It’s been nine years since the legend, Rakim, put out a solo album, but the rap veteran’s technique is still to be envied. On June 25, the “Paid in Full” rapper made an appearance on NPR’s Tiny Desk Concert series, performing classic cuts and a new banger.
Rakim Allah kicks things off with something recent, performing his contribution to the Luke Cage: Season Two (Original Soundtrack) titled “King’s Paradise.”
Ra’s impeccable way with words is still evident as he glides over the jazzy instrumental played by a live band (which includes Ali from A Tribe Called Quest on guitar). “Welcome to Harlem, the home of innovating/Legacies, stories of Gods killing Satan,” The God MC raps. “Where they honor Harlem’s father Philip Payton/The renaissance in the making/Ellington, Garvey, Joe Louis, Lena Horne/Malcolm, Maya, Louis Armstrong/But now crime is the new crave, so it’s a new crusade/So salute to Luke Cage.”
Of course, it wouldn’t be right unless the NYC rapper performed some hits, and that he did, providing the crowd with seminal hip-hop tracks like “Paid in Full” and “Know the Ledge.” Ra can still move a crowd.
In related news, Rakim teamed up with Eric B. in April and hit the road for the first time in 25 years on a reunion tour. The dynamic duo performed in cities like Boston, New York, Philadelphia, Atlanta, Houston, Las Vegas, Los Angeles and more.
Check out Rakim’s performance for NPR’s Tiny Desk Concert below.
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