Aggravated from standing for hours trying to be cute in heels at a concert (wrong answer!), it’s apparent that most of the opening acts have not studied the art of Hip Hop. My assessment is determined by their weak delivery and NON stage presence. There were a few however, who had me rocking back and forth, listening to their lyrics wondering when they would get their chance to shine.
By the time He arrived, I was pretty pissed off and ready to leave. I stood there in front of the stage arms folded getting my pout on; eyes rolling up and down. He finally came on stage and I had my eyes closed like no no no I can’t forgive him for making me wait so long. At the sound of his voice, my eyes eased open and as soon as I saw Him, my heart melted. I swear tears came to my eyes and I immediately perked up.
How could I stay mad at the one who made me fall so deeply in love with Hip Hop? The one who made the “bad boy” look oh so appealing? The one who sounds and looks like he hasn’t missed a beat since his voice first blessed the air waves during a Saturday master mix? There he was seemingly larger than life just as he was way back when…His voice strong and clear as ever; stage presence commanding just as I remember long ago.
His first verse made me wonder…how can I enjoy the selection of what most consider Hip Hop today? I mean back when Hip Hop was REAL, you had to be an Emcee, a true Emcee and bring it each time you grabbed a microphone. A gimmick wasn’t enough. You had to have lyrical skills, stage presence, a DJ with ill beats, gear and a tough hook to captivate the audience. To be considered a REAL Emcee, you had to be ready for battle anytime anyplace with freestyle lyrics that were as good as those you had time to compose.
I’m all for evolution but today’s Hip Hop…I mean “rap music” does not have standards. Basically whoever has the best gimmick at the time is what everyone ends up following. The music nor lyrics have any originality. I miss the days when one Emcee would make the next Emcee step his/her game way up! Hip Hop had standards and the pioneers built an entire culture for us to enjoy but now…
Well He was a breath of fresh air and I felt the wonder that Hip Hop used to be listening to him perform. His lyrics make you think most times and other times he makes you dance and let go. He is the REALEST Emcee in my book; extremely versatile and his effortlessly commanding style is unmatched.
Others have been great in their contributions to Hip Hop but He is and will always be THE GREATEST in my book. He is…Rakim a.k.a The R a.k.a Rakim Allah. Say what you want, think what you will but if you love Hip Hop as I do and you have done your homework…there is no way you won’t agree that Rakim is truly THE GREASTEST OF ALL TIME!