Rakim Drops ‘The Master’ Album – Today in Hip-Hop
On this day, Nov. 30, in hip-hop history...
1999: By the late '90s, New York rapper Rakim was well renowned as one of hip-hop's best wordsmiths — they don't call him God MC for nothing. Starting off in the duo Eric B. & Rakim and then breaking out into solo success with The 18th Letter in 1997, Rakim is hailed as a pioneer in the game for his internal rhyme rap style and multisyllabic lines. On Nov. 30, 1999, Rakim proved his artistic prowess once again with his second solo album The Master.
With production from DJ Clark Kent, DJ Premier, The 45 King, Jaz-O and more, Rakim outdid himself without playing into fads that were taking over rap in the late '90s. He reminded fans why his smooth rhyme scheme had earned his the title Rakim Allah. Rhymes on songs like "Flow Forever" and "It's the R" (both produced by DJ Clark Kent), were bumpin' and braggadocious, but rightfully so. Rakim even dropped odes to his hometown in "Strong Island" and "Waiting for the World to End."
Though it was reviewed positively, The Master lacked the sales that Rakim had grown accustomed to. The Master would be Rakim's last studio album for nearly a decade. Through signing with Aftermath Entertainment and working sporadically, the rapper went silent until 2009, when he dropped his third LP The Seventh Seal.
Most recently, the God MC reunited with Eric B. for the first time in 25 years, as the duo hit the road this past spring for a 17-date tour.