In celebration of the release of his first studio album in a decade, Rakim took to the stage last night (November 19) to a packed crowd at B.B. King Blues Club in New York City.
The God MC walked out to the lead single “Holy Are You” off his new disc, The Seventh Seal. Yet his entrance was soured; as it required a second take—the first in several technical issues throughout the night.
According to veteran DJ Mister Cee—the man behind the ones and twos at the show—his power had gone out due to someone onstage stepping on a wire. After the brief delay, the golden-era lyricist then went into the first classic of the night, “Eric B. Is President.” The crowd rapped along word for word, cut after cut, almost rendering Ra’s presence unnecessary at times.
“It’s hard to do what I do in this game for this long, so I wanna thank y’all for this,” the Long Island-bred rapper said during one of the sound disruptions.
Rakim Allah then bounced from Paid In Full joints (“My Melody,” “I Ain’t No Joke”) to his seminal 90′s work (“Mahogany,” “Don’t Sweat The Technique”) and more recent selections such as his Dre-produced feature on “Addictive.”
Other standouts from the night included Ra flossing his DJ skills and hip-hop forefather DJ Kool Herc making an appearance onstage. The microphone fiend then closed out the concert with a performance of his monster hit “Know the Ledge,” proving that despite his age, he’s still has some “juice” left. —Devin Chanda
Watch a clip of Rakim performing “My Melody” below.
Photos courtesy of Jonathan Weiner. Click image to enlarge.