August 21 at 3: 00 PM
Manhattan, Central Park
2:00 PM: Doors Open
“I came through the door
I said it before
I never let the mic magnetize me no more …”
“Eric B is President,” 1986
hatever you may have planned to do this weekend — if it doesn’t involve squeezing yourself like a sardine into the free Rakim concert at Central Park this Sunday and hearing one of hip-hop’s greatest MCs spit these lines, you need to change your plan.
Rakim will be there. So will EPMD and Funkmaster Flex. But Rakim is the one you really don’t want to miss.
In case you were born in the ’90s and somehow don’t know who he is, Rakim was the rapper in the duo Eric B. and Rakim, who’s 1987 album Paid in Full is a benchmark album of hip-hop’s golden era. Rakim introduced a new style of rhyming to hip-hop — internal rhyming.
If you attended middle school in America, you know what that is:
“The Raven,” by Edgar Allen Poe
Once upon a midnight dreary, while I pondered, weak and weary,
Over many a quaint and curious volume of forgotten lore,
While I nodded, nearly napping, suddenly there came a tapping,
As of some one gently rapping, rapping at my chamber door.
“‘Tis some visitor,” I muttered, “tapping at my chamber door ..
Rakim did it in a way that was relevant for the hip hop generation:
“Paid In Full,” by Eric B and Rakim
I used to roll up, this is a hold up, ain’t nuthin funny
Stop smiling, be still, don’t nuthin move but the money
But now I learned to earn cos I’m righteous
I feel great! so maybe I might just
Search for a 9 to 5, if I strive
Then maybe I’ll stay alive
Get out there and let this man do what he do. And let’s hope that he does some of the oldies.