Dope Album...All Dat Plus Some Butta...
Ya Betta Purchase This One

A t long last he's back... Hip Hop's Supreme Being.. the God himself... Rakim.. has come through with a masterpiece of an album... The 18th Letter is a double CD with one side containing all his classic jams like Microphone Fiend, I Know You Got Soul and Paid In Full to name a few...The other side contains all his new materia.. 10 songs in all plus excerpts from interviews with him..

In his previous albums.. Rakim suffered from under production.. This time around he used a variety of folks..rangin' from DJ Clark Kent, DJ Premier, Diamond D and Pete Rock to name a few... It's all that's needed to take it over the top.. Some of head boppin' cuts include..'New York', 'The 18th Letter', 'Guess Who's Back' and 'Remember That'... Really almost all the tracks are bangin'...One interesting facet about Rakim is that he has no guest emcees.. Unlike most artists who are out on the block..Rakim doesn't hook up with anyone to drop bombs.. He does it all himself.. He lets you know he can stand on his own when it comes to droppin' and album..

Now the question that one may have is whether Rakim's revered status will be enough to earn him a place within hip hop during this age of videos and musical remakes.. Will today's hip hop consumer be able to appreciate what 'The R' brings to the table... Keep in mind many of today's most successful artists are ones who've managed to cross over.. ie Wu-Tang, and The Fugees are two that come to mind.. Folks like Puff Daddy have set a new set of criteria for hip hop within Black and urban circles... Much of the west coast hip hop is totally different from what Rakim is putting down..And while it's true that album purchases does not necessarily mean some one has skillz.. It's still a barometer of today's current musical status... If Rakim doesn't shine through and be seen as a force to be reckoned with... Then his lack of exposure will say a lot... It'll be an indication of what was once important no longer holds water amongst the masses.. I'm not saying this will happen with Rakim.. But we should really watch and see how the hip hop audience embraces him...

Bottom line here is I'm not gonna front.. Rakim blows all these new kids away.. His voice, his poise , his lyrics.. his whole vibe just makes you realize what hip hop should really be.. He uses no gimmicks.. I honestly feel like he's a force that really shakes up hip hop.. Rakim is defintely on a whole different level...And he most definitely lives up to his status of being a hip hop god....In the meantime check out his album and feel how refreshing it is to have one of hip hop's best emcees back on the scene..

Reviewed By Davey D

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