In the realm of Hip Hop scholarship, Ed Lover stands out as a respected figure. His recent acknowledgment of Rakim’s pivotal role in shaping the paths of icons like JAY-Z, Nas, and The Notorious B.I.G. adds substantial weight to the ongoing discourse.
On December 6, The New York Giants released a discussion featuring Carl Banks, Ed Lover, and Rakim, commemorating “50 years of Hip Hop — its profound impact on sports, fashion, and culture.”
In the course of the conversation, the seasoned radio host took a moment to commend the God MC, Rakim, who was present during the discussion, underscoring his influence on the evolution of the genre.
Ed Lover expressed, “Rakim changed the landscape of Hip Hop — he’s a true game-changer.” He went on to highlight the transformative contributions of trailblazers like Melle Mel, Grandmaster Flash, Run-DMC, and LL COOL J. “Rakim changed it because everything became less aggressive.”
“He toned it down and compelled us to not only listen but also enjoy the music while paying attention to Rakim’s lyrical content,” Ed Lover continued. “If you were to trace the family tree of Hip Hop and its direct influences, you’d find no JAY-Z, no Biggie, no Nas. Rakim is the origin of that smooth, refined style of rhyming.”
This acknowledgment underscores Rakim’s profound impact on the genre, attributing to him the stylistic shift that paved the way for subsequent influential artists. As the conversation resonates, it reinforces the narrative that Rakim’s contributions extend beyond his own era, shaping the very fabric of Hip Hop for generations to come.