Rakim is a rap legend who's been named in songs by artists ranging from 50 Cent to Nas. While artists of various generations admire him, you have to wonder which new MCs he's excited about. Well, one MC that Rakim's got particular praise for is Kendrick Lamar.
"Kendrick Lamar is that new fuel,” Rakim told Montreality in an interview that was published online on Monday (Apr. 27). "It’s a conscious new fuel where he’s not just doing what’s hot for today. He has substance and he ain’t scared to make a statement neither. And he’s nice, man.
"Keep doing your thing,” he added. “Go out and get it, man. You know what I mean? The young truth, KL.”
Another young MC recently name-checked Rakim on a track. J. Cole’s “January 28th” off 2014 Forest Hills Drive features a cool reference to the legendary rapper. “I don’t play no games,” Cole raps on the track. “Boy, I ain’t no joke, like the great Rakim, when I make my notes.” That's a reference to Eric B. & Rakim’s “I Ain’t No Joke” off their classic 1987 album Paid In Full.
So what did Rakim think when he heard this shoutout? “That’s a blessing, man,” Rakim said. “To get love like that from people that’s on fire, young artist coming up, doing his thing, to reach back towards the past to show love, I appreciate that.”
Rakim says he's working on a new album, the follow-up to 2009's The Seventh Seal. And now we can't help but hope for a Kendrick, Cole collabo on that project.