William Michael Griffin Jr., better known by his stage name Rakim, is “near-universally acknowledged as one of the greatest MCs – perhaps the greatest – of all time within the hip-hop community” He began his career as the emcee of the rap duo Eric B. & Rakim.
Where many MCs of the time developed their technique through improvisational battles, Rakim was among the first to demonstrate the possibilities of sitting down and writing intricately crafted lyrics packed with clever word choices and metaphors.
His new book: "Sweat The Technique: Revelations On Creativity From The Lyrical Genius" follows his career from his beginnings as a teenage rapper on Long Island and offers insight into how he thinks about words, music, writing and rhyming as it teaches writers of all levels how to hone their craft.
Joe Donahue spoke with Rakim on stage on October 28th as part of UAlbany’s Creative Life series. The Creative Life is created and produced by the New York State Writers Institute, University Art Museum, and UAlbany Performing Arts Center in collaboration with WAMC.