MC Rakim: ‘Sometimes The Younger Generations Are Getting A Bad Rap’



To liven up New Year’s Eve 2020, Hip-Hop Icon RAKIM and DJ/Producer J.PERIOD (The Roots, The Hamilton Mixtape) have teamed up for an epic one-time performance of “The Live Mixtape: God MC Edition” on StageIt.

Live from NYC on 12/31/2020 at 9:00pm EST/6:00pm PST, Hip Hop’s most legendary lyricist, RAKIM is set to perform classics, deep cuts, and never-before-heard freestyles, while J.PERIOD is set to drop new remixes. The livestream will also feature celebrity drop-ins plus the world premiere of a new J.PERIOD X RAKIM video shot on the rooftops of Brooklyn. Tickets are still available  for $10 on StageIt.com.

Right On! Digital’s Cynthia Horner was able to reconnect with Rakim Allah, arguably, one of the greatest MC’s in music history, for a quick convo about his collabs with J.Period, his thoughts about the iconic Right On! Magazine and his message to the younger artists.

Q: What are your thoughts on your  status as one of the greatest MCs who ever lived?

A: The accolades I get are a blessing.  I see it and I hear it when people or the media say it in public, but it’s a lot of those moments on the streets – one-on-one – when people share stories of what my music means to them, or seeing an audience react to something classic or something new. That’s what gives me the real energy.  That’s my whole purpose.  I’ve been missing that interaction in 2020, but Livestreaming at least lets me see the audience react in real time.  I’m connecting with them through the camera…and when I pull out a surprise they let me know right away how they feel.

Q: What have you been up to recently?


A: We’ve been grinding.  I’m staying close to my new studio a lot and have had some great people come through and a lot of things we used to travel for, we can do right from here.  I’ve also done virtual college lectures for my book, “Sweat The Technique” (Harper Collins).  Virtual collab sessions.  For New Year’s Eve 2020, we gonna break out to NYC and get poppin’, though.  We got a great studio and me, my man J.Period and just a couple friends are putting out a Livestream on StageIt.com… breaking out some exclusives, having some fun and making some new connections around the world.

Q: What message would you  like to impart to younger generation?

A: I think the younger generation sometimes gets a bad rap.  Hip-Hop started by pushing boundaries, speaking for the culture in ways no one had thought of before. So when I see upcoming generations pushing things even further, it’s the core of what we should be about.  That attitude took us from the parks and street corners and made us global, so keep pushing.  Realize success has responsibility, so stay conscious in your lyricism and make your message count forever, but stay true to you and stay true to your purpose.

Q: What did it feel like to have been a popular staple in magazines like Right On!?

A: Getting featured in Right On! was one of those surreal moments… sort of like when I heard my first record on the radio.  You got this magazine that’s part of your life, part of what the neighborhood is growing up on… and suddenly you’re on the page next to your peer or your icon.  It’s like a rite of passage.