Rakim | Park West | Hip-Hop | Chicago Reader
This is a past event.
click to enlarge Rakim



When: Thu., May 26, 8 p.m. 2016
Price: $25
Public Enemy underwent a titanic shift in mentality (and popularity) with their incendiary 1987 single “Rebel Without a Pause,” which drew its inspiration from another canonical hip-hop outfit. As Chuck D. told Vibe in 2013, “I stayed in the crib for a whole two days because I was so mad, yet inspired by Eric B and Rakim’s ‘I Know You Got Soul.’” DJ-producer Eric B and MC Rakim helped bring hip-hop into its golden age with that single and a few others from their 1987 debut, Paid in Full (4th & B’Way). The pair’s alchemical collaboration produced tracks that flow with a singular energy—they move with a relaxed jazz kick but hit hard with a funky wallop, and Rakim’s smooth, nonchalant delivery exemplifies their approach to hip-hop. Paid in Full is so embedded into the history and culture of the genre—and, for that matter, pop music—that Rakim’s wordplay still feels like an elemental part of our atmosphere in a way few other hip-hop acts have achieved. Which is to say even if you don’t know Rakim’s the one who was “Thinkin’ of a master plan,” you probably know what it feels like to hear the opening verse of the album’s title track. If for some reason you’ve made it this far in life without having heard any of Paid in Full, tonight’s a good opportunity to play catch up, ’cause Rakim is, um, playing it in full.
— Leor Galil
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