It has been an eventful year for Rakim. He recently with his cohort Eric B, wrapped up their reunion tour “Sweat The Technique”, an ode to their fourth album. In addition to making an appearance on the popular Netflix show Marvel’s Luke Cage. Dropping the new song “King’s Paradise”.
While on his press run earlier this year to promote his historical tour Rakim sat down with acclaimed journalist Toure. At the 7:24 mark of the video below Toure asks brings up the subject of Rakim linking up with Dr Dre to work on an album together but never saw the light of day. Rakim initially signed on to Dr Dre’s Aftermath Entertainment back in 2000 with the album titled Oh, My God to be released in 2002.
Rakim – King’s Paradise
VladTV – Rakim Interview
Rakim discussed that him and Dr Dre had conflicting visions of what the album should represent. This was during the time Dr Dre’s album 2001 was making its run. It ended up being his most successful album, being certified 6x platinum. He thought that Rakim should use violence and gangster lyrics. The formula that Dr Dre had used for many years. Rakim however wanted the album to elevate the bar for hip hop. This led to a stalemate and Rakim leaving Aftermath.
Although an album never materialized there were some memorable tracks released commercially and unreleased gems. The first track was Rakim’s contribution to Eminem’s movie soundtrack for “8 Mile” , ironically called “R.A.K.I.M.” Then followed up by one of his biggest records to date, “Addictive”, a collaboration with at the time Aftermath artist Truth Hurts. The song was a top ten smash. The last track he contributed commercially was for Jay-Z’s “The Watcher 2” along with Dr Dre for album The Blueprint 2: The Gift & The Curse.
Rakim – R.A.K.I.M
Truth Hurts – Addictive feat. Rakim
As far as unreleased material is concerned a song by Rakim with Truth Hurts called “It Ain’t Kool” has surfaced. The track was actually produced by acclaim producer Hi-Tek when he was affiliated with Aftermath. The other two tracks, “After You Die”, and “Welcome 2 The Hood” both produced by Dr Dre reinforce that if the two legends worked out their differences a memorable album would of come to fruition.
Rakim – It Ain’t Kool feat. Truth Hurts (prod. By Hi-Tek)
Rakim – After You Die
Rakim – Welcome 2 The Hood
A full body of work will never come out between these two greats. However, maybe more unreleased gems will eventually see the light of day. One can only speculate what vast amounts of music Dr Dre has stashed in the vault. What fans would love to see is for the two greats to get back in the studio together and make some memorable music.