Rakim is appreciative of the love he’s getting from younger Hip Hop artists.
Rakim said he likes “the way that some of the young cats is taking the torch and keeping it lit,” in an interview published to Montreality’s YouTube channel today (April 27).
“Keep smashing ’em,” he said after listening to J. Cole’s “Janurary 28th.” “Keep doing your thing, heavy.” In the 2014 record, J. Cole shouted him out saying, “Like the great Rakim, when I make my notes.”
“Kendrick Lamar is, again, that new fuel,” Rakim said in regard to Compton, California’s chart-topping young rapper. “It’s that 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.”
Rakim said it was underground Hip Hop that was successful during his time, music with a conscious message, and now that’s changed. He said Hip Hop needs to maintain its core if it’s going to have any clout.
“We gotta make sure we keep the scale tilted a little bit on the trademark Hip Hop side,” he says, “and everything can filter through as well, as long as we stay focused.”
The interview is as follows: