Rakim. Just saying his name evokes a certain image. He is Hip-Hop personified, and forever the standard by which emceeing is judged. Rakim Allah has been shaping and reshaping the artform for more than 35 years, and across his career, both with and without Eric B., he's revolutionized what an emcee can do with their pen.
It's almost taken for granted that Rakim has one of Hip-Hop's strongest catalogs. Alongside Eric B., "The R" delivered a four album run that few artists can say they're able to match; from the groundbreaking and virtually perfect debut of Paid In Full to the stellar home run of Don't Sweat The Technique five years later. As a solo artist, Ra never pushed too hard for mainstream validation, opting instead to remain the rap game's most devout purist. That's who he has always been. Rakim is Rakim.
So we had the unenviable task of putting together the 25 Dopest Rakim Songs. Here they are.