Monday, January 28, 2008

Alright people, I got nothin but love for you.

Todays historical footnote is a big fat happy birthday to William Michael Griffin, Jr., born on this day in 1968. I know most of you are like "who?" He is better known as Rakim, most likely known to you from Eric B. & Rakim. I was born in 72 so by the time hip hop broke big, I was all teenage dirtbag all the time. Even though I was living in the woods, thankfully I attended a public school where culture was diverse. So I got my fill of rap. I was blessed with a diverse upbringing. What can I say. Anyway if you appreciate hip hop, drop Rakim a happy birthday. He is one of the most influential rappers or contributors to hip hop ever. Mad props is dropped for him by all the names you recognize: Eminem, Ghostfaced killa, Tupac, 50, Dre, Busta, Snoop. I mean dude gets mad props. Serious respect. Old school respect.

Rap in the 80's was all about the party. It was fun, it was funny, it was block parties and breakdancin and girls. Then NWA showed up and all that shit changed. Then rap started to grow. The next step was when Eric B and Rakim released Paid in Full and then Follow the Leader. The rap world changed because of what Rakim brought in those albums. He created a style of writing rhymes called "internal rhyming" and "cliffhangin". Internal rhyming is when little rhymes can be found all through the verse, not just at the end on the lines. This changed everything about rap. Made it more complex, one rhyme to the next...if you get that, your a fan. Cliffhangin is still used today effectively also. Thats when you metaphors that can have more than one meaning. Rakim made rap incredibly complex and respected by other forms of music and art. Good stuff.

Follow The Leader on You Tube. Check it out. This is one of the best rap tunes ever. EVER. Just try to keep up.

No comments: