to see it as music hip hop not n.y hip hop or down south etc..the lables are boxing us in and making us go to war with each other thats why ra started his own company cause the majors don’t care any more they have created a monster and can’t control it…they don’t look for talent any more just a quick hit and move to the next quick hit it’s a ring tone era…the majors are to blame..back some years ago an artist could come out with out with out knowing the state they came from ..even now with r&b they started saying south artist etc…and the radio personalities are playing sides it’s out of d.j’s do it to they only play who’s down with them so the south stays with the south and so on take the power out of the d.j’s hands and let the fans have the music back… spins should not be about the d.j at the station playing favorites or who they down with or manage i.e k-slay,drama,khalid,envy,dirty boyz,and so on …lets have ower music back no matter where your from music is music …it’s good music and bad music in the south,the west,the east,mid west, like rakim said it an’t where ya from it’s where ya at! stop the d.j’s

  • ImfamousG


  • Anonymous

    Just listen to all of RAKIM’s music…you got anything negative to say then your prolly a kid, he sharing knowledge you all are controlled by garbage, its so sad