Rakim's Most Random and Confounding Appearances

Categories: Rakim

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Rakim
This Thursday night, the man who set the standard for greatness in rap, Rakim, takes the stage for a show with Wu-Tang member Raekwon at Stage 48. It's a rare event that fans get to see Rakim as, even in this era of 24/7 social media, he's remained one of the few artists in hip-hop to maintain an aura of mystique and only emerge when least expected. While he is responsible for one of the tightest four-album streaks in the genre's history, his appearances outside pressing a "play" button have been exceedingly rare. Here now, the most random outlets from which Rakim has reemerged over the years.

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VOTE NOW For The Elite Eight: Coltrane vs. Keys; Blondie vs. Diamond; SY vs. VU; Wu-Tang vs. Rakim

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After three weeks of feverish clicking and arguing, the final eight contenders in our search for the quintessential New York musician have been finalized—you can peruse the bracket here—and it's time for you to vote. Representing the Uptown division are No. 1 seed John Coltrane and No. 14 seed Alicia Keys; No. 12 seed Blondie will have it out with No. 3 seed Neil Diamond in Queens; No. 5 seed Sonic Youth will match Downtown bona fides with Lou Reed and the Velvet Underground (No. 3); and No. 6 seed Rakim will take on No. 4 seed Wu-Tang Clan in Brooklyn.

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Presenting The Elite Eight: John Coltrane, Alicia Keys, Blondie, Neil Diamond, Sonic Youth, Velvet Underground, Wu-Tang Clan, And Rakim

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After three weeks of feverish clicking and arguing, the final eight contenders in our search for the quintessential New York musician have been finalized. Representing the Uptown division are No. 1 seed John Coltrane and No. 14 seed Alicia Keys; No. 12 seed Blondie will have it out with No. 3 seed Neil Diamond in Queens; No. 5 seed Sonic Youth will match Downtown bona fides with Lou Reed and the Velvet Underground (No. 3); and No. 6 seed Rakim will take on No. 4 seed Wu-Tang Clan in Brooklyn. The polls will roll out at noon and close at midnight.

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SOTC's March Madness: Welcome To The Lightning Round Of 16

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John Coltrane is the only No. 1 seed remaining in the tournament.
This week, our search for New York's quintessential post-1955 musician is about to get hectic, with the winner crowned as the calendar flips to April on Saturday night. (A rundown of all the matches so far is here.) So for the Round of 16 matchups—four of which will happen today, four tomorrow—we're going to dispense with the punditry and get to the voting. The combatants, which hail from the Uptown and Brooklyn quadrants: John Coltrane and Bette Midler; Alicia Keys and Laura Nyro; A Tribe Called Quest and Wu-Tang Clan; and Rakim and Norah Jones. Ballot below. Please note that you have to vote in all four races in order for your vote to count.

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Rakim (6) And The Notorious B.I.G. (3) Battle In A SOTC March Madness Meeting Of Hip-Hop Greats

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​Sound of the City's search for the quintessential New York City musician enters Round Two this week, with battles in the Round of 32 daily. Keep up with all the action here.

Brooklyn's finest meets Strong Island's most prominent in a match up of two lyrical hip-hop powerhouses. Having steamrolled past the disingenuous hip-hop duo that is Black Star in the last round, Rakim is proving that age and experience are no barrier to success. The Notorious B.I.G, for his part, blitzed by Oneida and now looks to spar up to the MC who blazed legendary lyrical trails during hip-hop's golden era. Expect no pulled punches with this one.

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SOTC's March Madness: Rakim (6) Tangles With Black Star (11) In Our Quintessential New York Musician Tournament

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​The Round of 64 for Sound of the City's own version of March Madness—in which you, the Sound of the City voting public, help determine the quintessential New York musician—continues, and you get to vote on who makes it to Round Two. We'll have some first-round results later today, but for now, it's a battle of rhymes, as the eminent rapper Rakim takes on the duo of Mos Def and Talib Kweli, who are teamed up in the tournament under the Black Star moniker. Check out our arguments in favor of each, and vote at Facebook.

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This Weekend In New York: Yellow Ostrich Pines, Rakim Makes The Sun Come Out

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In Waste Of Paint, our writer/artist team of Jamie Peck and Debbie Allen will review goings-on about town in words and images.

This weekend took us from a fatally twee record release party in Williamsburg to a Central Park performance of some of the greatest hip-hop of all time. We got rained on, whined on, and possibly nearly electrocuted, but in the end, we got to shake Rakim's hand, and that made it all worthwhile.


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The Five Best Moments On Yo! MTV Raps

MTV turns 30 on Monday. To celebrate, we're running a bunch of pieces on the channel, its legacy, and its future.

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Debuting during the golden year of '88, Yo! MTV Raps revolutionized TV coverage of hip-hop music. Of course, hip-hop videos existed long before Yo! launched—Grandmaster Flash & The Furious Five's gritty street-level visuals for "The Message," peeping Kurtis Blow clad in black leather pants performing in front of a silhouetted Manhattan-skyline backdrop in "If I Ruled The World"—but the show provided hip-hop junkies with rap reportage like never before. Hosted by Ed Lover and Doctor Dre (the lesser-heralded one), who were assisted by Fab 5 Freddy, Yo! MTV Raps didn't just showcase new videos and air interviews; it took viewers inside the worlds of the artists they profiled, which might mean delving down into producer Pete Rock's dingy Mount Vernon basement, trading barbs with N.W.A. in LA, or letting shout-rap oiks Onyx slam dance with Freddy on the Brooklyn Bridge. Here are five of the best moments from its archives.


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