This past week, when I had a chance to visit my apartment for almost a week starting this Wednesday, I've been heavy on my Rakim shit since I had my record collection available. This resulted in spinning all seven of his full-lengths at least twice. Beside listening to the retail albums in my collection I also managed to find several new Rakim tracks and even an exclusive live album.
Having revisited "The 18th Letter", "The Master" and "The Seventh Seal" again for the first time in at the very least a year, I came to the conclusion that all three of these albums are actually a whole lot better than what both the media and critics originally gave them credit for. Especially "The Seventh Seal" is way too underrated as it's perhaps Ra's most mature album yet. A couple of years back I did a three volume compilation of the majority of Ra's guest spots and cut tracks from all the solo albums. "M.A.W." ('98-'02) still is complete, and the link is still up for grabs. Be sure to also peep the first volum which is called "The Lost Album". The only volume that's gone by now is no. 3, "Microphone Euphoria" which I will try to re-up soon. I am also planning to do a new version of "The Lost Album" as Domingo has revealed that Rakim actually did an album that he scrapped around '95, and I finally believe I have more or less all the songs recorded in those sessions... Definitely stay tuned for that!
The reason for this post however is the release of a live album by Rakim released exclusively on the US iTunes. It's called "Rakim: SoHo Sessions" and was both recorded and released in 2010, which sees to have fly over most people heads. I became aware of it through a super positive tweet by the great Chuck D who called it the best live hip-hop album ever recorded; not containing a single fuck up, small or large, in the entirety show. He also said that it sounds like a jazz live album. which is something I'm a real sucker for. You can read Chuck's Twitter status here. I've been struggling all day to get a copy but unfortunately it's only available in the US for about 7 USD. I've been really fiending for this LP so if anyone have a link please hook me up, I would love to pay Rakim for this but I can't do it since I'm in Sweden, Until then you can check out two HQ YouTube videos of Rakim Live in New York '06, and Vancouver, Canada 2010, respectively!